Who is Liz Truss, the new British Prime Minister?

For Truss’s critics, the similarities with Thatcher are premature at best and ludicrous at worst.

“I don’t think there’s anything in it. They are completely different people,” insisted Andrea Andino, 52, a supporter of Truss outside the place where Truss was announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party on Monday. Andino wore an “In Liz We Truss” T-shirt.

” She is different. I don’t think she will follow Thatcher in any way,” she added.

Timothy Kirkhope, a Conservative member of the UK’s upper house, also rejected the comparison, but for different reasons.

“I regard any comparison between Truss and Thatcher as ridiculous!” he said in an email.

“I worked as a government whip under Margaret Thatcher. She was a colossus in politics. There is absolutely no way Truss could come close to the achievements of Thatcher,” he said.

Truss herself complained to BBC Radio 4 in July that women tend to be compared to Thatcher whether they look like her or not.

“I am my own person,” she said.

James Cleverly, who served as education minister under Boris Johnson, echoes those sentiments.

New Lord Chancellor installed
Liz Truss was installed in 2016 as Britain’s Lord Chancellor, the first woman to hold the position dating back centuries. Dominic Lipinski/Press Association via AP File

“She is a woman in politics, these comparisons are inevitable.” he said “She’s Liz Truss, she’s her own person.”

“For those of us who have studied Thatcher, she is hardly in the same league, at least in her current form,” said Professor Tim Bale, an expert in British politics and the Conservative Party at Queen Mary University. from London.

While Thatcher was seen then and now as a staunch politician who embodied her beliefs, Truss was accused of being a political chameleon, of flip-flopping on major policies, and criticized for her lack of inflexible principles.

She was a center activist Liberal Democratic Party as a university student.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waves to the crowd after being re-elected in June 1987.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waves to the crowd after being re-elected in June 1987. Dave Caulkin/AP File

“We don’t believe that people are born to govern,” she said as argue passionately for the abolition of the monarchy at the party conference in 1994 – a testimony to how far we have come politically.

Truss campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union only to reverse sides and support later Brexit once the country voted to leave in 2016. Commitment to Brexit and unlocking its supposed benefits is now a central pillar of his platform – an attitude that could lead to a heated and costly crisis legal battle with the European Union and the Republic of Ireland on the complex Northern Ireland Protocol.

While the farm said during the Brexit referendum campaign that Britain shouldn’t “spend years in a messy divorce from Europe” it could be about to preside over just that.

Born in Oxford in 1975, Mary Elizabeth Truss is the daughter of John Kenneth, professor of mathematics at the University of Leeds, and Priscilla Truss, nurse. In the biography section of her website, she describes her parents as “leftist”.

When she was 4, the family moved to Paisley, a town near Glasgow in Scotland. They moved again in 1985 to the northern English city of Leeds in West Yorkshire.

Truss frequently refers to herself as a “Yorkshirewoman”, a folksy attempt to contrast her upbringing with the largely affluent southern English origins of many Conservative members and activists.

Throughout his leadership campaign, Truss said his view of conservatism was inspired by watching other students at the local public high school struggle in an overly bureaucratic and failing system.

“Many of the children I was in school with were let down by low expectations, poor educational standards and a lack of opportunity,” she said during her leadership launch on July 14th.

Old students and Roundhay staff as well as local politicians took issue with Truss’ portrayal, accusing him of unfairly slandering the school for political gain.

Kirkhope was the Tory MP for Leeds North East when Truss attended Roundhay.

“It’s located in one of the wealthiest areas of Leeds and it certainly could never be described as a ‘sink school’,” he said over email, referring to UK terminology for a failing and underperforming school.

Liz Truss campaigns in the Conservative Party race in Birmingham on August 23.Geoff Caddick / AFP-Getty Images

Kirkhope also points to the fact that after graduating from Roundhay, Truss was admitted to one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world, the University of Oxford. There she studied philosophy, politics and economics, a traditional first step for many who want to enter British politics.

“Her claims about her ‘disadvantaged’ past, as the daughter of a college professor, are a bunch of nonsense,” Kirkhope said.

After graduating from Oxford in 1996, she dropped out of the Liberal Democrats and joined the Conservative Party, much to the chagrin of her leftist father. “He was quite horrified” she told The Times newspaper in 2012.

After college, Truss worked as a graduate trainee accountant for energy giant Shell and later telecommunications company Cable & Wireless. In 2000 she married fellow accountant Hugh O’Leary and they have two daughters.

After a youth on the center-left, the university groomed Truss for a conversion to the right.

“I met conservatives and realized that they had no two heads and were actually good people,” she said. told the Daily Mail in 2019.

Truss ran as a Conservative candidate in the 2001 and 2005 elections, losing both times. It would take her another five years before she was finally elected MP for South West Norfolk.

Truss has served in various cabinet positions since 2012, under the governments of David CameronTheresa May and Johnson. It was under Johnson that she was promoted to foreign secretary, one of the government’s most powerful posts – tasked with leading the transition to a post-Brexit trade regime and forging new diplomatic ties.

The Conservative Party may have abandoned Johnson, but its brand of populism looks set to remain under the new prime minister.

“She stuck with Johnson. She told members what they wanted to hear about the economy and taxation rather than hard truths. She’s a fierce Brexiteer and an ‘anti-woke’ warrior,” Bale said.

Truss can be compared to Thatcher, but her critics believe she has much more in common with her predecessor.

“I regret that a premiership of Liz Truss is a continuation of the Boris Johnson style,” Kirkhope said.

A Truss government would be “even more divisive” and include “individuals who are distinguished only by their extreme or eccentric views”, he said.

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