n Tuesday, Boris Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister of the United Kingdom, capping a turbulent three years in office and leaving Liz Truss with a daunting to-do list.
Johnson, who was ousted from office by his own Conservative Party due to a string of scandals, pleaded with the populace to unite and support his replacement.
He gave a farewell speech outside Downing Street before departing for Scotland to inform Queen Elizabeth of his resignation. Additionally, Truss will be required to travel to the monarch’s castle in northeast Scotland and form a government there.
Managing Britain through a long-term recession and an energy crisis that endangers the financial stability of millions of households and businesses is the 47-year-old Truss’s mandate.
Her proposal to cut taxes while providing tens of billions of pounds to cap energy costs has already severely shaken the financial markets, causing investors to sell government bonds and the pound.
In his speech, Johnson proclaimed, “This is it, folks.” “It’s time for politics to end, folks, I say to my fellow Conservatives. Now is the time for all of us to support Liz Truss, her team, and her program.”
In the past six years, Truss will be the fourth Conservative prime minister. She faces the most recent crisis to hit Britain with a weaker political hand than many of her predecessors because she narrowly defeated Rishi Sunak in a vote of Conservative Party members despite initially receiving more support from her lawmakers.
Despite a warning that tax cuts would worsen Britain’s inflation, she has pledged to take “bold action” to help the country through these trying times.
Johnson, who fought to stay in office until the very end, used his farewell speech to highlight his accomplishments, such as his early support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and his early vaccination program during the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, he listed “delivering Brexit” as one of his major accomplishments, despite the fact that most people now believe leaving the European Union was a mistake and that Truss has pursued a combative strategy toward Brussels that may eventually result in a trade war.
Johnson’s speech was jam-packed with the bombast and jokes one would expect from a man who was once beloved by a large portion of the British public but also despised by many. He has steadfastly refused to express regret for the scandals that led to his downfall, such as “Partygate,” a string of intoxicated gatherings that took place in Downing Street while the nation was under COVID-19 lockdown and for which he was fined by police.
He also said he was still hurt by the circumstances surrounding his departure while refusing to rule out one day returning to the top position.
Finally, he said, “the baton will be handed to a new Conservative leader.” “In what has unexpectedly become a relay race, the baton will be passed. Midway through, the rules were changed, but that is irrelevant now.”
Britain, which has been governed by the Conservatives since 2010, has been thrown from crisis to crisis in recent years, and the country now faces the possibility of a protracted recession, additional increases in inflation, and a declining pound.
The energy crisis, which could last for a few years and potentially deplete household savings as well as the futures of smaller businesses that are still struggling under COVID-era loans, is the most urgent problem.
Although a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters that Truss may freeze bills in a plan that could cost up to 100 billion pounds, exceeding the COVID-19 furlough scheme, household energy bills are expected to increase by 80% in October.
It is unclear how Britain will pay for the assistance and whether it may entail long-term loans that must be repaid.
Additionally, the government’s massive coronavirus spending binge continues to strain Britain’s public finances. Public debt as a percentage of GDP is approaching 100%, up from around 80% prior to the pandemic.