Timeline: How Liz Truss lasted just 45 days as PM

Timeline: How Liz Truss lasted just 45 days as PM

Updated: 5 months, 2 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes, 1 second ago

Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss attends a press conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room in central London, Friday Oct. 14, 2022, following the sacking of the finance minister in response to a budget that sparked markets chaos. (Daniel Leal/Pool Photo via AP)

Just 45 days after taking over as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss has resigned. According to the Associated Press, Truss bowed to the inevitable on Thursday after a tumultuous six-week term in which her policies triggered turmoil in financial markets and a rebellion in her party obliterated her authority.

To mark the end of her stint as PM, OBSERVER ONLINE has put together a timeline of key moments in Truss’ reign.

– September 5: Liz Truss is declared the victor in the Tory leadership contest and is set to become the country’s next prime minister.

– September 6: Truss becomes Prime Minister after being invited to form a new government by the late Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral. Later that afternoon, in her first speech in Downing Street, Truss said she was honoured to take on the role “at a vital time for our country”. Kwasi Kwarteng is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.

– September 7: Truss promises to work with MPs across the House to tackle challenges faced by the British people including soaring energy bills.

– September 8: In Parliament, shortly before midday, the PM announces a new energy price guarantee and promises support for businesses struggling with bills for six months, with targeted help for vulnerable firms beyond that. She said the country was facing “a global energy crisis and there are no cost-free options.”

Soon after her economic announcements in the Commons, Buckingham Palace issued a statement regarding Queen Elizabeth’s health. Another Palace statement released later that evening announced the monarch’s passing.

– September 9: The King held his first in-person audience with Truss at Buckingham Palace.

– September 23: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwarteng announced the biggest raft of tax cuts for half a century. Using more than £70 billion of increased borrowing, he sets out a package which includes abolishing the top rate of income tax for the highest earners and axing the cap on bankers’ bonuses while adding restrictions to the welfare system.

The British pound fell to a fresh 37-year low as “spooked” traders swallow the cost of the spree.

– September 29: Almost a week on, the PM insisted the Government had to “take urgent action to get the economy growing” in her first public comments since the mini-budget market turmoil.

– October 2: Truss acknowledges mistakes over the mini-budget but vowed to stand by her tax-cutting plan as she refused to rule out public spending cuts.

– October 3: In a dramatic U-turn, Truss and Kwarteng abandon their plan to abolish the 45p rate of income tax for top earners.

“We get it, and we have listened,” the Chancellor said.

– October 5: Truss pledged to get the British people “through the tempest” and get the country moving again as she delivered her first Tory conference speech as party leader.

– October 12: Truss insists she will not cut spending to balance the books, despite economists and the financial markets continuing to question her plans.

– October 14: Kwarteng is sacked, having flown back early from International Monetary Fund talks in Washington. He said he accepted PM Truss’ request to “stand aside” as Chancellor.

The Prime Minister replaced Kwarteng at the Treasury with Jeremy Hunt.

Truss dismisses calls for her resignation at a hastily arranged eight-minute press conference in Downing Street.

– October 15: The new Chancellor indicates the PM’s immediate economic plan is now largely defunct in a series of broadcast interviews.

In an unusual intervention, US President Joe Biden appears to join in the criticism of Truss’s original plan, telling reporters “I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a mistake” and calling the outcome “predictable”.

– October 16: Former minister Crispin Blunt becomes the first Tory MP to publicly call for Truss to quit. He is followed by Andrew Bridgen and Jamie Wallis, while other senior figures within the parliamentary party express deep unease with the PM’s leadership but stop short of calling for her to go.

– October 17: Hunt ditches the bulk of the PM’s economic strategy in an emergency statement designed to calm the markets.

– October 18: Truss survives a meeting of the Cabinet without any ministers calling for her to quit, while Hunt tells colleagues they must review departmental budgets to find ways to save taxpayers’ money.

The Prime Minister addresses Tory MPs from the European Research Group (ERG), telling them that she found axing her tax-slashing programme “painful” and did it “because she had to”.

October 20: Truss resigns. Making a hastily scheduled statement outside her 10 Downing Street office, Truss acknowledged that “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”