Truss Assumes Office As UK PM, Meets Queen



Liz Truss on Tuesday officially became Britain’s new prime minister, at an audience with head of state Queen Elizabeth II after the resignation of Boris Johnson.


The former foreign secretary, 47, was seen in an official photograph shaking hands with the monarch to accept her offer to form a new government and become the 15th prime minister of her 70-year reign.


The symbolic ceremony took place at the sovereign’s remote Balmoral retreat in the Scottish Highlands, as the Queen, 96, was deemed unfit to return to London due to ill health.


“The queen received in audience the right honourable Elizabeth Truss MP today and requested her to form a new administration,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.


“Ms Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and kissed hands upon her appointment as prime minister,” it added.


The last time the handover of power took place at Balmoral was in 1885, when queen Victoria was on the throne.


Normally, the outgoing and incoming prime minister meet the queen in quick succession at Buckingham Palace in central London.

It has only been held once outside London since 1952, when Winston Churchill met the new queen at Heathrow Airport after the death of her father, king George VI.


Truss, who was announced winner of an internal vote of Conservative party members on Monday, after a gruelling contest that began in July.


She is expected to make her first speech as prime minister outside 10 Downing Street at about 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Tuesday – weather permitting.


Heavy rain and storms are forecast, mirroring the gloomy economic situation that she and her new senior ministers will now have to tackle.


The appointments are due to be finalised before she hosts her first cabinet meeting and faces questions in parliament on Wednesday.


AFP


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