LIZ Truss has ended her 49 day premiership – the shortest in Britain’s history – promising that “brighter days lie ahead.”
In a final speech from Downing Street before heading to Buckingham Palace to resign as Prime Minister, the ousted Tory leader urged her party to be “bold and confront the challenges we face.”
Ms Truss’s fleeting time in office will be remembered for the turmoil of the mini-budget and the £45bn worth of unfunded tax cuts.
Her brief tenure saw her forced to u-turn on nearly all of her key pledges, including the two-year energy price guarantee.
And under her leadership her party’s standing in the polls has plummeted to an all-time low, with Labour now 37 points ahead.
It has been less than a week since she resigned, admitting that she could not “deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative party.”
Key members of staff and political allies, including Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey stood outside No 10 to watch the speech.
Ms Truss – who was accompanied by husband Hugh and their two teenage daughters, Frances and Liberty – wished Rishi Sunak “every success” and said she looked forward to spending more time in her constituency
She said: “It has been a huge honour to be Prime Minister of this great country.
“In particular, to lead the nation in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen after 70 years of service, and welcoming the accession of His Majesty King Charles III.”
Ms Truss said her administration had “acted urgently and decisively on the side of hardworking families and businesses.”
She said: “We reversed the National Insurance increase. We helped millions of households with their energy bills and helped thousands of businesses avoid bankruptcy.
“We are taking back our energy independence so we are never again beholden to global market fluctuations or malign foreign powers.
“From my time as Prime Minister, I am more convinced than ever we need to be bold and confront the challenges that we face.
“As the Roman philosopher Seneca said: ‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult.’
“We simply cannot afford to be a low growth country where the government takes up an increasing share of our national wealth and where there are huge divides between different parts of our country.
“We need to take advantage of our Brexit freedoms to do things differently.
“This means delivering more freedom for our own citizens and restoring power in democratic institutions.
“It means lower taxes, so people keep more of the money they earn.
“It means delivering growth that will lead to more job security, higher wages and greater opportunities for our children and grandchildren.
“Democracies must be able to deliver for their own people. We must be able to outcompete autocratic regimes, where power lies in the hands of a few.
“And now more than ever we must support Ukraine in their brave fight against Putin’s aggression. Ukraine must prevail.
“And we must continue to strengthen our nation’s defences.”She
Ending her speech, she said: “We continue to battle through a storm but I believe in Britain, I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead.”
Earlier, in her final cabinet, Ms Truss told her ministers that despite their disastrous seven weeks in power they had “secured some significant achievements.”
A No 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister opened Cabinet by thanking ministers for their support.
“She said that in the short time the Government had been in place they had secured some significant achievements.
“The Prime Minister concluded by saying her time in the role had been a huge privilege and that her successor will have her support as they now build on the important steps already taken by Cabinet to support the country.”
The SNP’s Kirsten Oswald said Ms Truss should have apologised “for the catastrophic damage she has done to the UK economy.”
She added: “Families are paying through their teeth for her mistakes as mortgage rates soar, pensions fall, energy bills rise, and inflation goes through the roof.
“Now we face devastating austerity cuts under Rishi Sunak – with families footing the bill for Tory failure.”
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