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Liz Truss' Resignation As British Prime Minister refers to the October 20th, 2022, announcement by the conservative Prime Minister of Britain, Liz Truss, that she would be stepping down from her post after a mere 45 days in office. Once her successor is elected, she will have served the shortest tenure as Prime Minister in the history of the U.K. Her brief tenure inspired jokes and memes online, particularly as she served after the tumultuous tenure of Boris Johnson and was notably Prime Minister when Queen Elizabeth II died.
Liz Truss, a cabinet member for three previous Prime Ministers including David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II on September 6th, 2022, two days before the Queen's death.
On September 23rd, after a mourning period, Truss' government put forth its signature act: a "Mini-Budget" laid out by Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer. The budget was a boon for England's richest, as it abolished the top rate of income tax, axed the cap on bankers' bonuses, and placed restrictions on England's welfare system. As a result, the value of the English pound dropped to a 37-year low. On October 3rd, Truss and Kwarteng announced they were reversing the abolishment of the top rate of income tax. On October 14th, Kwarteng resigned. He was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, who essentially gutted the Mini Budget plan.
On October 19th, a vote on banning fracking took place in the House of Commons, though there was confusion as to whether the vote had greater implications as a vote of confidence in Truss. While this was going on, Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned from her position and was highly critical of Truss' premiership in her resignation letter.
On October 20th, 2022, her 45th day as Prime Minister, Truss resigned, saying she will serve until a new Prime Minister is elected the following week. Should that happen as expected, Truss will officially become the shortest-tenured Prime Minister in British history, as her tenure will be well short of George Canning, who died in office after serving 118 days.
In the immediate aftermath of Truss' resignation, Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace are the odds-on frontrunners to succeed Truss as Prime Minister. Boris Johnson has floated running for the position again.
Many online joked about the resignation following the announcement on October 20th, 2022, and the jokes largely focused on its briefness and eventfulness. For example, Twitter account @PoliticsJOE_UK posted a graph that same day noting that Truss' run was the same length as a stunt in which David Blaine lived in a glass box and had nearly matched the length of the Tory leadership contest itself. The tweet gained over 150 retweets and 760 likes in one hour (shown below, left). Twitter user @LouisStaples joked about the misfortune of two authors that were set to publish a biography of Truss, out December 8th. His tweet gained over 4,900 retweets and 47,000 likes in three hours (shown below, right).
The Daily Star's Head Of Lettuce
On October 13th, 2022, The Daily Star began a livestream showing a head of lettuce, making a mock competition of which would last longer, the lettuce or Liz Truss. On October 20th, it celebrated the fact that the lettuce 'won.'
🚨 THE LETTUCE HAS OFFICIALLY OUTLASTED LIZ TRUSS AND WON 🚨
ALL HAIL THE LETTUCE.
— Daily Star (@dailystar) October 20, 2022
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