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The UK’s Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned Thursday after just six weeks in office, plunging the United Kingdom into further uncertainty amid skyrocketing energy prices and high inflation, NBC News reported.
Truss’ resignation came as the prime minister’s approval rating and support within her ruling Conservative Party were plummeting over a contentious – and now reversed – economic plan that dropped the value of the British pound.
She was appointed as the country’s new leader early last month following the resignation of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, who stepped down as prime minister – and party leader – under pressure from Conservative members and the public amid a series of scandals.
Truss had promised a major shift in the UK’s economic fortunes, turning it into a low-tax, high-growth nation that would unleash the country’s potential following its exit from the European Union in 2020.
But her proposed plans – so-called “Trussonomics” – soon came under fire: Her first finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced $48 billion in unfunded tax cuts, causing the government’s borrowing costs to rise, prompting an emergency intervention from the Bank of England and a rebuke from the International Monetary Fund.
She later fired Kwarteng and his successor, Jeremy Hunt, soon reversed nearly all the controversial policies. Even so, the UK is still grappling with the fallout from the plan, including record inflation and rising mortgage rates.
The failed policies prompted lawmakers in her party to call for her resignation. While she initially resisted pressure to step down on Wednesday, she later relented.
Truss will remain as caretaker leader until the Conservative Party selects a new leader – who will then become the country’s prime minister.
In the UK’s unwritten constitution, the leader of the party with the most seats in the Parliament’s lower house is invited to lead the government.
While there is speculation that her predecessor might return, observers noted that Rishi Sunak, Johnson’s former finance minister, is one favorite to replace her.
Still, some Conservatives cautioned against choosing a new leader without allowing the British public to have a say in the matter. The opposition Labour Party, meanwhile, is calling for an election.
Governing for only 45 days, Truss is now considered Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister.
The previous holder of that record was George Canning, who served for 119 days in the early 19th century.