London: Liz Truss became the new prime minister of the UK after meeting the Queen at Balmoral, where she was asked to form a government after the resignation of Boris Johnson.
Truss, 47, is the UK’s 56th prime minister and its third female leader. Her team has swiftly updated her Twitter profile to mark her new role. “Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Leader of the Conservative Party. MP for South West Norfolk,” the description said.
She is expected to return immediately to Downing Street and will give an address to the nation at about 4 pm London time, before beginning to appoint her cabinet, the Guardian reported.
One of her first significant acts as prime minister is expected to be an announcement on plans to tackle the energy price crisis, with allies understood to be discussing a 100 billion-pound package freezing bills.
The package could come as soon as Thursday and is expected to be paid via extra borrowing, rather than a windfall tax on suppliers as Labour has proposed, the Guardian report saids.
Key cabinet appointments are expected to be made later on Thursday with junior roles following over the coming days.
Truss is expected to appoint a cabinet of loyalists, including Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, James Cleverly as foreign secretary and Suella Braverman as home secretary.
Other key appointments are expected to include Thérèse Coffey as health secretary, but there will be no role for her defeated leadership rival, Rishi Sunak, the Guardian said.
Johnson and his wife Carrie spent almost 40 minutes with the Queen earlier. They left Balmoral a few minutes before midday.
The outgoing prime minister said in remarks outside Downing Street that he would remain loyal and supportive to Truss after his departure. “Let me say that I am now like one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function and I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific.
He said he would be offering the new government nothing but “the most fervent support”.