Truss to replace Johnson as UK prime minister

STORY: Liz Truss is to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister at a time when Britain faces a cost of living crisis, industrial unrest and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

On Monday (September 5), the governing Conservatives announced her as their next leader and fourth prime minister from the party since a 2015 election.

"I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people's energy bills, but also dealing with the long term issues we have on energy supply.''

Truss faces a tough and costly to-do list. Surging wholesale gas prices, driven higher by the Ukraine war, are hitting countries across Europe.

But Britain is particularly dependent on gas, pushing its inflation rate above all other major economies.

As growth stalls, workers from train drivers to barristers to nurses are striking for wages that keep up with rising costs.

John Kampfner, head of the UK in the World Initiative at London's Chatham House think tank, says he's never seen a premier enter Downing Street with such unfavorable headwinds.

“There is a storm that is gathering in Britain and it's quite extraordinary... On the economic front, rampant inflation - already well over 10 percent and heading far north of that, we have strikes pretty much everywhere. The train system, the postal system, the lawyers, the bin collectors, you name it, and they're striking. We have most importantly, the potential for huge amounts of social unrest with electricity and gas prices going up already 200 percent and every quarter going up as well.”

Truss has promised to come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and secure future fuel supplies within a week. Britain has lagged behind other European countries in offering such help.

She has signaled plans to scrap tax increases and cut other levies that some economists say would fuel inflation.

And her pledge to review the remit of the Bank of England while protecting its independence prompted some investors to dump the pound and government bonds.

Foreign minister under Johnson, Truss has said she will appoint a strong cabinet, dispensing with what one source close to her called a "presidential-style" of governing.

She'll have to work hard to win over backers of her rival Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister. She was not the first choice of fellow Conservative lawmakers - but did win over party members.

Johnson, who was ousted in July after months of scandal, will tender his official resignation to the Queen in Scotland.

Truss will follow him and be asked to form a new government.