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Liz Truss resigns after disastrous term that pitched Britain deep into political and economic turmoil

London CNN  — 

Liz Truss will become Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister ever, after announcing her intention to resign just six weeks into a disastrous term that pitched Britain deep into political and economic turmoil.

Truss said Thursday that she would step aside for a new leader to be chosen within the next week, after a growing number of her own Conservative Party’s lawmakers said they could not support her any longer.

The announcement brings to an ignominious end a catastrophic tenure in Downing Street, which appeared doomed ever since Truss’s flagship economic agenda sent markets into panic and led to a fall in the value of the pound.

Truss had tried to save her position by replacing her chancellor and long-time ally Kwasi Kwarteng with Jeremy Hunt, a staunch supporter of Rishi Sunak who was Truss’ biggest rival in the leadership contest over the summer.

In the end, even that was not enough.

On Wednesday, Truss lost another top official when Home Secretary Suella Braverman dramatically quit just a few weeks into her job, using her letter of resignation to launch a blistering attack on the prime minister’s leadership.

“The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics,” Braverman wrote in a critique of Truss’s numerous U-turns on taxes and public spending.

Truss announced her decision to leave just 45 days into her tenure. George Canning previously held the record for the shortest term in Downing Street, having served for 119 days until his death in 1827.

Her decision ensures a fresh power struggle within the ruling Conservative Party, which has hemorrhaged public support for the past year and has now overthrown Boris Johnson and Truss in the space of a few months.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation outside Number 10 Downing Street on October 20, 2022.

Earlier this year, Truss’s predecessor Johnson narrowly survived a confidence vote in his leadership. But he resigned weeks later when dozens of ministers and members of the government quit, citing a lack of confidence in his government.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, which is enjoying a huge lead in opinion polls, on Thursday repeated his calls for an early general election.

“Britain can’t afford the Tories’ chaos,” he wrote on Twitter. “My Labour government will provide the stability and leadership needed. For our economy. For growth. For working people. General Election, now.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also called for an early vote.

“The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now. A General Election is now a democratic imperative,” Sturgeon said on Twitter.

The next general election is due to take place no later than January 2025, but the prospect of Britain seeing its third prime minister since the last poll in 2019 would heap pressure on Truss’ successor to ask the public for a new mandate.

This is a breaking story. It will be updated…

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