Liz Truss has been announced as the next Conservative leader and de facto U.K. prime minister after beating Rishi Sunak in the party’s leadership contest.
In a conference hall in Westminster, the result of the contest was announced by the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, who revealed that Truss acquired 81,326 voters compared to Sunak’s 60,399 — winning the ballot by 57.4 percent to 42.6 percent.
The total number of eligible voters was 172,437 and the contest saw a turnout of 82.6 percent, including 654 rejected or spoiled ballots.
It means that the former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will likely now lead the Conservative party into the next general election to be held no later than 2024.
“It is an honor to be elected as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party,” Truss said, taking to the podium to deliver her victory speech after embracing Brady.
“I’d like to thank my family, my friends, my political colleagues, and all those who helped on this campaign. I’d like to pay tribute to my fellow candidates. It’s been a hard-fought campaign, and I think we have shown the depth and breadth of talent in our Conservative party,” she told the conference.
Truss paid tribute to her predecessor, “my friend, Boris Johnson.”
“Boris, you got Brexit done. You crushed Jeremy Corbyn. You rolled out the vaccine, and you stood up to Vladimir Putin. You are admired from Kyiv to Carlisle,” she told the conference hall.
The new Conservative leader thanked the party, which she referred to as “the greatest political party on Earth,” for putting its faith in her.
“I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people, our beliefs in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, and in personal responsibility,” she said.
“That’s why people voted for us in such numbers in 2019, and as your party leader I intend to deliver what we promised those voters right across our great country.”
“During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a conservative, and I will govern as a conservative. My friends, we need to show that we will deliver over the next two years,” Truss added.
She vowed to deliver a “bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy,” and promised to deliver on the energy crisis, “dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have with energy supply.”
Last but not least, Truss vowed to deliver on the NHS, pledging to use all of the “fantastic talents of the Conservative party” to ensure a “great victory” for the party in the next general election.
According to the Times newspaper, the new Truss government will not name a single White man to the “great offices of state.”