Pound Leaps Following Resignation of Liz Truss as Prime Minister, Shortest Tenure in History

Liz Truss resigned as prime minister of the U.K., as well as the leader of the Conservative Party during a speech given at 10 Downing Street on early Thursday afternoon London time.

“I recognize that given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I, therefore, spoke to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” said Truss, who took office only 44 days ago.

“I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills. Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent. And our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth.

“I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance. And we set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit,” added Truss, who will become the shortest-serving prime minster in British history.

Truss revealed that Thursday morning she met Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, and agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week. She will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen.

“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security,” she added.

Truss‘ leadership and her controversial 45 billion pound tax-cutting mini-budget plan have drawn huge criticism from the financial sector.

The British pound’s value against the dollar took a nosedive following the announcement on Sept 23. After her resignation, however, the pound against the dollar was up 0.5% at $1.1278.

She was elected earlier this year in a vote by roughly 140,000 Conservative party members and has been forced to repeal almost all of the high-growth, low-tax pledges that she made during her campaign.

As part of Truss’ bid to keep her job, and calm the markets, she fired her Chancellor of the Exchequer, and longtime colleague and friend, Kwasi Kwarteng, who only spent a few weeks in office, and appointed Jeremy Hunt, who is seen by many to be an experienced politician and businessman.

Hunt previously served as foreign minister and health minister in past Conservative governments.

Earlier this week, Hunt announced a widespread package of measures, which included reversing the reintroduction of tax-free shopping in the U.K. for international tourists, to calm the financial markets and restore stability to the pound, and the country’s finances.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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