As Ms Truss was announced as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with 81,326 votes to Mr Sunak’s 60,399, the rivals both stood up to a round of applause at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre. But as Ms Truss was invited to come up to the stage to speak, she walked straight past Mr Sunak without offering him a consolatory handshake and ascended the stairs to the lectern. At a time when Conservative MPs from both side of the contest have highlighted the importance of unity in the party behind the new leader, football pundit and political commentator Gary Neville mocked the exchange, or the lack of, posting laughing emojis alongside the message “That Conservative unity started well by Liz Truss not shaking hands with Sunak and just racing past him”. Liz Truss will now spend the next two days preparing her new cabinet, as well as her first prime ministerial speech, travelling to Balmoral to be sworn in by the Queen on Tuesday, before then attending her first Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday as leader of the Conservative Party.
Speaking to the audience, Ms Truss said: “We need to show that we will deliver over the next two years. 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.”
She added: “I would like to pay my respects to my Tory leadership rival candidates, especially Rishi Sunak. It has been a hard-fought campaign. I think we have shown the depth and breadth of talent in our Conservative Party.”
Mr Sunak sat quietly and nodded his appreciation towards the new Prime Minister while a muted round of applause swept through the room before Ms Truss launched into a message of thanks to the outgoing PM Boris Johnson.
Ms Truss, who won 57.4 percent of the Tory membership’s vote, said: “I want to thank our outgoing leader, 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 Carlise.”
Ms Truss then paused in anticipation of a round of applause, only to fall victim to a moment’s silence as the audience failed to put their hands together.
Ms Truss continued: “Friends and colleagues, thank you for putting your faith in me to lead our great Conservative Party, the greatest political party on earth.”
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The announcement of Liz Truss now triggers the start of a handover from Boris Johnson, who was forced to announce his resignation in July after months of scandal saw support for his administration drain away.
He will travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday to officially tender his resignation. Ms Truss will follow him and be asked to form a government by the monarch.
Long the front-runner in the race to replace Johnson, Ms Truss will become the Conservatives’ fourth prime minister since a 2015 election. Over that period the country has been buffeted from crisis to crisis, and now faces what is forecast to be a long recession triggered by sky-rocketing inflation which hit 10.1 percent in July.
Foreign minister under Boris Johnson, Ms Truss, 47, has promised to act quickly to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis, saying that within a week she will come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and securing future fuel supplies.
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