London: Britain's new Prime Minister Liz Truss convenes her senior ministers for an inaugural cabinet meeting on Wednesday on her first full day in office, before she faces a barrage of questions in parliament.
Truss, who officially became leader Tuesday at an audience with head of state Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland after the resignation of Boris Johnson, is set to meet her top team at a morning meeting. They include the most diverse top team in British history ever: Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Cleverly as foreign secretary and Suella Braverman as interior minister.
They face a daunting in-tray of issues, most notably decades-high inflation and how to deal with energy bills set to rise by 80 percent next month and even more again in January.
After Cabinet, Truss will travel to the House of Commons to spar with opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, in the rival pair's first Prime Minister's Questions session.
Truss promises to ride out economic storm
Liz Truss unveiled her new top team as she formally took over from Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, with no place for white men in any of the three senior-most cabinet posts for the first time ever.
As expected, she rewarded allies to her during her victorious Conservative leadership campaign, promoting Kwasi Kwarteng to finance, James Cleverly to foreign affairs and Suella Braverman to interior. Kwarteng is the country's first black chancellor of the exchequer. His immediate focus will be turning round Britain's dire economic fortunes.
Truss loyalist Therese Coffey was made health secretary and deputy prime minister, Downing Street said in a slew of announcements. Ben Wallace retained the defence ministry, with Truss vowing to extend Johnson's staunch support for Ukraine.
In her first call with a foreign leader, she told its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that "Ukraine could depend on the UK's assistance for the long term," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
Truss also spoke to US President Joe Biden, telling him she looked forward to tackling "shared challenges, particularly the extreme economic problems unleashed by Putin's war".
They also agreed on the need to protect peace in Northern Ireland, where post-Brexit trade arrangements are causing instability and could undermine the so-called "special relationship" between London and Washington.
Truss vows to make UK an 'aspiration nation'
Liz Truss became Britain's new prime minister on Tuesday after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, who asked her to form a new government as the country faces an acute cost-of-living crisis.
Truss, 47, took office in the carefully choreographed ceremony with the monarch a day after the ruling Conservative Party announced that Truss was elected as its leader.
"Ms Truss accepted Her Majesty's offer and kissed hands upon her appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury," Buckingham Palace said.
Truss inherits an economy in crisis, with inflation at double digits, the cost of energy soaring and the Bank of England warning of a lengthy recession by the end of this year.
Already, workers across the economy have gone on strike.
Her plan to revive growth through tax cuts while also potentially providing around 100 billion pounds ($116 billion) for energy has rattled financial markets, prompting investors to dump the pound and government bonds in recent weeks.
First address as PM
In her first speech as British Prime Minister, Truss says she will "tackle the issues that are holding Britain back".
Speaking outside 10 Downing St. hours after being formally appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, Truss said she would focus on tackling Britain's energy crisis, struggling economy and overburdened health service.
She promised to grow the economy and make the UK an "aspiration nation," but acknowledged the country faces "severe global headwinds" because of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.
Johnson meets Queen
Queen Elizabeth accepted Boris Johnson's resignation as prime minister on Tuesday during a meeting at her Balmoral Castle in Scotland, a Buckingham Palace statement said.
Boris Johnson bows out as PM
Speaking outside his Downing Street office early Tuesday before heading to Scotland, Johnson said his three-year tenure had left Britain with the economic strength to help people weather the energy crisis. He signed off with his typically colorful language.
Johnson, who was forced out of office by his own Conservative Party over a series of scandals, urged the country to come together and back his successor.
After making a farewell speech outside Downing Street, he left London to travel to Scotland and tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth. Truss will also travel to the monarch's castle in northeast Scotland and be asked to form a government.
The British leader, who announced his intention to step down two months ago, is expected to meet with the queen in late morning at her Balmoral estate to begin the transfer of power to Liz Truss.
Truss, who was named leader of the ruling Conservative party on Monday, will be appointed prime minister during her own audience with the queen a short time later.
Speaking outside No. 10 Downing Street, Johnson said his policies had given the country the economic strength to help people weather the energy crisis before he signed off his typical bluster.
"I am like one of those booster rockets that has filled its function,'' Johnson said before getting in a car and leaving the gates of Downing Street for the last time as prime minister. "I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific.''
Truss will take office after a two-month leadership contest that left Britain with a power vacuum at a time when consumers, workers and businesses were demanding government action to mitigate the impact of soaring food and energy prices. Johnson has had no authority to make major policy decisions since July 7, when he said he planned to give up "the best job in the world.''
Patel, Dorries quit
Britain's Priti Patel and Nadine Dorries both stepped down ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday as Liz Truss formally takes over as the country's prime minister.
Patel said she will stand down as Britain's Home secretary, or interior minister.
A lawmaker belonging to the Conservative Party told Reuters that Suella Braverman, currently the government's attorney-general, was likely to be promoted to Patel's role.
Following Patel, Culture Minister Nadine Dorries stepped down, the Daily Mail reported late Monday.
Truss had offered Dorries, who is a firm supporter of Truss, to stay in her post, the Daily Mail said.
Patel and Dorries resigned just hours after Truss was named the winner of a Conservative Party leadership contest to become the next prime minister. Truss will take office on Tuesday.
"I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new Leader, and will give her my support as our new Prime Minister," Patel said in her resignation letter to current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which she posted on Twitter.
"It is my choice to continue my public service to the country and the Witham constituency from the backbenches, once Liz formally assumes office and a new Home Secretary is appointed," she wrote.
Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson
Britain's Conservative Party has chosen Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as the party's new leader, putting her in line to be confirmed as prime minister. Truss's selection was announced on Monday in London after a leadership election in which only the 180,000 dues-paying members of the Conservative Party were allowed to vote.
Truss beat rival Rishi Sunak, the government's former Treasury chief, by promising to increase defense spending and cut taxes, while refusing to say how she would address the cost-of-living crisis. Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to formally name Truss as Britain's prime minister on Tuesday.
The ceremony will take place at the queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland, where the monarch is vacationing, rather than at Buckingham Palace.
This is the first time the handover of power is taking place at Balmoral, the monarch's summer retreat in Aberdeenshire, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London.
The ceremony was moved to Scotland to provide certainty about the schedule because the 96-year-old queen has experienced problems getting around that have forced palace officials to make decisions about her travel on a day-to-day basis.
Queen Elizabeth, under whose reign there have been 14 prime ministers before Truss, has had to scale back her public appearances in recent months due to such issues, and also spent a night in hospital last October for an unspecified illness.
Truss therefore must travel to Balmoral to become prime minister, a round-trip of around a thousand miles, rather than the two-mile round-trip that prime ministers usually enjoy.
Key quotes from Liz Truss's victory speech
"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."
"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."
"I also 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 Carlisle."