3 October, 2022

Boris Johnson urges Tories to get behind Liz Truss in farewell speech

Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Conservatives to get behind his successor Liz Truss during a “tough time”, in his farewell speech.

Johnson has met the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where he tendered his resignation as PM.

Truss has been formally appointed by the British monarch, before making her first speech as prime minister.

The UK’s third female prime minister will announce her cabinet later.

Her victory in the Tory leadership contest on Monday marked the end of Johnson’s turbulent premiership, less than three years after the Conservatives won a landslide in the 2019 general election.

In the face of a mounting economic crisis, Johnson’s successor has promised immediate action to deal with soaring energy prices, as well as tax cuts aimed at staving off a recession.

Truss meeting the queen earlier today

Her plan, due on Thursday, is expected to include a freeze on energy bills worth billions of pounds, but the details of that policy are yet to be announced.

Simon Clarke, who backed Truss for the leadership and is tipped to become levelling up secretary, told the BBC he was anticipating “a major intervention” on energy bills.

He said energy “will be the government’s most immediate priority upon entering office” and insisted the commitments Truss made during the campaign on tax “still absolutely stand”.

In his speech, Johnson alluded to the ominous challenges Truss will inherit when she takes office, acknowledging that this was “a tough time for the economy”.

“This is a tough time for families up and down the country,” Johnson said in front of No 10 Downing Street. “We can and we will get through it and we will come out stronger the other side.”

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