A month after coming to power in Britain, Liz Truss faces many obstacles

She wants out of the UK” of the storm”. A month after taking on the role of Prime Minister across the Channel, Liz Truss faces many difficulties. Critics within her party, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the energy crisis ravaging Britain… Here’s an update on the many challenges facing the Conservative leader a month after her election.

  • Death of Queen Elizabeth II

No sooner had Liz Truss taken office than a historic moment rocked Britain. On 6 September, the British Prime Minister met the Queen, who officially appointed her to her post. Two days later, Elizabeth II, who had reigned for more than seventy years, died at her residence in Balmoral.

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“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country grew and prospered under her ruleLiz Truss said hours after the announcement of his death, it is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy. »

  • A deep energy crisis

The prime minister only ruled for two short days during the monarch’s reign. But even before this event, the British Prime Minister had to confront the energy crisis that is consuming our neighbors across the Channel. Consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine gallop inflation around 10%. The price of energy continues to rise, prompting Liz Truss to act as soon as she takes office.

On 8 September, the Prime Minister announced a freeze on energy prices for individuals at £2,500 (ie more than €2,800) a year for the average household. For businesses, prices will be frozen for six months.

But anger continues to rumble in the country. Dockers in the great port of Felixstowe or even railway workers, the strikes are multiplying. About 1,900 of the 2,500 workers at the port in eastern England were on strike from September 27 to October 5, the Unite union said. On the train side, traffic was disrupted again on Wednesday. Strike “is here to last”warned Mick Whelan, the organisation’s general secretary, urging the government to give rail companies a free hand to negotiate pay rises.

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Last Saturday, Britons pounded the pavement, worried about not being able to pay their bills or repay their loans despite the cost of living. “Support the Strikes”, “Freeze prices, not people” or “Taxes for the rich”we could read on the signs held up by protesters in London.

And this anger was fueled by a nice tax break for the wealthy: Remove the top tax bracket. A measure that was finally abandoned under pressure from Liz Truss’s own majority.

  • Difficulties in his own camp

“In these difficult times we must act. I am determined to move Britain forward to get us out of the storm,” Liz Truss said on Wednesday to activists and representatives of the Conservative Party to which she belongs. She insisted on her priorities: lowering taxes, improving public services, especially health, and fighting illegal immigration.

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But his speech did not convince everyone. Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who backed Liz Truss’s rival former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in the Downing Street race, has warned party MPs not to be “without doing anything” if the polls continue to be disastrous. According to a YouGov poll, published just before Liz Truss’s speech, the Prime Minister receives just 14% favorable opinions, even lower than her predecessor Boris Johnson’s worst score.

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Several voices were raised within the majority to remind Liz Truss not to stray too far from Boris Johnson’s programme, which in December 2019 had given the Conservatives an unprecedented triumph since Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

The next election is due in two years, and the Labor opposition came fresh from its congress at the end of September. “The Tories still refuse to give up their kamikaze budget which caused the economy to explode”tweeted Labor leader Keir Starmer.

A recent poll gives them a 33-point lead over the Conservatives, unheard of since the late 1990s, when Tony Blair came to power.

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