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Liz Truss (b. Mary Elizabeth Truss) (1975–) is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, becoming leader of the governing Conservative Party on 5 September 2022 and being appointed by Queen Elizabeth II the following day. She is the last Prime Minister sworn in by Queen Elizabeth II and the first Prime Minister sworn in by King Charles III. On 20 October 2022, Liz Truss announced her resignation, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. She was succeeded by Rishi Sunak.
Her politics has shown a steady rightward trend, from the Liberal Democrats, republicanism, and drug policy reform in her youth, through support for the European Union, to current right-wing positions under Theresa May and Boris Johnson and later as Prime Minister. She has been viewed as being part of the libertarian right as of 2022. As a result she has become known for her frequent U-Turns, so much so that she has been nicknamed "la Girouette de fer" (the Iron Weathervane) by the French media. Like Conservapedia, she has a name you can Truss.
Life and early career
Truss began her political career as something of a centre-left firebrand. Her parents were on the left, in particular her mother, who was a prominent member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; her father was a mathematics professor who has been described by The Guardian as "left-leaning". Truss was born in Oxford, and also spent part of her childhood in Paisley, Scotland, and Leeds, England. In Leeds she attended Roundhay secondary school, which she has attempted to portray as a tough, inner-city school, but was actually in a leafy, Conservative-voting suburb.
She attended Oxford University, and was active in student politics in the Liberal Democrats, where she spoke out in favour of the abolition of the monarchy — something that would prove problematic when Queen Elizabeth II died a couple of days into her premiership. At the same time, she advocated for cannabis legalisation. She also showed an interest in the classical liberal economist Friedrich Hayek, who would perhaps remain a more lasting influence.
However, she joined the Conservatives in 1996. In 2000 she married Hugh O'Leary, an accountant whom she had met at a Conservative Party event; their marriage would survive an 18-month affair she had with party worker Mark Field.
She unsuccessfully contested a solidly Labour seat in Yorkshire in 2001, and after a hunt for a better seat, was elected for South West Norfolk in 2010.
As an MP
She started out as an economic right-winger, calling for low taxes and deregulation as founder of the Free Enterprise Group of MPs. She also co-wrote a pamphlet Britannia Unchained which blamed Britain's economic failures on workers being too lazy.
She held a junior role in the education department, and became environment secretary in 2014.
She was briefly Justice Secretary under Theresa May. There she was criticised for failing to defend the political independence of the judiciary after the Daily Mail called them "Enemies of the People" for upholding the law about Brexit.
She then was moved to chief secretary to the Treasury (a junior role to the Chancellor of the Exchequer), which was seen as a demotion for her failings at the Justice department.
Truss supported Boris Johnson's leadership bid in 2019, and became international trade secretary and then foreign secretary, where she had to deal with the debate over the post-Brexit status of Northern Ireland, and the war in Ukraine. As international trade secretary she advocated for a reduction on tariffs on foreign steel imports, which would have damaged what remains of Britain's steel industry, but she was overruled.
The Conservative Party leadership selection process has two parts. Firstly MPs vote in a series of rounds of voting to eliminate all but the last two, then the last two go to a ballot of party members. In the latter, she beat Rishi Sunak by 81,326 votes to 60,339. For reference, the UK had a total population of 67 million in 2020, with somewhere around 46-48 million eligible voters, so Truss was elected with less than 0.2% of the electorate.
“”Liz Truss has already secured her place in British political history. However long she now lasts in office, she is set to be remembered as the prime minister whose grip on power was the shortest. Ms Truss entered Downing Street on September 6th. She blew up her own government with a package of unfunded tax cuts and energy-price guarantees on September 23rd. Take away the ten days of mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and she had seven days in control. That is roughly the shelf-life of a lettuce.
|—The Economist, Leaders, "The Iceberg Lady", October 11 2022|
Truss responded to rising fuel costs with a massive program of public sector borrowing to fund a subsidy of fuel prices, without trying to raise any additional money from a tax on energy companies and leaving it to the national debt and ultimately taxpayers to pick up all the bill.
The massive borrowing plan was followed two weeks later by a plan to ward off a recession with massive tax cuts (primarily for the wealthy) funded by government borrowing. British financial markets responded immediately and extremely negatively to the supply-side economics scheme: the British Pound dropped to a 37-year low, government bond rates rose (making borrowing more expensive), and the London Stock Exchange fell. The plan received a denunciation from the International Monetary Fund, who called on the government to re-evaluate. The widespread negative reaction of markets caused the Bank of England to take the unusual step of announcing that it would temporarily buy unlimited amounts of government bonds in order to stabilize the market. Art Laffer, author of the napkin-based Laffer curve, however did endorse Truss' plan. Who would have thought that someone would so quickly show that Boris Johnson was actually an icon of stability?
As PM Truss employed a number of figures linked to various secretive and extreme neoliberal think tanks and lobby groups, adding to her long-term relationship with the Institute of Economic Affairs. Her senior special adviser Ruth Porter worked for the IEA and Policy Exchange (which received money from Exxon and called for new laws against Extinction Rebellion). Her chief economic adviser Matthew Sinclair and interim press secretary Alex Wild were both employed at the TaxPayers' Alliance. Her political secretary, Sophie Jarvis, was head of government affairs at the Adam Smith Institute (another extreme neoliberal, minarchist organisation).
In the end, the "libertarian jihadist" approach of Truss that won over the largely older and affluent 172,000 members of the Conservative Party worked out as poorly as one would expect in the real world. During the summer of 2022, IEA member Mark Littlewood (who, after the Conservatives confirmed Truss as party leader, also predicted that Truss would be "the most radical British Prime Minister in over a century") predicted that there would be "fireworks" during Truss's term as she implemented the "supply side" economic so-called reforms that the IEA types desired at "breakneck speed".  He certainly wasn't wrong — the "fireworks" tanked the market and the pound, necessitated the need for an emergency intervention from the Bank of England, and subsequently created a mutiny within the Conservative Party.  Truss attempted to abruptly U-turn from her libertarian policy disaster and fire a sacrificial lamb (Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng) in an attempt to right the ship, but it was too late.   On 20 October 22, Liz Truss resigned, a mere 45 days into her prime minister career.  Her successor was Rishi Sunak, the runner up in the September 2022 Tory selection contest that Truss won.
In early February 2023, Truss made her first major foray into politics since her premiership by writing a reflective article for the Daily Telegraph. Predictably, the article was less about soul-searching and more about blaming everything but the content of her policies. In the article, Truss claimed that she saw the leadership election as a mandate to deliver her bold (and disasterous) supply side economics at maximum speed, and implied that, when it comes to evaluating the impact of budgets, she put more trust in the forecasts of activist organizations, such as the IEA, over independent fiscal watchdogs such as the Office for Budget Responsibility (which in her view "tend(ed) to undervalue the benefits of low taxes and supply-side reforms for economic growth, and overvalue(d) the benefits of public spending.") Naturally, the failure of her policies was actually the fault of a "very powerful economic establishment", as well as the supposed failure of Tories to "make the arguments for a lower-tax, more deregulated economy".
One critic saw this column as proof that many Tories, despite the disaster of Truss's premiership, still clung onto "voodoo economics" fantasies such as the Laffer curve. The critic also noted that many Tories, including Truss, seem to fail to realize that the "very powerful economic establishment" that brought Truss down happened to be the exact free market that they supposedly idolize.
One of the first problems as PM was the rising cost of gas (due in large part to the war in Ukraine and disputes with Russia). Rather than respond in an environmentally friendly way (encourage fuel efficiency by funding home insulation, support green energy, transition away from gas), she proposed a series of measures to increase reliance on fossil fuels. She ended a moratorium on fracking and called for more gas and oil exploration in the North Sea, and the green levy (a tax on fuel bills which funds alternative energy) was suspended. Explaining this behavior, after graduating from university, she worked as an industrial economist for four years for energy conglomerate Shell plc, a company well known for greenwashing.
She has shown herself slightly less crazy on human rights than some Conservatives, shelving Boris Johnson-era plans to abolish the Human Rights Act. Although even this may not have been entirely liberal, as there was widespread concern in the Tories over Labour MP's Stella Creasy's idea to introduce an amendment to the Tory bill that would create a constitutional right to abortion. Clearly that had to be stopped. And there were also fears that if they had a Tory Bill of Rights, they would no longer be able to blame Labour's Human Rights Act if courts ruled against them.
While foreign secretary, she failed to raise human rights issues with other governments, such as Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states: when asked by Labour MP Chris Bryant to name one time she had raised human rights with a Middle-Eastern leader she was unable to answer.
However, while foreign secretary she was credited with getting British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out of an Iranian jail, even if she failed to impose sanctions on the people responsible. So that's one person she helped.
Are you saying something Liz?
Truss notedly wears a gold necklace with a large round loop on the front. This necklace has raised a few eyebrows, as it is a coded symbol in the kink BDSM community for a submissive person.  However this has been dismissed as nonsense, because it is a generic necklace from the high class jeweller Cartier that her husband bought for her as a present.  
- Liz Truss Has Officially Become Prime Minister After Meeting The Queen, Politics Home, 6 Sept 2022
- "U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss announces resignation after six weeks in office" by Karla Adam and William Booth, Washington Post, 2022 October 22
- Truss’s Libertarianism Was Never Going to Win Over the UK by Martin Ivens (October 3, 2022 at 9:18 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
- Everything you wanted to know about Liz Truss but were too afraid to ask by Matt Honeycombe-Foster (September 5, 2022 2:17 pm) Politico.
- Liz Truss U-turns: All the times her policies have been ‘misinterpreted’, The Independent, 9 August 2022
- 'Ambition greater than ability': Liz Truss’s rise from teen Lib Dem to would-be PM, The Guardian, 30 July 2022
- Enemy of the people?, Joshua Rozenberg, Substack, 19 Dec 2021
- Our lettuce outlasted Liz Truss, British paper declares, as PM quits. Reuters.
- "Liz Truss has made Britain a riskier bet for bond investors", Economist, 2022 October 11
- Does Liz Truss’s plan offer solutions to the UK’s energy crisis?, The Guardian, 8 Sep 2022
- U.K.’s plan to ward off recession backfires as kamikaze budget sends pound careening to 37-year low by Christiaan Hetzner (September 23, 2022 at 11:59 AM PDT) Fortune.
- Liz Truss’s selective Reaganomics won’t work: After cutting taxes, the Gipper reversed course (Sep 22nd 2022) The Economist.
- UK government dishes out extensive tax cuts as country braces for recession by Jenni Reid (Sep 23 2022) CNBC.
- U.K. in turmoil as government's gamble to solve economic woes fuels crisis, instead by Alexander Smith (Sep 28 2022) NBC News.
- Bank of England intervenes to avert credit crunch, economic fallout: The action by the central bank to keep credit flowing followed an intensely negative reaction in the bond markets to the new prime minister’s plan by David J. Lynch & Karla Adam (September 28, 2022) The Washington Post.
- Art Laffer still thinks he was right about tax cuts: At 82, the Reagan tax-cut cheerleader is still preaching the gospel of trickle-down economics, even after some dire failures of the ‘Laffer curve.’ by Paul Schwartzman (November 2, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
- London Influence: IEA way or the highway — SpAd advice — Give (time) generously, London Influence, Politico, 8 Sep 2022
- Has Liz Truss handed power over to the extreme neoliberal thinktanks?, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 23 Sep 2022
- "Senior Tory Accuses Liz Truss Of Acting Like A 'Libertarian Jihadist'" by Ned Simons, Huffington Post, 2022 October 16
- All Trussed Up: Liz Truss’ Short Tenure Was No Mistake by Hari Kumar, 2022 October 21
- "I suspect my old friend Liz Truss will be the most radical British prime minister in a century" by Mark Littlewood, Telegraph, 2022 September 3, archived on 2022 September 3
- "UK leader Liz Truss goes from triumph to trouble in 6 weeks" by Jill Lawless, AP News, 2022 October 16
- "UK’s Truss drops tax cuts, axes Treasury chief amid turmoil" by Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless, AP, 2022 October 14
- "UK’s Liz Truss quits after turmoil obliterated her authority" by Jill Lawless, AP News, 2022 October 20
- "Britain's Next Prime Minister: Liz Truss to Replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister" by Mark Landler, New York Times, 2022 September 5
- "Liz Truss exclusive: ‘I assumed upon entering Downing Street my mandate would be respected. How wrong I was’" by Liz Truss, Telegraphy, 2023 February 4
- "The ‘leftwing economic establishment’ did not bring Liz Truss down. Reality did" by Polly Toynbee, Guardian, 2023 February 6
- Liz Truss halts Dominic Raab's bill of rights plan, The Guardian, 7 September 2022
- Liz Truss Can't Remember A Single Human Rights Issue She Has Raised With Gulf States, Huffington Post, 28 June 2022
- My view of Liz Truss? She brought home my wife, Nazanin – then she failed her, The Guardian, 21 July 2022
- 'Ukraine's greatest friend,' UK's Truss pledges more support for Kyiv, Reuters, 28 July 2022
- Conspiracy theories suggest U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss is a member of the BDSM community because of her necklace, We Got This Covered
- Her Resignation Might Not Be the Wildest Thing You Hear About Liz Truss Today— How About the Rumor That She’s a Collared Submissive?, The Mary Sue
- Inside the kink community’s conspiracy theory that Liz Truss is a 24/7 collared submissive, The Tab.
- Circle of Truss: the story behind Liz’s favourite necklace, The Daily Telegraph.