Cover Liz Truss, Britain's Foreign Secretary, is announced as the next Prime Minister. (Photo: Getty Images)

After a lengthy political career filled with significant highs and lows, Liz Truss has finally won the highly coveted role of prime minister as of September 6

Britain has a new prime minister after Liz Truss defeated Rishi Sunak and was elected into the new role on September 5.

Truss will succeed Boris Johnson and will take on the role from September 6 following formal handover procedures.

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“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,” said Truss during her winning speech.

As Truss takes on this new position, here are seven things to know about her.

1. Truss Used to Live in Scotland

Mary Elizabeth Truss (or Liz as she has been known since she was young) was born in 1975 to her father, who was a math professor and her mother, a nurse, in Oxford. Initially, her family lived in Scotland for a number of years before they eventually moved to England in 1985.

2. She Studied in Merton College, Oxford

In her younger days, Truss attended a public high school in England, a fact that has set her apart from her other political competition and which has made her more relatable to voters. 

She later went on to Merton College, Oxford where she read philosophy, politics and economics.

It was around this point that Truss started taking a significant interest in politics. She was president of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats and a member of the national executive committee of Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS).

She reportedly had an interest in social issues such as homelessness.

3. She Used to Work as an Economist

Before Truss formally went into politics, she worked as an economist for energy company Shell and telecommunications firm Cable and Wireless.

She started getting involved in Conservative politics during this time and served as the chair of the Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association from 1998 to 2000. 

4. She Has Had a Lengthy Career in Politics

In 2006, Truss was elected as a councillor for Eltham South in the Greenwich London Borough Council election.

She continued to participate heavily in the Conservative camp and in 2001, stood for the constituency of Hemsworth in West Yorkshire, a safe seat for the Labour Party. While she did not win, she increased the Conservative vote by four per cent.

In 2008, after losing her first two elections, Truss became the full-time deputy director of Reform where she advocated for greater academic standards in schools and for more focus to be placed on reducing serious and organised crime.

In 2010, Truss was elected to the House of Commons and campaigned for issues including the retention of the RAF Tornado base at RAF Marham in her constituency.

In 2012, Truss was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education and was responsible for childcare and early learning, assessment, qualifications and curriculum reform, behaviour, attendance, and school food review.

Over the next few years, Truss took on roles such as Environment Secretary, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, International Trade Secretary and Foreign Secretary before being voted in as Prime Minister.

5. She Once Went Viral With a Speech About Cheese

Above Liz Truss: Speech to Conservative Party Conference 2014

If you’ve been paying attention to the memes and TikTok videos that have come about since Truss won the role of prime minister, you would know that she once went viral for a cheese-related speech she gave during the Conservative Party Conference in 2014. 

In the speech, while discussing the food trade in the United Kingom (UK), Truss said passionately: “We import two-thirds of our cheese. That. Is. A. Disgrace.”

This caused a ripple of hilarious video edits and memes that are resurfacing now as Truss is in the spotlight.

6. She Is the UK’s Third Female Prime Minister

Did you know that Truss is the third female prime minister elected in the UK, following Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May?

Besides this being an empowering move for women in general, Truss is also bringing with her a wealth of passion and knowledge for the role. 

Currently, Truss is the Minister for Women and Equalities, a role she was given in 2019. In her time as minister, she has worked to develop policies to ensure equality in the country as well.

7. She Has Major Plans for the Country

Truss is taking over leadership of the country at a very crucial time. Britain is currently grappling with higher living costs, and rising energy bills and is on the cusp of a recession. 

As part of her campaign, Truss has made many promises towards improving these issues. Some of them include taking action with energy bills and supplies. She has also pledged to appoint a new Council of Economic Advisers so that more can be done to revive and stabilise the economy. 

Another major promise that Truss has made is to not introduce any new taxes. Rather, she has pledged to cut taxes in due time.

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