In the end the lettuce did outlast Liz Truss. Boris Johnson is expected to stand for the leadership while calls for a general election in the UK mount, writes Anna Rawhiti-Connell in this excerpt from The Bulletin. To receive The Bulletin in full each weekday morning, sign up here.
The shortest serving UK prime minister in history
In unsurprising but nonetheless chaotic news, Liz Truss resigned as UK prime minister around 1.30am this morning (NZT). Horrifically, I was awake and immediately went to the Daily Star’s livestream to capture the exact moment the banner changed to proclaim that the lettuce had outlasted Truss. Smoke is coming off the fingers of journalists in Britain right now and I have 67 browser tabs open. Here is a proper and succinct analysis from The Guardian of how Liz Truss went from bottling a royal curtsy to becoming the shortest serving UK prime minister in history. George Canning held the previous record, serving for 119 days before dying of tuberculosis on August 8, 1827.
In good news, the pound has rallied
The UK is now staring down the barrel of its third prime minister in two months. It’s all extremely farcical but it’s also happening against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation (10.7% in the UK this week), an energy crisis and what the Financial Times says is the lack of a convincing case that there’s been any payoff following Brexit. The Daily Beast has held nothing back in its reporting, writing “Just 44 days after arriving at No.10, Truss’ regime was officially killed off on Thursday along with the United Kingdom’s ability to pretend any longer that it hasn’t fallen into absolute kakistocracy.” In good news, the pound rallied following news of the resignation.
Short sharp leadership contest
Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee has announced a very short timeframe to replace Truss. It’s all expected to be done by next Friday. Nominations for the leadership will close on Monday. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are odds-on favourites to replace Truss according to the Telegraph. Who knows what the picture will look like by the time you read this. The recent appearance of Boris Johnson’s face in a chicken korma (you be the judge, it’s not really a Shroud of Turin moment for me), and a YouGov poll of Conservative party members mean we can not rule out the return of BoJo.
Reports Boris Johnson will stand
The Times is reporting that Johnson is expected to stand for the leadership. On Twitter, deputy political editor of The Guardian, Jessica Elgot shared the tweet carrying that news and said a Tory MP had sent it to her saying they would immediately defect to the Labour party if Johnson won. Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for a general election. Based on a snap YouGov poll, three out of five Britons agree with him. To the local connection now and we don’t yet have a ruling on whether the curse of the New Zealand prime minister visit applies in this situation. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern met Truss on September 18.