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Liz Truss makes farewell speech wishing Rishi Sunak 'every success'

Outgoing British prime minister Liz Truss leaving after making a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London before travelling to Buckingham Palace for an audience with King Charles III to formally resign. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Sam Blewett, PA

Liz Truss has stressed the need to be "bold" as she made her final speech as British prime minister before power is handed over to new Tory leader Rishi Sunak.

After seven chaotic weeks, Ms Truss spoke this morning of the need to praise tax cuts and celebrate reversing the national insurance hike imposed by Mr Sunak when he was chancellor.

She warned that the nation continues to "battle through a storm" but insisted she believes that "brighter days lie ahead".

She then travelled to Buckingham Palace to formally tender her resignation to King Charles after just 49 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in history.

Speaking from Downing Street, Ms Truss said: "From my time as prime minister I'm more convinced than ever that we need to be bold and confront the challenges we face."

"We simply cannot afford to be a low-growth country where the government takes up an increasing share of our national wealth and where there are huge divides between different parts of our country. We need to take advantage of our Brexit freedoms to do things differently."

She cited one of these benefits as "lower taxes, so people keep more of the money they earn", before wishing Mr Sunak "every success, for the good of our country".

In the speech lasting three minutes and seven seconds, Ms Truss quoted Roman philosopher Seneca to say: "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult."

Ms Truss thanked her family and her short-lived Downing Street team during the speech in front of a relatively small crowd of supporters that included her daughters Frances and Liberty, husband Hugh O'Leary and Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey.

"We continue to battle through a storm but I believe in Britain, I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead," she ended her speech by saying.

Ending her speech, she said: "We continue to battle through a storm but I believe in Britain, I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead."

Mr Sunak will be appointed as the country's next prime minister by the King and look to build a new Cabinet that might unite a fractious Tory party.

He took up the reins as leader of the Conservative Party without a vote after rivals Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out of the race for No 10, and will formally become prime minister later on Tuesday.

 

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