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U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss resigns after 44 days in office

What will the Conservative Party do now?

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Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses members of the media in Downing Street in London on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022.

Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in London, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. Truss says she has resigned as leader of U.K.’s Conservative Party.

Alberto Pezzali, Associated Press

U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss has stepped down from office after only spending six weeks in the position. Her resignation and plans for her replacement were announced in a press conference on Thursday.

Truss is now Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister after 44 days in office.

Why did Liz Truss resign?

Truss didn’t give an exact reason for her resignation in her statement to the press on Thursday.

“I recognize that given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” Truss said. “I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

CNBC reported that her resignation likely had to do with a failed budget plan her finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced during a large market turmoil period.

The plan was called a “mini-budget” that sparked a contradiction of the debt-funded tax cuts and also began a difficult time for U.K. bond markets.

Now that Truss is stepping down, there are questions of who will take over her position.

Who will be the new prime minister?

“We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week,” Truss said Thursday, while announcing that she will resign. “I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen.”

The Washington Post reported that there is no telling whether other parties or members of Parliament will be involved in the decision of who the next prime minister will be.

What does this mean for the U.K. Conservative party?

Now that Truss has announced her plans to leave office, the public is looking towards the future and have already come up with some people that could replace her.

NBC News reported that some are calling for Boris Johnson to make a return to the post after his own resignation due to public pressure in July.

Johnson’s former finance minister, Rishi Sunak, is another popular choice for the position due to his disapproval of Truss’ economic plans. The public backlash to her economic plans make Sunak a likely candidate for the new position.

CNBC reported that another name being considered for the job is Penny Mordaunt, the former defense secretary.

Mordaunt rose up in the ranks during the leadership race over the summer, coming in third place behind Truss and Sunak, and is a name that has come up when considering options for filling the role.

The Labour Party wants a general election

A new leadership contest will be held soon to find the successor to Truss, but the Labour Party has said that it would like to see a general election, according to The Associated Press.

“The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern,” Keir Starmer, a Labour Party leader, said. “We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election — now.”