Just over six weeks into her new role as British prime minister, Liz Truss announced her resignation Thursday. The announcement makes Truss’s reign as prime minister, lasting 44 days in total, the shortest in British history.
“I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty The King to notify him that I am resigning as Leader of the Conservative Party,” Truss said in a Thursday statement. “We have agreed there will be a leadership election to be completed in the next week. This will ensure we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security. I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen.”
The resignation comes just a day after Truss vowed to stay in power, saying she was “a fighter and not a quitter.” The vow came as a senior minister quit the government with a barrage of criticism, and a vote in the House of Commons descended into chaos.
The senior minister was Home Secretary Suella Braverman. She resigned Wednesday after breaching rules by sending an official document from her personal email account. Braverman used her resignation letter to go after Truss, saying she had “concerns about the direction of this government.”
The vote, also happening Wednesday, was over a fracking ban. While the ban was easily defeated, there were displays of anger in the House of Commons, with party whips accused of using heavy-handed tactics to gain votes.
Chris Bryant, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, said he “saw members being physically manhandled … and being bullied.” Conservative officials denied there was manhandling.
The latest drama came as Truss was attempting to recover from her now-mostly scrapped economic plan. The plan triggered financial turmoil and a political crisis that has seen the replacement of Truss’ Treasury chief and multiple policy U-turns.
“I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills,” Truss said in her resignation speech. “Our country had been held back for too long by low economic growth. I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.