Liz Truss resigns: how has the UK reacted to shortest serving Prime Minister’s resignation speech?

Prime Minister Liz Truss has resigned after 44 days in the job. UK figures including Alastair Campbell, James O’Brien, and Owen Jones have reacted.

Liz Trussresigned as Prime Minister today (20 October) after 44 days in the job - although she will stay on until her replacement is selected in one week’s time. The news came after 15 Conservative MPs called on her to go, and one day after 40 MPs, including Boris Johnson, rebelled against the whip on a fracking vote, and the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, resigned.

Senior political figures including Labour leader, Keir Starmer, Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey, and Scottish First minister Nicola Sturgeon all called on the government to call a general election following the resignation. Many other high profile UK figures have also shared their views on the Truss’ resignation, with some pointing out that the leadership contest lasted longer than her time in office.

Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister after 45 days in the job

Why did Liz Truss resign?

In her resignation speech, Truss said: “We set out a vision for a high growth, low tax economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit. I recognise 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.”

How has the UK reacted to Liz Truss’ resignation?

Guardian columnist Owen Jones reacted simply to the resignation with his initial tweet: “lol”. However, he folloed up with more scathing tweets, adding: “so it turns out that Liz Truss is actually a quitter, not a fighter”, and “What's missing in the commentary about the relentless toppling of Tory prime ministers is that it's so much to do with an economic model which has stopped delivering rising living standards.”

The Daily Star newspaper, which began a livestream of a lettuce earlier this week and asked if it would outlast the Prime Minister, celebrated the victory of the vegetable, tweeting: “The lettuce has officially outlast Liz Truzz and won.

The comedian formerly known as Hugo Boss, Joe Lycett, tagged Truss in a sarcastic tweet in which he said: omg “just heard there’s a leadership election nxt week????? u shud run babe youd be perfect!!” Meanwhile, LBC presenter James O’Brien tweeted: “turns out nobody underestimated Liz Truss after all.” The official Have I Got News For You twitter page posted: “BREAKING: The Government.”

Alastair Campbell, who worked as Tony Blair’s spokesman and now hosts the show Make Me Prime Minsiter, did not mince his words. He tweeted: “General. Election. Now. Or take to the streets …. Five Prime Ministers in six years. Just f**k off. All of them.”

He added: “It took longer to elect her through that absurd leadership contest than she has been Prime Minister. They are a global joke dragging this country’s reputation ever lower. The clowns and charlatans who gave us Johnson and Truss cannot be allowed to choose the next one. General Election now.”

Alastair Campbell called for a general election

Journalist and writer James Felton was on hand with some stats - pointing out on Twitter: “Liz Truss has become the shortest serving prime minister in history, beating previous record holder George Canning who *died of tuberculosis* 119 days into the job.” Additionally, LizaMinnelliOutlives, a joke account which posts about things that 76 year old American actress has lived longer than, tweeted: “Liza Minnelli has outlived Liz Truss’s time at 10 Downing Street.”