Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 30 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Alamy Stock Photo Liz Truss
As It Happened: Liz Truss beats Rishi Sunak to win Conservative leadership race
The new leader of the UK’s Conservative party has been confirmed.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 5th 2022, 2:27 PM

LIZ TRUSS HAS been announced as the new leader of the UK’s Conservative party.

However, she will have to wait until tomorrow to be confirmed as the country’s new prime minister. 

The six-weeks-long voting period for Conservative members to elect their new leader – Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – ended on Friday evening.

Hello, Hayley Halpin here. I’ll be taking you through the next couple of hours as the UK’s Conservative party new leader is announced. 

First, here’s a quick rundown of what we can expect over the next couple of days:

  • The six-weeks-long voting period for Conservative members to elect their new leader ended on Friday.
  • The winner of that process, Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, is set to be releaved at around 12.30pm today.
  • The British people will then have to wait perhaps another 24 hours for that person to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. 
  • It is expected that the new Tory leader will be Truss, as polls of party members have suggested that her lead in the contest has been as much as 30 percentage points.
  • Regardless of who is announced as party leader at 12.30pm today, it begins two days of pomp and circumstance involving the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. 
  • That full process can be read here, but in short Johnson will inform Buckingham Palace that he will be resigning and the queen will ask the would-be PM to form a government if the queen deems that this person commands the confidence of the House of Commons.
  • Traditionally, this has always taken place at Buckingham Palace in London with the new prime minister heading to nearby 10 Downing Street directly afterwards. However, the 96-year-old monarch is facing health issues and will instead be carrying out her duties in her Balmoral residence in Scotland tomorrow. 
  • The choreography of tomorrow’s proceedings are expected to begin with Johnson heading up to Balmoral to see the queen at about 8-9.30am.
  • The new Tory leader will then have their own audience with the queen before they head back to London and begin the business of selecting a Cabinet.
  • We should then expect the UK’s new prime minister to be out before the cameras at Downing Street tomorrow afternoon.

london-uk-16th-nov-2021-foreign-secretary-elizabeth-truss-arrives-for-the-weekly-cabinet-meeting-credit-uwe-deffneralamy-live-news Alamy Stock Photo Liz Truss Alamy Stock Photo

As noted below, Liz Truss is widely tipped to win the Conservative leadership contest.

According to reports today, she is strongly considering freezing energy bills in a bid to ease the burden on households this winter.

Having made tax cuts a key priority during her leadership campaign, Truss had remained tight-lipped about what kind of support package she might introduce as the UK faces the prospect of soaring energy bills and a worsening cost-of-living crisis.

But reports in The Daily Telegraph and The Times today suggest she is likely to introduce an energy bills freeze in some form.

The Times reports the package could be on the scale of the furlough scheme introduced by then-chancellor Rishi Sunak when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, while The Telegraph suggests the specifics of such a policy are still being debated.

Truss had used an interview on the BBC yesterday to insist that she would within a week reveal fresh help for struggling households, but repeatedly declined to spell out what those support measures might look like.

“Before you have been elected as prime minister, you don’t have all the wherewithal to get the things done,” she told the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.

“This is why it will take a week to sort out the precise plans and make sure we are able to announce them. That is why I cannot go into details at this stage. It would be wrong.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said he hopes “the direction of travel” of British-Irish relations can be changed under a Liz Truss premiership.

Speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland earlier today, Coveney said he and Taoiseach Micheal Martin were in Oxford at the weekend to meet British ministers, and that “everyone was talking about what a Liz Truss premiership would look like”.

“Whether the strident way in which she has brought forward the Northern Ireland Protocol legislation in the UK, which, of course, has created a lot of tension and undermined trust, whether that will continue to be her strategy as prime minister or not.”

Coveney described Truss as a “talented, very energetic politician”.

“She is going to be the next prime minister, and we will work with her and her team, but I hope we can change the direction of travel for British-Irish relations that we’ve seen over the last couple of years, which really has been one of tension and standoff on very important issues – predominantly related to Northern Ireland,” he said.

conservative-leadership-bid PA Images Rishi Sunak leaves his house in London PA Images

Rishi Sunak looked tight-lipped and serious as he left his Kensington home this morning.

Clad in a dark suit and silver-grey tie, the former chancellor stayed silent and avoided eye contact with reporters as he boarded a security-staffed blue Range Rover.

Accompanied special adviser Lisa Lovering, he will be driven to Westminster to hear the results of the Tory leadership contest.

Sunak did not respond to questions about the race, which he is widely expected to lose, and was visible for only a few seconds before disappearing behind the Range Rover’s tinted windows.

There is “no fixed time” for the announcement of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours, Downing Street has said.

The outgoing Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It will be a matter for the new Government essentially on the timings, but there’s no fixed time for them at the moment.”

Northern Ireland Protocol

In a message to the incoming British prime minister, the European Commission said they would be expected to honour the Northern Ireland Protocol in full.

Commission spokesman Eric Mamer wished Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak good luck ahead of the announcement of the Tory leadership contest winner but said Brussels’ position on the protocol had not changed “one iota”.

Speaking in Brussels he said: “We are always looking for new beginnings. Obviously anything that can help move forward in our relationship with the United Kingdom will be very welcome.

“As to what we expect it is very clear, it has not changed one iota: We expect the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Trade and Co-operation Agreement we have signed and, of course, the Irish and Northern Irish Protocol.”


A man has been detained by police outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, central London, where the announcement of who will become Tory Party leader and the next prime minister is due to take place at 12.30pm.

The man, who is a protester with the campaign group Animal Rebellion, has been handcuffed, carried off the road and frisked by officers.

Four others are sitting in the road opposite Westminster Abbey, holding a sign reading: “Planet-based future” and chanting: “Protect our planet, respect our future” while officers try to speak to them.

A fifth protester, Joel Scott-Halkes, 30, from Cornwall told the PA news agency: “We are going to continue disrupting the dairy industry for as long as it takes until there are supermarkets shortages.

“We are going to do this until the Government and the new prime minister meets our demands,” he added, saying these include ensuring the transition to plant-based farming and rewinding the land that that frees up.

The first MPs have begun arriving at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster where the next Prime Minister is due to be announced.

Tory MP and former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden arrived around 50 minutes ahead of the announcement.

Penny Mordaunt, an earlier contender in the Conservative Party leadership competition, arrived shortly afterwards.

Neither responded to the large media scrum assembled outside.


Labour leader Keir Starmer has said he will not miss outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he leaves office tomorrow.

Questioned if he would miss Johnson, he told journalists at Friern Barnet School in north London: “No, I think it’s good that Boris Johnson has gone. It’s good for the country and he should stay gone.”

Sky News reports that Liz Truss has arrived for the leadership contest results. 

Results are due to be announced at around 12.30pm. 

Less than 10 minutes to go until the next Tory leader is due to be announced. 

Conservative party chairperson Andrew Stephenson is speaking on stage ahead of the results. 

Graham Brady will speak next to announce the next Tory leader. 


Liz Truss has been announced as the next Conservative party leader, paving the way for her to be confirmed as the new UK Prime Minister tomorrow. 

london-uk-31st-aug-2022-liz-truss-the-final-hustings-in-the-conservative-party-leadership-race-held-at-wembley-arena-sees-liz-truss-and-rishi-sunak-compete-to-lead-the-party-and-become-the-next Alamy Stock Photo Liz Truss Alamy Stock Photo

Liz Truss won with 81,326 votes from the Tory membership, to Rishi Sunak’s 60,399.

Liz Truss says it was an honour to be announced as the winner of the Tory leadership contest after a “hard-fought campaign” against Rishi Sunak.

Liz Truss praised “my friend” Boris Johnson as she accepted her victory in the Tory leadership contest.

She said: “I also want to thank our outgoing leader, my friend, Boris Johnson.”

She continued: “Boris, you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin. You were admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”

There was a delay before applause from the audience.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has tweeted: “I’d like to congratulate our next prime minister Liz Truss as she prepares for office.

“But after 12 years of the Tories all we have to show for it is low wages, high prices, and a Tory cost-of-living crisis.

“Only Labour can deliver the fresh start our country needs.”

Liz Truss received a standing ovation after her victory speech in central London.

Here’s the moment Liz Truss was announced as the next Tory leader:

In her victory speech Liz Truss said: “Thank you for putting your faith in me to lead our great Conservative Party, the greatest political party on earth.

“I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people: our beliefs in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, in personal responsibility.

“I know that’s why people voted for us in such numbers in 2019 and as your party leader I intend to deliver what we promised those voters right across our great country.”

Liz Truss concluded her speech with a promise to “deliver a great victory” for her party in two years’ time.

“We all will deliver for our country and I will make sure that we use all the fantastic talents of the Conservative Party, our brilliant Members of Parliament and peers, our fantastic councillors, our MSs, our MSPs, all of our councillors and activists and members right across our country.

“Because my friends, I know that we will deliver, we will deliver and we will deliver.

“And we will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024.”

politics-tories PA Graphics PA Graphics

Congratulating Liz Truss, former prime minister and Conservative leader Theresa May said her party must now “work together”, adding that she looked forward to supporting Truss’ government in tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

“Congratulations (Liz Truss),” she tweeted.

“We Conservatives must now work together to address the challenges facing our country.

“Tackling the cost of living, delivering for those in need & managing the public finances responsibly. I look forward to supporting the Government in that task.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she “will seek to build a good working relationship” with Liz Truss after her election as Conservative leader.

She tweeted: “Congratulations to Liz Truss. Our political differences are deep, but I will seek to build a good working relationship with her as I did with last 3 (prime ministers).

“She must now freeze energy bills for people & businesses, deliver more cash support, and increase funding for public services.”

embedded268463785 Joe Giddens Liz Truss Joe Giddens

So, now that Liz Truss has been announced as the new Tory leader, what happens next? 

Let’s look at the plans for the next few days.. 


Truss is expected to spend the rest of the day finalising her choices for Cabinet and wider ministerial roles and writing her first prime ministerial speech.

While officials from her team start being brought into government, Truss – who is not yet prime minister – has to wait until the following day to pass through the famous door of No 10.


In a break with tradition, Boris Johnson and his successor will go to Balmoral in Scotland for the appointment of the new prime minister tomorrow, rather than Buckingham Palace.

Under normal circumstances, the pomp and drama of the appointment is mostly confined to London over the course of an afternoon, with the outgoing premier making a statement outside No 10 before a short car ride to Buckingham Palace.

But this time, the departing and incoming prime minister will both have to make the 500-mile journey to the Queen’s Aberdeenshire retreat.

Johnson is expected to make a farewell address outside No 10 at around 8.30am tomorrow before departing Downing Street for the last time.

Johnson and Truss are expected to fly to Aberdeen on separate planes – a journey that will likely take only a couple of hours.

He could formally tender his resignation at around 11am, in what has been described by allies as likely to be a “very sad” occasion for Johnson.

Once he has left, the new Tory leader will be invited in for her private audience with the Queen. Truss will be appointed Britain’s next prime minister and asked to form an administration – possibly by around midday.

Truss is then expected to fly back to London and arrive at Downing Street to address the nation for the first time as PM at around 4pm.

She is expected to make senior Cabinet appointments. 


The new Cabinet is due to meet on Wednesday morning before Truss faces Labour leader Keir Starmer during her first Prime Minister’s Questions at noon.

She will continue to receive briefings and calls from international leaders as she starts working through her in-tray, which is more daunting than that of many of her recent predecessors, with challenges ranging from the cost-of-living crisis to Ukraine and industrial unrest.

Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his successor Liz Truss “has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and levelling up our country”.

politics-tories PA Graphics PA Graphics

Defeated Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak has tweeted: “It’s right we now unite behind the new PM, Liz Truss, as she steers the country through difficult times.”

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill has said Liz Truss needed to prioritise the restoration of powersharing in Northern Ireland.

O’Neill said the UK Government needed to stop “pandering to the DUP” as she called for an urgent meeting with the incoming prime minister.

“Liz Truss has an opportunity to come in now and stop pandering to the DUP, stop pandering to the approach which is damaging to our ability to help people through the cost of living crisis,” she said.

She urged the new prime minister not to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol, by triggering Article 16 of the post-Brexit arrangements, and instead engage with the EU and Irish government to find a resolution to the issues with Irish Sea trade.

“What we need to see now is a change of tack, a change of policy, a change of approach,” she said.

O’Neill added: “Even at this late stage Liz Truss has an opportunity when she comes in to her new post to actually work with the EU, work with the Irish government, find ways to reset relationships and find ways to make the protocol work because we all know there are solutions there, that are on the table.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has congratulated Truss on her election as Tory leader.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she wanted a “constructive relationship” with Liz Truss “in full respect of our agreements”.

The new Tory leader has said she intends to press ahead with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which will allow the UK Government to override parts of the agreement struck with the European Union on post-Brexit arrangements.

“The EU and the UK are partners,” von der Leyen said.

“We face many challenges together, from climate change to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I look forward to a constructive relationship, in full respect of our agreements.”

On the streets of Birmingham, people have been reacting to the news Liz Truss will be the next UK prime minister.

Euan Healy told PA News: “She’s going to be a disaster, 12 years of Tories, what have they done to this country.

“We’re in a cost-of-living crisis now, and they could have done something; dealt with the energy crisis for the last 12 years, dealt with the housing crisis for the last 12 years.

“They haven’t got any new ideas.

“Replace the leader all you want, it’s the same people. The same Tories all the time.”

Another Birmingham resident, speaking in Victoria Square in the city centre, Matt Smith, said: “I fail to see anything positive from the Tory party, from Liz Truss taking over from Boris Johnson.

“Certain people said they look back on Boris’s time as being a good time, it flabbergasts me, they (the Tories) are so self-absorbed.

“He has just changed British politics, by his lies, forever. It is so sad to see standards in public life are so low.”

Birmingham resident Carol Lewis, who was enjoying the sunshine in Victoria Square, said: “It’s very small number of people who have chosen this woman.

“I don’t really see she’s got a real mandate to be honest. I don’t think her focus will be on helping ordinary people.

“I think there is a very strong streak through the Tory party where it’s looking after themselves and their own mates, and uncle Algernon who owns the water company and everything else.

“I think it’s very sad, I think they’ve become a party of a very small group of people who are out of touch.”

Liz Truss has arrived at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters in Westminster after she won the Tory leadership contest.

She arrived in a car with Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey.

She was met by crowds of reporters and stood at the top of the steps posing for a photo with Conservative Party co-chairman Andrew Stephenson.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray and his supporters shouted at Ms Truss from outside the gate while playing loud music.

london-uk-25th-may-2021-lord-nigel-dodds-and-sir-jeffery-donaldson-dup-mp-jeffrey-donaldson-outside-the-cabinet-office-after-a-meeting-with-lord-frost-on-the-northern-ireland-protocol-pictured Alamy Stock Photo DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson Alamy Stock Photo

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said he wanted to see Liz Truss deal with the Northern Ireland Protocol as a priority.

Donaldson said he had already written to the incoming prime minister setting out what his party believed her priorities should be.

He said: “Chief among those is taking forward the bill which will provide a basis for a solution to deal with the protocol, to remove the barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, to fully restore Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market.

“We have seen recently the consequences, yet again of those barriers to trade with 25% tariffs on steel products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, all of that has an impact on our economy.

“This is the consequence of a protocol which harms our economy, which drives up the cost of living in Northern Ireland every day, adding to the cost of food and other products in our supermarkets.”

The DUP leader added: “So, in tackling the cost of living, the Prime Minister must continue to tackle the consequences of the protocol because we want to see that dealt with decisively. We will be saying to the Prime Minister that is why action is needed, that is why we need to see this legislation going through Parliament.”

Donaldson said the DUP needed to see decisive action over the Northern Ireland Protocol before there could be any restoration of Stormont powersharing institutions.

He said: “I made my position absolutely clear during the Assembly election and I secured a mandate for that position.

“We are taking this stance because we believe the basis for powersharing does not exist at the moment. There is not a cross-community consensus – the protocol has destroyed that consensus.

“We will be saying to the prime minister that is why action is needed, that is why we need to see this legislation going through Parliament, and if there is to be renewed negotiation with the EU, then the prime minister needs to be very clear that for the institutions to be restored, decisive action is required to remove the barriers of trade and to respect the integrity of the UK internal market.”

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, who has been leading the Brussels side in talks on implementing the Brexit arrangements, said a “positive relationship” between the UK and EU “is of great strategic importance”.

“I stand ready to work intensively and constructively with my new UK interlocutor to foster such a partnership, in full respect of our agreements,” he said.

Truss will tomorrow travel to the Scottish Highlands to meet the British queen at Balmoral Castle, where she will be asked to form a government and become prime minister.

The historic audience will be the first time the 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, has carried out the key duty at her retreat in Aberdeenshire, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

The audience will take place in Balmoral’s green-carpeted Drawing Room, following Boris Johnson’s audience with the queen, during which he will tender his resignation as PM.

That’s all for today from the liveblog today, folks.

We will keep you updated throughout the afternoon and evening with any breaking news elsewhere on the site. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel