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UK Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing her resignation this afternoon. PA

As It Happened: PM hopefuls need 100 nominations from Tory MPs to enter race to replace Truss

Truss has been Prime Minister for just 44 days.

LAST UPDATE | 20 Oct 2022

UK PRIME MINISTER Liz Truss has resigned this afternoon. 

The former PM, who took up the role only last month, had been under fire from within the party and beyond  over damaging economic decisions, resignations, and dramatic scenes in the House of Commons last night.

Suella Braverman became the second member of the young Cabinet to resign yesterday as she stood down as Home Secretary, which was followed by mayhem in Westminster over a vote on fracking.

“Chaos”, “on the brink” and “cut to shreds” is how the front pages of UK newspapers this morning described the events.

On Monday night, Truss apologised for the “mistakes” and declared she would lead the Conservatives into the next election. But by lunchtime today, she had resigned in a speech in Downing Street. 

Nominations for replacing Liz Truss have opened and will have to be submitted by 2pm on Monday. Candidates to replace Truss as Tory leader will need at least 100 nominations from Conservative MPs.

That’s all from us on the liveblog for today. Thanks for sticking with us throughout today. 

I’ll leave you with a video of Liz Truss’ speech: 

Larry’s finding it all very tiring, it seems.

larry-the-cat-yawns-as-hes-photographed-in-downing-street-after-liz-truss-made-a-statement-where-she-announced-her-resignation-as-prime-minister-picture-date-thursday-october-20-2022 Larry the Downing Street cat Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has described the situation in the Tory party as “utter choas” and said it has left her “frustrated and angry”.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “The scary thing is we could have a situation where we have a prime minister of this country with zero mandate.” 

She said the Conservatives have “lost the confidence of the British public” and have “done more u-turns than a cul-de-sac”. 

“They’ve got no plan, no leader, and they are trying to cling onto power like somehow being the prime minister, forming a cabinet, is some sort of game for them while the rest of the country is paying the price for it,” she said. 

“They need to put the country first, not put the party first, and they need a general election and a mandate.” 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he believed it was a “very difficult time for the British Prime Minister” due to global issues.

“Therefore, I think what’s important as Britain’s nearest neighbor – we have significant economic relationship and many other relationships with the United Kingdom-  I think stability is very important.

“And we would like to see the UK have the capacity to be in a position to have the successor selected as quickly as possible, and that stability will be brought to the situation given the fairly significant geopolitical issues facing Europe.”

irish-prime-minister-micheal-martin-speaks-to-the-media-after-a-series-of-meetings-with-each-of-the-leaders-of-the-five-main-parties-in-northern-ireland-to-discuss-key-political-issues-in-belfast-nor Taoiseach Micheál Martin Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

When asked if he hopes that Truss’s successor is more willing to compromise on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, Martin said:

“What we actually need is concrete proposals from both sides to resolve the outstanding issues most are brought about. So whoever becomes the new British Prime Minister, we would hope given all that’s going on in Europe and the world that a meaningful discussion would take place with European Union to resolve the issues.

“I would again call on the DUP to take their seats in the Assembly. Failure to do so in my view is a denial of democracy, a denial of the mandate that the electoral system has given their elected representatives.

Nominations for replacing Liz Truss have opened and will have to be submitted by 2pm on Monday, Tory officials have said.

Speaking outside the Houses of Parliament, 1922 Committee chair Graham Brady said that candidates to replace Liz Truss as Tory leader will need at least 100 nominations from Conservative MPs.

This means that potentially three candidates could be nominated, with Brady adding that if only one candidate gets 100 nominations, they will be the next Prime Minister.

He was joined by Conservative Party chairman Jake Berry who said there would be an online vote for members if two candidates made it through the parliamentary stages.

There will be an outreach for members who do not have an email address or internet access.

The final two candidates will have a televised debate before the final vote takes place, they added.

The Tory party giftshop has no mercy. There goes your chance to spend £14.99 on a Liz Truss mug…

The Conservative party faces “extinction” if it makes a mess of the leadership contest to replace Liz Truss, Tory health minister Robert Jenrick warned.

He told The News Agents podcast: “This isn’t an ordinary leadership contest. It’s more extraordinary than the one we had in the summer.

“If we get this wrong, the country will face a very serious period of further instability and the Conservative Party will lose the next general election, potentially cease to exist.”

Lidl is chiming in now…

labour-leader-sir-keir-starmer-addresses-delegates-at-the-annual-tuc-congress-in-brighton-picture-date-thursday-october-20-2022 Labour leader Keir Starmer Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Keir Starmer has said Labour is “very prepared” for a general election and has a manifesto ready.

“There’s a manifesto that is going to be ready whenever an election is called,” the Labour leader told the BBC’s Newscast podcast.

“I’ve had a team working on that. I’ve had a team working on general election preparedness. We’ve moved our teams on to a general election footing. And I’ve got in place all the grids I need for a general election. So we’re very, very prepared, should there be a general election.”

I’m just going to leave this here…

UK Government chief whip Wendy Morton has arrived in Downing Street this afternoon.

chief-whip-wendy-morton-arrives-at-10-downing-street-london-after-liz-truss-announced-her-resignation-as-prime-minister-picture-date-thursday-october-20-2022 Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will not stand for the leadership.

An ally of the Cabinet minister said he was “by far the best person to remain in the Foreign Office”.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has reacted to Truss’ resignation. 

She tweeted: “The Prime Minister is right to provide a roadmap for an orderly transition. 

“MPs must now be prepared to compromise. It is our duty to provide sensible, competent government at this critical moment for our country.” 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has tweeted:

If you’re just catching up on the news from the last few hours now, you can watch Truss’ speech here: 

There’s mixed views from the Tory party on the possibility of Boris Johnson running for leadership. 

UK Government minister James Duddridge said it was time for a comeback by Johnson.

Tweeting with the hashtag #bringbackboris, he said: “I hope you enjoyed your holiday boss. Time to come back. Few issues at the office that need addressing.”

Duddridge had served as a parliamentary private secretary to Johnson when he was in No 10.

In contrast, Tory MP Justin Tomlinson has said it is “wishful thinking” to imagine Johnson could return as MP. 

The Tory MP, who described himself as someone who had strongly supported the former prime minister in the past, told Sky News: “I don’t think a sufficient enough time has probably passed for the party to then unite behind him and for me this now is about us, frankly, being grown up, being pragmatic and putting the country first.”

new-york-city-united-states-21st-sep-2022-u-s-president-joe-biden-during-a-bilateral-meeting-with-the-new-british-prime-minister-liz-truss-left-on-the-sidelines-of-the-77th-session-of-the-u-n-g Liz Truss and Joe Biden Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

US president Joe Biden has said in a statement: “The United States and the United Kingdom are strong allies and enduring friends — and that fact will never change.

“I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine.

“We will continue our close cooperation with the UK government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face.”

This graph really puts into perspective just how short Liz Truss’ stint as British Prime Minister has been.

politics-tory PA Graphics PA Graphics

london-england-uk-13th-oct-2022-lord-president-of-the-council-and-leader-of-the-house-of-commons-penny-mordaunt-is-seen-leaving-10-downing-street-credit-image-tayfun-salcizuma-press-w Penny Mordaunt Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

There is speculation that Commons leader Penny Mordaunt could be set to throw her hat into the ring for Tory leadership. 

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby says Mordaunt is “taking soundings” on the matter. 

Mordaunt came third in the last leadership contest. 

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill has called on political parties in Northern Ireland to unite to “stand up to the Tories”.

former-irish-prime-minister-taoiseach-bertie-ahern-attends-the-funeral-of-northern-irelands-former-first-minister-david-trimble-one-of-the-key-peace-brokers-of-the-good-friday-agreement-at-harmon Bertie Ahern Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has criticised Truss, describing her stance on the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiations as unhelpful.

“Whoever the British Prime Minister is, hopefully they will take a bit of a proactive position,” Ahern said.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t think it was helpful what the British Prime Minister of yesterday said, so maybe whoever is there tomorrow might say something different.

“What she said yesterday was that even if there was negotiations, that what was in the legislation would be the bottom line.

“Now, I never tried negotiations that declared the bottom line before I went into the negotiation, so that’s clearly not going to solve anything.”

Could BoJo be making a comeback? 

Both the Daily Telegraph and The Times are reporting that former British Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson is expected to stand for leadership.

Larry makes a compelling argument. 

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle said the Prime Minister’s resignation spells more “uncertainty” for Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has been insisting that another Assembly election will be called in a matter of days, if powersharing is not restored.

Kyle tweeted: “Northern Ireland has suffered enough from Tory neglect.

“At this critical time, with assembly elections looming and crucial negotiations ongoing, the Tories plunge Northern Ireland into yet more uncertainty.”

“On a personal level, I sympathise with her, I think it’s been a very difficult time for the British Prime Minister given all that has happened,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told reporters in Brussels. 

He said he would like to see the UK “have a successor selected as quickly as possible and that stability would be brought to the situation”. 

Donohoe said he hopes the engagement between the EU and the UK Government on the Northern Ireland Protocol can continue in the wake of Truss’ resignation.

“I very much hope that the engagement that we are having with the current British Government on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol can continue,” he told reporters in Dublin this afternoon. 

“The Irish government believes that a very important contribution to deeper economic and political stability in the time ahead would be a successful completion of the process that is under way with regards to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“And if an agreement can be reached, it would be a really strong foundation to a far stronger and more positive-looking relationship between the European Union, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“That will have a very positive impact against the many risks that all of us are dealing with at the moment and we hope and believe that the new tone in relation to this work will continue in the time ahead.

“Because resolution of this longstanding challenge will be a really positive signal amidst the many different difficulties that we’re all dealing with.”

Finance Bill brief 007 Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Sasko Lazarov Sasko Lazarov

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said Ireland is monitoring the effect that political developments in the UK could have on the Irish economy.

“The stability of the economy of the United Kingdom is very important to the Irish economy on a number of different levels. It’s very important to us from a financial market perspective, but it’s very tangibly important to us as a key destination for the sale of Irish goods and Irish services,” Donohoe said this afternoon. 

“We, at the moment, don’t see any indication that the latest developments in the United Kingdom are having an impact on the performance of Irish businesses, but it is something that we are monitoring.

“It’s something that is very important to the performance of the Irish economy, which is why I opened up my comment by saying that their stability is an ingredient in Irish economic prospects.

“That is why we very much look forward to continuing to develop a positive relationship, a close friendship with the new prime minister and the new government, because it matters to the performance of the Irish economy and it matters to Irish jobs.”

The new British prime minister will be in place before the fiscal statement on 31 October, Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, has said.

He told reporters: “I have spoken to the party chairman Jake Berry and he has confirmed that it will be possible to conduct a ballot and conclude a leadership election by Friday, 28 October.

“So we should have a new leader in place before the fiscal statement which will take place on the 31st.”

Hayley Halpin here to take over the liveblog reins from Tadgh. 

I’ll keep you up to date with all the latest developments for the next while. 

Another interesting fact about Liz Truss time in office is that the campaign to elect her as Conservative Party leader was longer than the days she spent as Prime Minister.

She was Prime Minister for 44 days, while the campaign lasted for 55 days.

Labour leader Keir Starmer is speaking to Sky News currently, repeating his call for a general election.

What a mess, this is not just a soap opera at the top of the Tory party, it’s doing huge damage to our economy and to the reputation of our country.

The public are paying with higher prices and higher mortgages, so we can’t have a revolving door of chaos.

We can’t have another experiment at the top of the Tory party, there is an alternative and that’s a stable Labour government.

The public are entitled to have their say and that’s why there should be a general election.

Graham Brady, the Chair of the 1922 Committee, said that he expects a leadership vote to occur by next Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Brady said that he expects grassroots members of the party to be involved in the voting process.

He said that further details will be cleared up later and that there was a consensus for a weeklong contest.

A handy graph showing the term lengths of the shortest serving UK Prime Ministers, with Liz Truss now overtaking George Canning.

politics-tory Press Association Images Press Association Images

The Scottish First Minister has also called for a general election, saying that there are “no words to describe this utter shambles adequately”.

In a tweet, Nicola Sturgeon said: 

Reality tho is that ordinary people are paying the price. The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now. A General Election is now a democratic imperative.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for an immediate general election following Liz Truss’s resignation, saying that the Conservative Party “no longer has a mandate to govern”.

After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis. Now, they have crashed the economy so badly that people are facing £500 a month extra on their mortgages. The damage they have done will take years to fix.

Each one of these crises was made in Downing Street but paid for by the British public. Each one has left our country weaker and worse off.

The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people. They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.

The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. They must have the chance to compare the Tories’ chaos with Labour’s plans to sort out their mess, grow the economy for working people and rebuild the country for a fairer, greener future. We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star have updated their lettuce cam, with the lettuce managing to outlast Liz Truss as Prime Minister.


Who will replace Truss?

Speculation has now begun on who will seek to replace Liz Truss as leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister.

UK journalists are reporting that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt does not intend to stand for the leadership of the party.

tory-turmoil Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt PA PA

Announcing her resignation, Liz Truss said:

I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills, Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent and our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth

I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills and cutting national insurance.

We set out a vision for a low tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit. 

I reckognise 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. This morning I met the Chairman of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady.

We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed. within the next week.

This will ensure that 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. Thank you.

Liz Truss has resigned as both Conservative leader and as Prime Minister after just 44 days in office.

She is now the shortest serving Prime Minister in UK history.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Liz Truss said that she had informed King Charles that she intended to resign.

She spoke with Graham Brady, saying that a leadership contest will now take place within the next week.


UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced her resignation this afternoon.

image (2)

Truss to resign – Sky News

Beth Rigby from Sky News is reporting that UK Prime Minister Liz Truss will be announcing her resignation at 1.30pm

As we get ready for the statement, the usual podium is being set up outside the door of 10 Downing Street.


BREAKING: Downing Street has said that it will issue a statement at 1.30pm

Another two Tory MPs have called for Liz Truss to resign in the last few minutes.

Both the MP for Hartlepool, Jill Mortimer and the MP for Rushcliffe, Ruth Edwards, have called for Truss to stand down.

In a post on Facebook, Mortimer said that she was not called to ask a question at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday and alongside the “deteriorating” situation, it left her no choice but to submit a letter of no confidence in Truss.

Edwards announced her call for the PM to quit in a post on ConservativeHome, where she detailed the controversy that occurred in the Commons yesterday.

One Downing Street source told Press Association that Liz Truss invited Graham Brady to No 10 as part of a “taking the temperature” exercise to gauge the mood of Tory MPs.

There are now three key figures within the Tory party within 10 Downing Street.

They are:

  • Chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary, Therese Coffey
  • Conservative Party Chairman, Jake Berry 

Meanwhile, Sky News has launched a ticker in the top left of their broadcast that is keeping track of Tory MPs who have called for Liz Truss to resign.

SkyMPTicker Sky News Sky News

It’s a bit of a throwback to July 2022, when the ticker had the number of ministers who had resigned from Boris Johnson’s Government, before it eventually led to his resignation.

The spokesperson for Liz Truss has also added that there are no plans for the UK Prime Minister to hold a press conference or speak publicly today.

No Cabinet reshuffle planned

No 10 Downing Street have confirmed that there are no plans for a further reshuffle of the Cabinet.

The spokesperson for Liz Truss said: “No plans for that currently.”

“There are no plans for any further reshuffle at this time.”

brexit Dominic Lipinski Dominic Lipinski

While speculation has continued about who may replace Liz Truss if she is ousted, former Culture Secretary and one of Boris Johnson’s key allies has called for the former Prime Minister to be reinstated.

In a tweet, Dorries said that Johnson was elected with “a manifesto and a mandate” until January 2025.

“If Liz Truss is no longer PM there can be no coronation of previously failed candidates,” she said, saying that MPs “must” demand the return of Johnson to the top job, face a new leadership election or call a general election.

Liz Truss’s official spokesperson has said that she acknowledges yesterday was a “difficult day” following the resignation of Suella Braverman.

“The Prime Minister acknowledges yesterday was a difficult day and she recognises the public wanted to see the Government focussing less on politics and more on delivering their priorities,” the spokesperson said.

“That is also what the Prime Minister wants.

You saw her take action yesterday and make a number of difficult decisions. She ensured the public can take confidence in the importance of the ministerial code, she provided reassurance to pensioners worried about the rising cost of living.

“And she took further steps on safeguarding energy security. She’s also working with the Chancellor on delivering economic stability and growth.”

According to Sky News, No 10 Downing Street have confirmed that Liz Truss requested the meeting with Graham Brady.

Downing Street has confirmed that Graham Brady, the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee which sets the rules for how Conservative leaders are chosen, has arrived in Number 10 to hold a meeting with Liz Truss.

It’s been reported that Brady has already received more than 54 letters calling for a  no confidence vote in Truss.

Meanwhile, a number of UK journalists have shared some of the things they’ve heard from Tory MPs and other sources this morning. 

Inquiry into claims senior Tories bullied MPs in Commons vote launched

An investigation has been launched by the parliamentary authorities into the allegations that ministers bullied and “physically manhandled” their Conservative colleagues to vote with the party during the House of Commons vote on fracking. 

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has asked the Serjeant at Arms, who is responsible for keeping order within the Commons, and other senior officials to examine the claims.

Health Secretary Therese Coffey and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg are among the group of senior Tories accused of bullying the party’s MPs into voting against Labour’s motion on fracking.

Rees-Mogg has insisted he saw no evidence of anyone being manhandled and there had simply been a “normal” discussion among MPs as they prepared to vote, while Coffey has also denied the claim.

Hoyle, opening proceedings in the chamber this morning, told MPs: “I wish to say something about the reports of behaviour in the division lobbies last night.

“I have asked the Serjeant at Arms and other senior officials to investigate the incident and report back to me. I will then update the House.

“I remind Members that the behaviour code applies to them as well as to other members of our parliamentary community, and this gives me another opportunity to talk about the kind of House I want to see and I believe that the vast majority of MPs also want to see.

“I want this to be a House in which we, while we might have very strong political disagreements, treat each other courteously and with respect, and we should show the same courtesy and respect to those who work with and for us.

“To that end I will be meeting with senior party representatives to seek an agreed position that behaviour like that described last night is not acceptable in all circumstances.”

This morning, Labour was granted an urgent question in the House of Commons on the departure of Suella Braverman. 

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper began by saying that the British government was in “total chaos” and compared the reported scenes of Tory MPs being physically pushed to vote with the party in Westminster last night to “rats fighting in a sack”. 

She concluded by asking: “Why should the country have to put up with this for a single extra day?”

While chaos continues within Tory parliamentary party, Labour leader Keir Starmer has appeared at the Trades Union Conference and called for a Labour Government.

“The single most important thing I can do for working people is to make sure we win the next election and get a Labour government,” Starmer said.

“I will not let this be an era of Tory chaos, stagnation, attacks on working people.”

Overnight, there have been multiple Tory MPs calling for Truss to go.

Sky News have been keeping track of the calls so far, with the count currently at 14.

Good morning and welcome to another day of turmoil within the UK, as Prime Minister Liz Truss remains under significant pressure following the sudden resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the late night scuffles in the House of Commons over fracking.

It’s Tadgh McNally here to run you through the day’s events as they happen.

Additional reporting from the Press Association

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