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HomeNewsInternational NewsLiz Truss clings to power as chaos in Westminster escalates

Liz Truss clings to power as chaos in Westminster escalates


LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Britain’s Liz Truss battled to retain her grip on power on Thursday, a day after she lost a second top minister and open arguments and jostling among her lawmakers in parliament highlighted a breakdown of party unity and discipline.

In just six weeks as prime minister, Truss has been forced to abandon almost all her policy programme after it triggered a bond market rout and a collapse of her approval ratings and those of her Conservative Party.

Since last Friday she has lost two of the four most senior ministers in government, sat expressionless in parliament as her new finance minister ripped up her economic plans and faced howls of laughter as she tried to defend her record.

“We can’t go on like this,” one Conservative lawmaker told Reuters late on Wednesday, of the chaotic scenes in parliament.

The sight of yet another unpopular prime minister clinging to power underscores just how volatile British politics has become since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union unleashed a battle for the direction of the country.

Truss became Britain’s fourth prime minister in six years after being elected in September to lead the Conservative Party by its members, not the broader electorate, and with support from only around a third of the party’s lawmakers. She promised tax cuts funded by borrowing, deregulation and a sharp shift to the right on cultural and social issues.

Her abrupt loss of authority comes as the economy heads into recession and her new finance minister Jeremy Hunt races to find tens of billions of pounds of spending cuts to reassure investors who took fright at Truss’s policy proposals.

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