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Liz Truss to become UK’s next prime minister after defeating Sunak

Liz Truss will become the next prime minister after defeating Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

The foreign secretary has won the contest to become the next Tory party leader – and therefore prime minister – in a ballot of Conservative members.

Ms Truss, who was the favourite to win the contest, will succeed Boris Johnson on Tuesday and become the nation’s third female leader.

She secured 81,326 votes (57%) to Mr Sunak’s 60,399 (43%).

It means she won by a comfortable majority, though it was tighter than some had expected.

Ms Truss said it is an “honour to be elected” as she thanked her party for organising “one of the longest job interviews in history”.

In a short speech after the results were announced, she thanked the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson.

“You got Brexit done. You crushed Jeremy Corbyn. You rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin”, she said.

People walking past a mural on Hill Street in Belfast by Ciaran Gallagher Art, commissioned by local bar owner Willie Jack, showing conservative party candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss as two boxers about to fight it out to be the UK Prime Minister. Picture date: Tuesday August 16, 2022.

Mr Johnson, who was forced to announce his resignation after a wave of ministers left his government over a series of controversies, will visit the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland to formally tender his resignation.

Shortly after this, Ms Truss will also meet the Queen, who will invite her to form a government.

Ms Truss is expected to make a speech outside Number 10 once she takes office and will then get to work on appointing her cabinet.

She faces the immediate challenge of coming up with a package of support to help households weather a worsening cost of living crisis driven by soaring energy bills.

Ms Truss has promised big tax cuts to boost economic growth, including reversing the rise in National Insurance.

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss were whittled down to the final two candidates after five rounds of voting by Tory MPs.

The pair went head to head over a summer of hustings and live television debates, during which they clashed repeatedly over their plans for the economy.

Party members had from 1 August to 2 September to cast their votes, which were counted over the weekend.

(Sky News)

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