oneill110_Anthony DevlinGetty Images_liztruss Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

What Liz Truss Must Do

In courting the Conservative Party rank and file, Liz Truss promised a classically center-right economic-policy program of lower taxes and less regulation. But to win over the rest of the electorate, she will need to focus on the country's more immediate needs.

LONDON – With Conservative Party members having chosen Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to succeed Boris Johnson as their leader, the United Kingdom will have its third prime minister since voters decided in June 2016 to leave the European Union. Truss has just two years and a few months to go before another general election must be held. To survive, she will need to tackle a long list of policy challenges, unify her deeply divided party, and win over more of the public. Given that her predecessor was ousted two and a half years after winning an 80-seat majority, her task will not be easy.

In courting the Conservative Party’s 180,000-odd members, Truss presented herself as a modern-day Margaret Thatcher, advocating lower individual and business taxes and less regulation – the classic center-right recipe for boosting economic growth. But since there are many more immediate issues facing the UK population, it remains to be seen whether she will, can, or even should follow through on these promises.

As many political commentators have suggested, Truss’s performance and political future will be judged on an extremely short-term basis. Forget the usual window of the “first 100 days”; this prime minister needs to be thinking about how she can make her mark within the first month.

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