As widely predicted by voters, Liz Truss has defeated Rishi Sunak to become the new leader of the Conservative Party. It also prepares him to take over as prime minister from Boris Johnson, whose loyalty to him was a key factor in why the Tories went with him rather than the craze, which was perceived as a stab in Johnson’s back.
Following in Johnson’s footsteps, it is expected that the Ukrainian capital will be one of the first foreign ports of call for Truss as prime minister. But as she lays out her support package for Kyiv, the impact of events there on prices back home will be her main challenge. Britain’s energy regulator has cited the war and shortfalls in supplies from Russia to raise its cap on domestic energy prices to rise 80% in October. Inflation is already in double digits. Overall, his campaign’s proposals to tackle what could be the worst life crisis in generations have left experts pessimistic.
Commerce Secretary in India BVR Subrahmanyam has said that India-UK FTA talks are in the final stages, 19 of the 26 chapters are closed, and the Diwali deadline is near. But whether the deadline given by Johnson will be upheld by the truce is uncertain, as rising domestic economic turmoil could reset his priorities and even politics.
Truss has modeled herself on Margaret Thatcher, who also came to power in a great winter of discontent. In her victory speech today, she has promised to make “courageous” cuts in taxes as well as “deliver” on rising energy bills and grow the economy as well. How all these are put together remains to be seen and it certainly won’t be easy.
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