MPs call for general election 'now' after Liz Truss quits following just 45 days in office

20 October 2022, 14:29 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 18:33

MPs have reacted to Liz Truss' resignation
MPs have reacted to Liz Truss' resignation. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

MPs have called for a general election "now" after Liz Truss announced she would be quitting as PM - becoming the shortest serving Prime Minister in modern history.

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Ms Truss' chaotic premiership lasted only six weeks but saw a disastrous mini-Budget, triggering financial turmoil across the markets, as well as a change of Chancellor and public calls from 15 Tory MPs for her resignation.

Despite insisting for days that she was a "fighter", Ms Truss confirmed she would be stepping down in a week.

"This morning I met the Chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady," she said.

"We have agreed there will be a leadership election to be completed in the next week.

"This will ensure 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."

Read more: Liz Truss resigns after just six weeks as PM - and says there will be a new leader within a week

Liz Truss announces her resignation as Prime Minister

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer called for an immediate general election in the wake of Liz Truss's resignation.

"The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern," he said.

"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."

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Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry said: "We should have a general election - it is the only thing that we should have.

"They can't patch this up, they have caused a crisis.

"This crisis was made in Downing Street, working people are paying the price and we need a government that people can trust.

"The only way we're going to get any order or sense is to have a Labour government.

"We should have a general election, let the people choose."

Liz Truss has quit as PM
Liz Truss has quit as PM. Picture: Alamy

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey also called for a general election following the Prime Minister's resignation.

"We don't need another Conservative Prime Minister lurching from crisis to crisis," he tweeted.

"We need a General Election now and the Conservatives out of power."

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "There are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately.

"It’s beyond hyperbole - & parody. 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 Sir Keir Starmer has called for a general election
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a general election. Picture: Alamy

Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, said: "This has been a complete and utter failure of government, with everyone in this country now having to pay the price.

"The complete lack of leadership is preventing decisions and actions from being taken to deal with the many challenges we are facing and help people over what is going to be a very difficult winter.

"Unfortunately, the deep and intractable divisions within the Government means that any successor put forward will face the same set of challenges.

"A general election is now the only way to end this paralysis."

Ed Davey wants a general election following Truss' resignation.
Ed Davey wants a general election following Truss' resignation. Picture: Alamy

Within her first week in the role, Ms Truss announced her energy support package to deal with the cost of living crisis.

But her pledges for quick action were quickly put on hold when Queen Elizabeth died, marking the beginning of 10 days of national mourning.

The end of September was the pivotal moment for Ms Truss' premiership when previous Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced billions of pounds worth of tax cuts in a mini-budget.

The move led to the pound plummeting and the markets faced financial turmoil as the government then fought to fix the chaos.

Tory infighting piled pressure on the leader for her last few weeks at No10, with her being forced to u-turn on several of her policies as well as replacing her Chancellor with Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Suella Braverman also stepping down.