Truss takes the helm of a country in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis after seeing off the former chancellor’s challenge with support from 81,326 party members, compared to Sunak’s 60,399.
The 57 per cent to 43 per cent result – closer than some had expected – was announced by 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady in a glitzy ceremony at the QE2 Centre in Westminster.
Truss said it was an ‘honor’ to be the new leader of the ‘greatest political party on Earth’. “I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people,” she said.
“I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative… I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy.’
She added: “We will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024.”
Truss also paid tribute to her ‘friend’ Boris Johnson, who will formally hand over power to her on Tuesday, saying he “got Brexit done, crushed Jeremy Corbyn, rolled out the vaccine, and stood up to Vladimir Putin.”
But the new premier faces one of the toughest in-trays in decades, with inflation fears mounting as gas prices soar again and the Pound slides further.
Speculation is growing that Truss will opt for a bold furlough-style move to freeze energy bills – possibly by loaning companies money to hold down costs.
Wholesale gas prices rocketed by around 30 per cent today, following Russia’s decision to shut down a key gas pipeline.
The Pound also briefly slipped to a 37-year low against the US dollar, heaping extra costs on many commodities and imports.