Liz Truss was named Britain’s new conservative prime minister on Monday and will soon take over from her scandal-scarred predecessor, Boris Johnson.
The 47-year-old, currently foreign secretary, will be formally appointed by Queen Elizabeth II during a Tuesday ceremony at the monarch’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.
Truss, a mother of two and a staunch admirer of the UK’s Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher, will become Britain’s third female leader.
So who is Britain’s soon-to-be new prime minister?
Daughter of left-wing parents
Truss, who was born in Oxford and lived in Scotland in her early years, is the daughter of a left-wing math professor and a nurse.
Her parents would take her on anti-Thatcher protests when she was a child where she remembers screaming: “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie — out, out, out!”
Truss revealed in a 2018 speech that she started developing her own conservative political views early on and would often argue “against my socialist parents in our left-wing household.”
Her family moved to Leeds in northern England, where she attended a public high school, and she then studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.
She joined the Conservative Party after graduating, which she later recalled as being “distinctly unfashionable” at the time.
Her marriage and a headline-making affair
Truss married her accountant husband, Hugh O’Leary, in 2000 and the couple have two teenage daughters together.
Her relationship was thrust into the headlines in 2006 when it emerged that Truss had allegedly been having an affair with another married, Conservative politician, Mark Field.
“I am really sorry about that [affair]. It’s a mistake I made and as far as me and my husband are concerned, it’s water under the bridge,” Truss later said, according to the BBC.
Her career in politics
Prior to entering politics, Truss had worked as an economist for energy company Shell and the telecommunications firm Cable and Wireless.
She also dabbled in work for a right-of-center think tank as she became more heavily involved in right-leaning politics.
Truss ended up becoming a local councilor in London and had two unsuccessful runs for Parliament before being elected to represent the seat of Southwest Norfolk in eastern England in 2010.
She got her first cabinet job as food and environment secretary in 2014 and then became justice secretary in 2017 before being demoted to a more junior role in the Treasury by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017.
When May was ousted in 2019, new leader Johnson elevated Truss — a backer of Brexit — to trade secretary.
She was promoted to foreign secretary, Britain’s top diplomat, in September 2021.
Entering 10 Downing Street
Truss will enter 10 Downing Street, the PM’s residence, after beating former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party’s leadership contest.
Truss received 81,326 votes, compared with Sunak’s 60,399.
She is facing immediate pressure to deliver on her promises to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and an economy heading into a possibly long recession.
“I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply,” Truss told her fellow party members after she was elected.
“I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people: our beliefs in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, in personal responsibility,” she added.
“I know that’s why people voted for us in such numbers in 2019, and as your party leader, I intend to deliver what we promised those voters right across our great country.”
With Post wires