How the world reported on Liz Truss’s resignation

The outgoing PM was dubbed ‘the failed lady’ by German newspaper

Liz Truss outside 10 Downing Street
Liz Truss announces her resignation in statement outside 10 Downing Street
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

“The lettuce outlasts Liz Truss,” announced The New York Times within an hour of the prime minister’s resignation.

In a “ludicrous statement befitting of a ludicrous moment”, the paper explained to US readers, the UK’s Daily Star had pitted a piece of salad against the embattled Tory leader in a web-cam stunt as Truss’s premiership descended into chaos. And “in the end”, said The Atlantic, “the lettuce won”.

But while the pound rallied as markets reacted favourably to Truss’s imminent departure, international commentators pointed out that the challenges facing her successor will be no laughing matter.

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‘Long winter of discontent’

Truss’s successor will have to “navigate a political crisis and economic turbulence”, said The Wall Street Journal, as Britain battles “stagflation – the combination of slow growth and high inflation”.

The next PM is “almost sure to face a long winter of discontent”, added the paper’s UK correspondent Max Colchester, “with real wages forecast to fall, labour unions promising a series of strikes and many voters demanding elections”.

The House magazine editor Rosa Prince found it “hard to believe” that less than six weeks had passed since Truss met with Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral before taking over in No. 10. The Conservatives – “the most electorally successful party in British political history” – is now “battle scarred, riven into multitudes of factions and overhung with an air of bitterness”, Prince wrote in an article for CNN.

Zurich’s 20 Minuten noted that the UK government “was in a state of chaos” before Truss was “forced to vacate her post”. Hamburg’s Der Spiegel agreed that in just “six weeks at the head of government”, Truss caused “turbulence in the financial markets”.

At least Britain’s next PM “will not be subject to a months-long election like last time”, said Time’s London-based reporter Yasmeen Serhan, following reports that the Tory party leadership contest will be completed within the next week. Members are likely to “seek out a unity candidate who can bring the party together after a fractious six weeks and improve its standing in the polls”, Serhan predicted.

‘The failed lady’

Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel described Truss as “the failed lady”, and said that while she was “by no means to blame” for the death of the Queen, the circumstances under which she took office were now seen by “many Britains” as a “bad omen”.

In Russia, the Foreign Ministry publicly welcomed the resignation of Truss, who had pledged her support to Ukraine. Spokesperson Maria Zakharova declared that Britain had “never seen such disgrace from a prime minister”. Truss would be remembered for her “catastrophic illiteracy”, Zakharova added.

State-owned Russian news ageny RIA Novosti summed up the situation even more bluntly, with the headline: “Truss Humiliation. UK loses second prime minister in a year.”

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