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Liz Truss resigns
Liz Truss is the holder of an unwanted record after resigning as PM
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It has been another turbulent week in British political history after Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned from her post just six weeks after she came to power.

In a statement made outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday afternoon, Truss said that she could not “deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party” and had spoken to King Charles to tender her resignation. She is to remain as PM until a successor is chosen in a leadership election that is to be “completed within the next week”, she said.

Truss is now the holder of an ignominious record as the shortest-serving prime minister in modern British political history and leaves her party in chaos as – in the words of the BBC’s political editor Chris Mason – they attempt to “dredge a name” out of their ranks to avoid going to a general election.

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As the Conservative Party leadership race begins, former prime minister Boris Johnson has reportedly flown back from a holiday in the Caribbean to launch his campaign – just three months after he was ousted from the job by his own MPs. His allies say they are confident he can secure the 100 backers needed to get his name on the ballot.

Johnson’s former chancellor turned leadership rival Rishi Sunak has also secured early backing from MPs, as has the leader of the House of Commons Penny Mourdant, who was knocked out in the fifth round of the last leadership race, which took place over the summer.

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 Sorcha Bradley is a writer at The Week and a regular on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. She worked at The Week magazine for a year and a half before taking up her current role with the digital team, where she mostly covers UK current affairs and politics. Before joining The Week, Sorcha worked at slow-news start-up Tortoise Media. She has also written for Sky News, The Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard and Grazia magazine, among other publications. She has a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London, where she specialised in political journalism.