On Monday it was announced that Liz Truss had won the leadership of the Conservative Party. The next day for the first time since 1885 a new Prime Minister was appointed at Balmoral and as I write she is putting in place her cabinet.
I supported Rishi Sunak during the campaign but as I said throughout both candidates have great qualities and I am certain Liz will do a great job. A huge amount of work has been undertaken during the summer to ensure that her administration will be able to hit the ground running. Liz’s has wide experience across Government and deep knowledge of the international situation in a period of hugely heightened tension.
There is excitement around the new Prime Minister and what I strongly suspect will be a different approach to politics and the business of Government.
No one should however underestimate the difficulties that will be faced by the new Prime Minister. A brutal war continues to be conducted by Russia on our continent. Its impact is felt most by the brave people of Ukraine. They continue to fight for their homes and families. In doing so they have extensive support from the United Kingdom and the international community. It is critical for all our futures that Putin does not succeed.
The impact of the war extends however far beyond Ukraine. It’s being felt in energy prices - compounding existing post Covid increases.
The resulting inflation permeates throughout the economy. The Government has already brought forward packages of support to help those most effected. This is the number 1 priority and I have no doubt more will be made available to support those most in need. After peaking next year inflation is expected to return closer to normal levels but we absolutely must ensure that we don’t allow it to get “baked in”: unchecked inflation is a hugely destructive force.
The global challenges the new Prime Minister faces, like all our neighbours across Europe, are immense but I believe we will get through them while providing support to those who most need it and maintaining the vital international effort in support of our friends in Ukraine and the defence of our values.