September 5, 2022

Live updates: Liz Truss succeeds Boris Johnson as U.K. prime minister

LONDON — After months of upheaval, Britain is relying on predictable and time-honored traditions Tuesday as power and an abundance of economic and political problems are transferred from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Prime Minister Liz Truss.

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Here’s how the day is unfolding

  • Johnson and Truss traveled, in separate planes, to see Queen Elizabeth II — at Balmoral Castle in Scotland this time, rather than the traditional Buckingham Palace setting. The 96-year-old queen has missed many events on the royal calendar because of her health. But as long as the key players would come to where she’s been staying, she did not appear to want to delegate this one.
  • In a private audience, Johnson bowed to the queen and tendered his resignation. Truss followed, asking permission to form a government. The ceremony is called “kissing hands,” though in modern politics there is no kissing.
  • Truss is returning to London as Britain’s 56th prime minister. And Britain is joining a small club of nations that have had at least three female elected or appointed heads of government.
  • Earlier in the day, in farewell remarks outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson referred to himself as a “booster rocket” that has “fulfilled its function.” But he also boasted of his accomplishments and compared himself to Cincinnatus, the Roman statesman remembered for stepping down for the good of the Republic, but also being brought out of retirement to lead the people again. Despite all the scandals, Johnson remains popular with his party’s grass roots and may someday stage a comeback.

What to know about Liz Truss | The first U.K. Cabinet without a White man in high office | The other @LizTruss

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