An English Rose in Georgia: Introducing Britain’s newest Prime Minister, Liz Truss

There’s an old saying in the country where I was born that you realize you’re getting old when cops start looking younger. This struck me the other day when I realized that the UK’s new Prime Minister is almost a decade younger than me! Of course, here in the US, I don’t have that much concern as our President turns 80 this November.

I admit I am quite pleased that this is the third time in history that a woman has become Prime Minister in the UK, having recently won the leadership competition to become leader of the Conservative Party. Liz Truss follows in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher, who was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, and Theresa May from 2016 to 2019. In the UK, there is no general election among citizens to decide who will be the next Prime Minister, like we’re doing here to elect the President of the United States. That’s because the UK has a parliamentary democracy – a form of government in which the party (or coalition of parties) with the largest representation in Parliament (similar to the House of Representatives) forms the government, with the leader of that party becoming Prime Minister . To put it simply, the MPs decide among themselves who will lead them. If voters don’t like the prime minister, they simply vote out that party in the next general election.

Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as the UK leader of the Conservative Party (here closest to the Republican Party) at the age of 47. It is fitting that another inspiring female leader, Queen Elizabeth II, did her duty to the end by formally inviting the new Prime Minister to form a new government just two days before her death. So important was this ceremony and tradition to the late Queen that Liz Truss flew to the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland as the Queen was not well enough to return to London, the traditional meeting place. Here’s an amazing reminder of the Queen’s long reign: Liz Truss, her fifteenth Prime Minister, was born in 1975 and her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was born over 100 years earlier in 1874! It was also very poignant that one of Ms Truss’ first duties as Prime Minister on September 19 was to represent the British Government by reading a scripture at the Queen’s funeral in Westminster Abbey.

So what is the story behind the UK’s new “Prime Minister, First Lord of Treasury, Minister for the Public Service and Minister for the Union”? Mary Elizabeth Truss was born in Oxford in the south of England, grew up in Scotland and later in Yorkshire in the north of England. Her mother was a nurse and teacher and her father was a math professor. She attended the local comprehensive schools (as the Americans call public schools), studied in Canada for a year, and then went to England’s top-class Oxford University. She began her career as an economist and accountant, then joined the Conservative Party. She met her husband Hugh O’Leary in 1997 and they married in 2000. They have two teenage daughters.

Her political life began when she was elected local councilor in the London Borough of Greenwich in 2006 and then MP (a ‘Member of Parliament’ which is the British equivalent of a member of the US House of Representatives) for Southwest Norfolk in 2010. She was one of the first MEPs of her “entering year”, who entered government just two years later and quickly rose through the ranks, serving as foreign secretary before being elected prime minister. She is a big fan of the United States and advocates lowering taxes, enforcing law and order, and cracking down on illegal immigration. She was chosen very much on her own merits, accomplishments and policies and not on the fact that she is female. As the third female Prime Minister, I can safely say that the UK has largely moved away from gender politics.

Liz Truss faces some rather difficult challenges as she takes office given the UK economy is stagnant, inflation is above 10% and energy prices are expected to rise by a whopping 80% yoy. The new prime minister has pledged to cut energy prices and has already made controversial decisions to cut income and property taxes for citizens and businesses. She believes her government’s tax cuts will “encourage businesses to invest and also help ordinary people…”. After an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, they reported that “throughout the Conservative leadership race, the Prime Minister took a Reagan-style ‘trickle-down’ approach to the economy, arguing that it was wrong to Lens to look at politics ‘redistribution’”. For more information, visit and I end this week with a quote from the new Prime Minister herself: “Britain and the US remain the Wild West for ideas, where pioneers keep pushing themselves to greater heights in the white heat of free enterprise. Nobody knows their place, nobody fears failure and nobody is ashamed of success!”

God bless America and go Liz Truss! Lesley Francis grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009. She can be contacted at