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Liz Truss, the art of being the heiress of Boris Johnson without looking like it

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liz Trusscan become the third woman in charge of the british governmentbut to be elected by the Conservatives, she must strike the difficult balance between renewal and continuity.

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Supporters of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson perceive his opponent Rishi Sunak as a traitor, so Truss, 47, tries to highlight the successes of the current government: Brexit and a rare parliamentary majority since the 1980s.

Truss even stated that she regrets Johnson’s departure, which opens the doors of Downing Street to him, which only two women have occupied until now: Margaret Thatcher (May 1979-November 1990) and Theresa May (July 2016-July 2019).

For almost a year, Truss has led British diplomacy, after being appointed as the second woman in command of this portfolio. But her appointment was seen as an attempt by Johnson to keep a check on the ambitions of a rising figure among Conservatives.

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In the campaign, his initial opposition to Brexit has come to the fore. Truss now assures that he was wrong and tries to highlight his achievements.

As soon as he came to power at the end of July 2019, Johnson entrusted Truss with the Foreign Trade portfolio.

In this role, the straight-blonde-haired karaoke lover became the face of UK-EU Brexit trade talks and quickly became familiar with diplomatic circuits.

At the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Truss distinguished himself by his first conciliatory and then intransigent attitude towards the EU in the negotiations on post-Brexit provisions relating to the British province of Northern Ireland.

Hat in the red square

He has to his credit the release of the British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, detained for more than six years in Iran on accusations of conspiracy, which the activist always denied.

Alongside Johnson, the minister also embodied the UK’s overwhelming support for Ukraine, not least thanks to unprecedented economic sanctions. Although, in this process Truss had some setbacks.

During a trip to Moscow that was seen as a last-ditch attempt to dissuade President Vladimir Putin from going to war, she was tricked by her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, into claiming that he would “never” recognize Moscow’s sovereignty over two nearby Russian cities. Ukraine, Rostov and Voronezh, whose membership in Russia is not disputed.

This move also proved a source of ridicule, accusing Truss of imitating Margaret Thatcher, when she posed in a Russian fur cap in Red Square, a few months after proudly perching on a tank turret.

During the first debate between the applicants, the resemblance between her blouse with a bow and that of the ‘Iron Lady’ did not escape the observers, in contrast to her usual brightly colored outfits.

However, during his childhood, Truss demonstrated with his parents, to demand the departure of Thatcher, an undisputed figure among the conservatives. She also represented the former first lady during a school show.

cardboard missile

Born on July 26, 1975, married and the mother of two daughters, Truss presents herself, with the enthusiasm of converts, as the embodiment of quintessential British conservatism, with tax cuts and a reduction of the State.

After ten years in the private sector (mostly as a business manager), she was first a local councilor in South East London and then became an MP in 2010 for the constituency of South West Norfolk.

In 2012, she entered the government and, since then, has held various portfolios, first as Secretary of State for Education and then as Minister of the Environment from 2014 to 2016.

She was also the first woman to head the Ministry of Justice and later served as chief secretary of the Treasury.

His presence among conservatives is not so obvious. Truss grew up in a very leftist environment.

At the prestigious University of Oxford, where he graduated in politics and economics, he chaired the group of liberal-democratic Europhiles.

Truss admitted that she stunned her parents – a father who was a university professor of mathematics and a mother who was an activist for nuclear disarmament, whom she accompanied as a child to demonstrations with fake cardboard missiles – by positioning herself to the right.

Since the beginning of the campaign, some people like to revive a nickname that he had when he was in the Ministry of Education: the “human grenade”.

“A compliment taken out of context,” Truss recently explained in The Sun tabloid: “It means I get things done.”

Source: Gestion

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