In her first public comments as Britain’s prime minister, Liz Truss, on Tuesday promised to shield Britons from the crippling impact of rising energy costs, and said that, by working together, the country could overcome the acute economic challenges it faces.
Ms. Truss became prime minister at a time of acute economic strain as Britain confronts a toxic mix of double-digit inflation, rising interest rates, slowing growth and labor unrest moments after she was formally appointed by Queen Elizabeth.
Her speech was made from a lectern outside 10 Downing Street despite worries — right up to a few minutes before she spoke — that a rain shower that drenched some of her supporters who had gathered in the street would force her to make the address inside the building.
Liz Truss echoed the tax-cutting, free-market message of her campaign, but with no details on how she plans to shield the British people from the ravages of skyrocketing energy bills. Those details will presumably be rolled out in coming days.
Ms. Truss also noted the “global headwinds” Britain faces, including the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war had been a focus of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, and Ms. Truss, a former foreign secretary, is expected to make it similarly central to her foreign policy priorities.
She opened the speech by saying her goal was to “transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high-paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve.”