Liz Truss replaces Raab as UK’s first female Conservative foreign secretary

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Liz Truss has been appointed Foreign Secretary in the latest Cabinet reshuffle (PA )
Liz Truss has been appointed Foreign Secretary in the latest Cabinet reshuffle (PA )

Liz Truss has made a steady rise up the Cabinet ladder.

Ms Truss replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary during the Prime Minister’s top-team reshuffle.

Promoted by Boris Johnson, Ms Truss became the UK’s first female Conservative to win the position after being seen to have made a success of her international trade secretary post.

The only other woman to hold the position was Labour’s Margaret Becket, previously named by Forbes as Britain’s most powerful woman, who held the post from 2006 to 2007.

While the government faced tough headlines about deadlock in the negotiations with the European Union during the Brexit transition period, the South West Norfolk MP made steady work of rolling over a host of trade deals for the UK.

She ensured the terms agreed while an EU member were ready to continue after exiting the bloc.

Ms Truss, 46, won plaudits in the Conservative Party for securing new terms with Japan and Australia while a New Zealand agreement is said to be nearing completion.

To secure the terms with Canberra, Ms Truss’s free-trade beliefs were said to have won out against the protectionism instincts of other ministers, such as Environment Secretary George Eustice, especially when it came to food imports.

Her Labour critics, however, bemoan the Cabinet minister did not deliver a “single trade deal that we didn’t already have inside the EU”, calling the praise within government for her performance overblown.

With Mr Raab removed from the foreign office after his botched handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, Mr Johnson has turned to a trusted ally in his latest reshuffle.

Ms Truss was an early backer of Mr Johnson during the Tory leadership race in 2019 (PA Wire)
Ms Truss was an early backer of Mr Johnson during the Tory leadership race in 2019 (PA Wire)

Ms Truss was an early backer of Mr Johnson during the Tory leadership race in 2019, a decision that helped her snare a promotion from chief secretary to the Treasury to heading up the Department for International Trade.

A vocal Remainer during the EU referendum, reports suggest No 10 has been impressed with the way she has embraced post-Brexit opportunities and trade reforms.

The married mother-of-two boasts an impressive CV.

It defies her upbringing by left-leaning parents, with posts as education minister, environment secretary and justice secretary in previous Conservative governments.

Away from politics, Ms Truss’s flair for social media has seen her offer an insight into the woman behind the politician by updating her Instagram account with pictures of her relaxing at the beach, or behind the scenes at official events.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Infamously, the worlds of social media and politics combined in 2014; her improbably enthusiastic speech about opening pork markets in Beijing went viral, pilloried on satirical programmes such as Have I Got News For You?

She caused further hilarity when telling the Tory Party conference that year: “We import two-thirds of our cheese, that is a disgrace.”

Brought up in Yorkshire, Ms Truss studied philosophy as well as politics and economics at Merton College, Oxford, where she became president of the University Liberal Democrats.

Elected to Parliament in 2010, she previously worked in the energy and telecommunications industry and is a qualified management accountant.

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