Liz Truss makes first speech as leader beneath stormy skies at Downing Street

·2-min read
New Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
New Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Liz Truss gave her maiden speech as Prime Minister beneath stormy skies after torrential downpours over Downing Street threatened to delay her address to the nation.

Thunder rumbled overhead and dozens of rain-spattered Tory MPs flanking the door to Number 10 broke into rapturous applause as Ms Truss arrived at a rain-soaked lectern.

Fittingly, the incoming prime minister said the UK would “ride out the storm” of the cost-of-living crisis, and she is expected to announce measures to alleviate pressure on struggling families in the coming days.

Ms Truss had flown in from Scotland after an audience with the Queen at Balmoral which saw her take over from Boris Johnson as premier.

Therese Coffey (right) grins beneath an umbrella ahead of Liz Truss’ arrival at Downing Street on Tuesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA). (PA Wire)
Therese Coffey (right) grins beneath an umbrella ahead of Liz Truss’ arrival at Downing Street on Tuesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA). (PA Wire)

Her motorcade was then filmed by a helicopter following her journey through London to the prime minister’s official residence.

Meanwhile, Therese Coffey, who has been tipped to become deputy prime minister, was seen smiling amid dozens of MPs closest to the door of No 10.

Many more Cabinet hopefuls, including James Cleverly, Ben Wallace and Jacob Rees-Mogg, were tightly packed between journalists and the security gates to the street.

Downing Street staff brought the official lectern out moments before Ms Truss made her speech.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary outside 10 Downing Street, London (Yui Mok/PA). (PA Wire)
New Prime Minister Liz Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary outside 10 Downing Street, London (Yui Mok/PA). (PA Wire)

They had earlier covered the microphone with a binbag and briefly retreated indoors during the worst of the downpour.

Wearing a navy blue blazer and matching skirt with beige shoes, Truss walked towards the door of her new residence with her husband, Hugh O’Leary, who stood behind her as she faced an umbrella-clad press pack.

Her speech, which focused on economic policy and promised action to help with the cost of energy bills, lasted around four minutes and 30 seconds – less than half the length of Mr Johnson’s 11-minute maiden speech in 2019.

Ms Truss smiled and waved with her husband as cameras flashed and Conservative MPs filled the street with applause, before entering the door to No 10 as Prime Minister for the first time.