A bin bag preserving a microphone from the rain. (Photo: BBC)
A metaphor was handed to critics of Liz Truss on a plate as the weather wreaked havoc on her first speech as prime minister.
Heavy rain forced the Number 10 lectern inside and out again before the new Tory leader addressed the nation on Tuesday.
Journalists and MPs were left in limbo as the heavens opened while Truss’s convoy drove through London towards Downing Street.
The lectern is prepared ahead of new UK prime minister Liz Truss arriving to give her first speech at Downing Street. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images)
At one point, a bin bag was draped over the podium microphone.
On the BBC News channel, Huw Edwards was padding for Britain as the plastic protection took centre stage for a full 30 seconds.
The bin bag featured above the headline “Liz Truss appointed Prime Minister”.
The bin bag outside Downing Street: greatest cameo since Alec Baldwin's "always be closing" monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross pic.twitter.com/D0VMbTydkl
— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) September 6, 2022
However, just as it looked as though Truss would be forced inside, the inclement weather subsided and the podium, which had been taken inside, was again brought back on to the street.
Of course, the Twitterati had already pounced on the symbolism. The Times writer Caitlin Moran said: “Well, there it is. The picture that will go around the world.”
Well, there it is. The picture that will go around the world. pic.twitter.com/Ysdqu6Mq9j
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) September 6, 2022
Staring at a bin bag on a lectern in the pissing rain is a very strong 2022 vibe.
— Sam Freedman (@Samfr) September 6, 2022
— Liam Thorp (@LiamThorpECHO) September 6, 2022
We will now hear from our new leader at the lectern: a bin bag pic.twitter.com/0G7QkXTLp4
— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) September 6, 2022
"It all gives the sense... that Britain is broken," says Sky News' host as Downing Street staff remove a bin bag from the top of Liz Truss' lectern and leg it inside from the downpour. pic.twitter.com/HWPLGV6LlH
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) September 6, 2022
Give it bin bag til end of season. pic.twitter.com/V4WSBqJ2lE
— Tom Peck (@tompeck) September 6, 2022
Lectern wears a bin bag. Insert your own metaphors. pic.twitter.com/uSieoYzAh2
— Kitty Donaldson (@kitty_donaldson) September 6, 2022
I for one welcome our new bin bag overlords pic.twitter.com/l1q2qH3Ru4
— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) September 6, 2022
After the lectern was eventually unsheathed, Truss gave her inaugural address as PM – chanelling Winston Churchill as she pledged to pull the UK out of the doldrums.
New prime minister Liz Truss makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street. (Photo: Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images)
Speaking as she prepared to enter Number 10 for the first time as prime minister, Truss pledged to take “action this day” to turn the country’s fortunes around.
During the second world war, Churchill famously attached red stickers with those same words to documents needing immediate attention by his staff.
Truss, who was forced to delay her arrival in Downing Street by heavy rain, said she was “honoured to take on this responsibility at a vital time for our country”.
She said: “What makes the United Kingdom great is our fundamental belief in freedom, in enterprise, and in fair play.
“Our people have shown grit, courage and determination time and time again.
“We now face severe global headwinds caused by Russia’s appalling war in Ukraine and the aftermath of Covid.
“Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back.”
The new PM added: “We will transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high-paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve.
“I will take action this day and action every day to make it happen.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.