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HomeWorldLiz Truss becomes Britain's new prime minister

Liz Truss becomes Britain’s new prime minister

Liz Truss became U.K. prime minister on Tuesday and immediately confronted the enormous task ahead of her amid increasing pressure to curb soaring prices, ease labor unrest and fix a health care system burdened by long waiting lists and staff shortages.

At the top of her in-box is the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which threatens to push energy bills to unaffordable levels, shuttering businesses and leaving the nation’s poorest people shivering in icy homes this winter.

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Truss, who refused to spell out her energy strategy during the two-month campaign to succeed Boris Johnson, now plans to cap energy bills at a cost to taxpayers of as much as 100 billion pounds ($116 billion), British news media reported Tuesday. She is expected to unveil her plan on Thursday.

“You must know about the cost of living crisis in England, which is really quite bad at the moment,” Rebecca Macdougal, 55, who works in law enforcement, said outside the Houses of Parliament. “She’s making promises for that, as she says she’s going to deliver, deliver, deliver,” she said. “But we will see in, hopefully, the next few weeks there’ll be some announcements which will help the normal working person.”

Truss took office Tuesday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, when Queen Elizabeth II formally asked her to form a new government in a carefully choreographed ceremony dictated by centuries of tradition. Johnson, who announced his intention to step down two months ago, formally resigned during his own audience with the queen a short time earlier.

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It was the first time in the queen’s 70-year reign that the handover of power took place at Balmoral, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London.

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