‘Political heavyweight’ Truss tipped to take top job from Boris after ‘monster brief’

Liz Truss' allies calling for bid to take over from Prime Minister

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Last week, Lord Frost resigned from his position as Brexit Minister over “concerns about the current direction of travel”. Liz Truss was appointed British Foreign Secretary in September, and following Lord Frost’s resignation, Ms Truss has now also become the UK’s co-chair of the Partnership Council and the Joint Committee.

She will now be responsible for leading negotiations with the EU, most recently over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In addition to her duties as Foreign Secretary, and as Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss will now also head the various post-Brexit committees in London.

She will also be responsible for leading the necessary negotiations with Brussels and generally bringing about a new relationship with the European neighbours.

Loyal employees of the Foreign Office boss described the additional work as a “monster brief” for the 46-year-old.

Her increasing popularity within the Conservative Party and her new responsibilities has led Berner Zeitung, a Swiss German-language daily newspaper, to say Ms Truss has “finally become a political heavyweight in the cabinet.”

The newspaper pointed at her work to make Brexit a success, including the numerous trade deals she has orchestrated as foreign trade minister, which put her in the running for taking the top job.

The outlet writes: “Liz Truss will now also be responsible for Brexit, making her the most powerful minister.

“And unlike the prime minister, she is very popular with the party base.”

In addition, the outlet says: “Her national-conservative partisans take the fact that she is determined to make Brexit ‘a success’ at face value without further ado”.

It adds: “Many Tories like Truss’ decidedly pro-capitalist way of thinking: she is emphatically committed to the forces of the free market and to free entrepreneurship.”

Truss is one of the firm favourites, alongside Rishi Sunak, to succeed Boris Johnson if the PM is forced to resign, according to popularity polls.

The paper went on point out a similarity between the Foreign Secretary and Margaret Thatcher, the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century

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It formed a comparison between a photo of the late ‘Iron Lady’ from the 1980s, to Ms Truss being filmed, wearing a helmet, on the turret of a tank during troop exercises in Estonia.

It also noted that during her childhood, Liz Truss is said to have enthusiastically played the then Prime Minister at a school performance.

Following this, the outlet noted Ms Truss’s shift in political allegiance as she had previously backed the Remain campaign before shifting to be in support of Britain’s departure from the trade bloc.

It writes: “Since then, Liz Truss has become the darling of the Brexit hardliners.”

Questions have been raised about Mr Johnson’s longevity as PM as in recent months, the Tories have faced a wave of scrutiny following a recent sleaze scandal and claims that numerous parties were hosted or attended by ministers last year while the country was in lockdown.

Most recently, an image appeared in the Guardian showing Mr Johnson and his team sitting outside in the Downing Street garden together while the country was in lockdown.

The photo, which was reportedly taken in May 2020, shows around 17 people conversing outside in the garden.

A spokesman for Number 10 insisted the gathering was entirely within the rules, describing it as a “work meeting”.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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