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  4. Lizz Truss becomes UK’s third woman Prime Minister, beats Rishi Sunak; here's what her victory means for India

Lizz Truss becomes UK’s third woman Prime Minister, beats Rishi Sunak; here's what her victory means for India

Liz Truss undertook a two-day trip to India in October last year. During her visit, she underscored the importance of partnership with India.

Paras Bisht Edited By: Paras Bisht @ParasBisht15 London Updated on: September 05, 2022 19:23 IST

Highlights

  • Liz Truss is known for championing deeper India-UK strategic and economic ties
  • Truss also undertook a two-day trip to India in October last year
  • She had also committed to finalize getting the India-UK FTA

Liz Truss defeated rival Rishi Sunak to become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Forty-seven-year-old will be the third female prime minister of the UK. During nearly a dozen hustings and after a six-week long head-to-head competition, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak had explained their long-term visions for Britain. Both contenders went through bouts of 12 nationwide events with the first bout in Leeds, Northern England.

PM Modi congratulates new UK Prime Minister - Liz Truss

Soon after the election results were declared, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to the microblogging site to congratulate the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. "Confident that under your leadership, the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will be further strengthened. Wish you the very best for your new role and responsibilities," said PM Modi on Twitter. 

Truss' vision for the India-UK partnership

Liz Truss undertook a two-day trip to India in October last year. During her visit, she underscored the importance of partnership with India. Truss stressed that both countries should work together on the set plans for the future.

Newly-elected Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister-designate Liz Truss is among the senior British politicians known for championing deeper India-UK strategic and economic ties, describing them as a "sweet spot" of global trade dynamics. After all, it was Truss as International Trade Secretary who signed off on the India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) for the Boris Johnson led government in May last year, which marked the starting point of the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

She made visits to India and held virtual talks with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, during which she described the country as a “big, major opportunity”. "I see the UK and India in a sweet spot of the trade dynamics that are building up," said Truss soon after signing the ETP.

On her promotion as Foreign Secretary, Truss handed over the baton at the Department for International Trade (DIT) to Anne Marie-Trevelyan, who is widely expected to continue in her role as International Trade Secretary and take forward the UK-India FTA talks. More recently on the campaign trail in her contest with former chancellor Rishi Sunak to be elected Tory leader, Truss reaffirmed that she remains “very, very committed” to strengthen bilateral ties at a hustings event of the party’s Conservative Friends of India (CFIN) diaspora group.

She also committed herself to getting the India-UK FTA done, preferably by Diwali – the deadline set by predecessor Boris Johnson – but “definitely by the end of the year”. She has repeatedly flagged enhanced defence and security cooperation with the Indo-Pacific region in order to meet her "network of liberty" goals as a counter-balance to the aggression of Russia and China.

Truss' response to global issues

As Foreign Secretary, she had been at the forefront of the UK’s response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, imposing tough sanctions and cracking down on Russian assets in the UK. 

From Energy crisis to Brexit - Truss' vision for a beleaguered nation 

Truss indicated that she will strongly push back against "identity politics of the left" as she has envisioned the legislation for single-sex spaces such as domestic violence shelters.  Sunak batted for cutting VAT to revive the country's economic situation.

Some tough measures are expected within days, with analysts expecting her to adopt some of rival Rishi Sunak’s plans of help targeted at the most vulnerable households. However, it is her pledge to reverse the former Chancellor's tax hike that would make it unlikely for the two finalists to work together in a new Cabinet.

Lizz Truss - A pan UK leader 

Born in Oxford to a maths professor father and nurse teacher mother, Truss grew up and lived in different parts of the UK, including Paisley in Scotland and Leeds, Kidderminster and London in England – something she capitalised on during the campaign as her commitment to all parts of the country if elected leader. Truss is married to accountant Hugh O'Leary with two teenage daughters.

Also Read | 'Namaste, Salaam!': Rishi Sunak greets Indian diaspora, says UK-India ties need to be more two-way

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