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Liz Truss vows to 'ride out the storm' in first address to nation as PM

Sky News logo Sky News 06/09/2022 Jennifer Scott, political reporter

Liz Truss has said the country "can ride out the storm" of the cost of living crisis as she delivered her first address to the nation as prime minister.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2022. © PA New Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2022.

Speaking outside the famous black door of Number 10, Ms Truss said: "As strong as the storm may be, I know the British people are stronger.

"Our people have shown grit, courage and determination, time and time again."

Rain-delayed Truss outlines three priorities as PM - as she selects her cabinet - live politics updates

The PM outlined her three priorities in office - growing the economy through "tax cuts and reform", dealing "hands on" with the energy crisis, and improving access to the NHS.

Ms Truss made her first address in a crowded - and somewhat damp - Downing Street © Associated Press Ms Truss made her first address in a crowded - and somewhat damp - Downing Street

She said: "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."

Ms Truss won the race to become the next Conservative leader on Monday after beating her rival, former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The result meant she would also replace Boris Johnson in Number 10 after he announced his departure earlier in the summer.

Both the outgoing and incoming leaders headed to Balmoral in Scotland this morning to meet the Queen, with Mr Johnson offering his resignation and the monarch asking Ms Truss to form her own government.

Now she is back in Downing Street, and her first ministerial appointments - as well as sackings - are beginning.

Therese Coffey was the first promotion announced, with her being appointed health secretary and deputy prime minister.

The now-former deputy and Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, has left cabinet, saying he would be "supporting the government from the backbenches."

He was followed by the now ex-Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, who promised to be "a strong, independent voice" outside of cabinet, and Steve Barclay, who wished the PM and her team "every success for the future".

Ms Truss began her speech by paying tribute to her predecessor, saying history would see Mr Johnson as a "hugely consequential prime minister".

But, in an appearance plagued by traffic and rain delays, she then moved on to lay out her vision for the country.

"Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back," she told a crowded Downing Street, full of her supporters and the British media.

"We need to build roads, homes and broadband faster. We need more investment and great jobs in every town and city across our country. We need to reduce the burden on families and help people get on in life.

"I know that we have what it takes to tackle those challenges."

When it came to more specific policies, the PM reaffirmed her promise to "take action this week" on energy bills and said she would "make sure that people can get doctors appointments and the NHS services they need".

And she also pledged to "stand up for freedom and democracy around the world" alongside Britain's allies, "recognising that we can't have security at home without having security abroad".

Ms Truss concluded her speech calling on the public not to be "daunted by the challenges we face" and promised she was "determined to deliver".

She added: "Our country was built by people who get things done. We have huge reserves of talent, of energy and determination.

"I am confident that together we can ride out the storm. We can rebuild our economy. And we can become the modern, brilliant Britain that I know we can be."

After the speech, more people began to welcome Ms Truss to her new role - including the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

He said he was looking forward to "deepening the special relationship between our countries and working in close cooperation on global challenges, including continued support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression".

Reports also suggest the two world leaders will speak over the phone later this evening.

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