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Liz Truss: UK's third female PM leaves office without India trade deal prize

Truss, who in her innings as foreign and trade minister batted for stronger bilateral ties with India, took charge at 10 Downing Street last month after defeating Indian-origin ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership race.

October 20, 2022 / 07:18 PM IST
File image of Liz Truss (Source: Reuters)

File image of Liz Truss (Source: Reuters)

Britain's third female Prime Minister, Liz Truss, is out of office on Thursday after one of the shortest tenures at 10 Downing Street in London and without a cherished India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) under her belt as a Brexit prize.

Truss, who until Wednesday insisted in Parliament that she was a "fighter and not a quitter", resigned after just six weeks after her position became untenable after a series of policy U-turns, Cabinet upheavals and an open revolt against her ability to lead a deeply divided Conservative Party. Truss, who in her innings as foreign and trade minister batted for stronger bilateral ties with India, took charge at 10 Downing Street last month after defeating Indian-origin ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership race.

The 47-year-old was faced with one of the toughest in-trays in the top job as a result of the spiralling cost-of-living crisis in the country, which rivalled any of the issues faced by her women predecessors in office, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. She also had to contend with a fractious party that gave her a smaller margin of victory at 57 to 43 per cent than most recently elected Tory party leaders.

On the India front, the former International Trade Secretary who signed off on the India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) for the Boris Johnson led government in May last year was determined to pursue the ongoing FTA negotiations towards a year-end deadline as a major post-Brexit achievement for the UK. She has described India as a "big, major opportunity" and believes the UK and India are "in a sweet spot of the trade dynamics that are building up."