Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Liz Truss Resigns U.K. Premiership; Interview with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Truss Resignation; Boris Johnson Allies Believe He'll Stand Again as U.K. Prime Minister. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 20, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson, we begin with a stunning announcement from the U.K. After less than two months in office,
Liz Truss is resigning as Britain's prime minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, OUTGOING U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were
worried about how to pay their bills. Putin's illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent. And our country had been
held back for too long by low economic growth.
I was elected by the Conservative party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance. And we set out
a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.
I recognize, though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to
His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.
This morning I met the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We have agreed there will be a leadership election to be completed in the next
week. This will ensure we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country's economic stability and national security.
I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Liz Truss is the shortest serving prime minister in British history. She announced she was stepping down less than two hours
ago, shortly after crisis talks on Downing Street.
Her 45 days in Number 10 unleashed a run on the pound and intervention from the Bank of England and chaos across the ruling Conservative priority. Our
team covering all the angles, let's kick you off to Christiane Amanpour, who's working the story from our London newsroom.
Farcical is the word that comes to mind, Christiane.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, farcical, yes, but, unfortunately, on the back of the British people, who
are suffering a huge pain, you know, in their pocketbook, as they say in America. The cost of living, with this whole mini-budget -- that is what
On February 23rd, it was a Friday; her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, who she fired after he did a U-turn, delivered a Liz Truss-Kwasi Kwarteng quote-
That we now know had not gone through any of the stress tests with the data, independent statistics, bureaus or the people who are meant to look
at these plans in order to say whether they meet the test of credibility and actual possibility.
These two did it alone. It just completely sowed chaos in the markets around the world and around this country. So now, after the drip, drip,
it's almost like a cascade of criticism, U-turns, new chancellors, different promises, backtracking, forward tracking -- just a whole lot,
just became too. Much and it all transpired in Parliament last night when there was this allegation of manhandling, by whips to get reluctant Tory
MPs into the house to vote for one of the bills that she was backing.
That then turned into a confidence vote; even yesterday the prime minister was saying and her people were saying that she would lead the party into
the next election, which, under the rules, is not -- is not for a couple of years.
So that became untenable, her own party started briefing against her, more and more people started putting in letters for her resignation. That is
indeed what happened just a couple of hours ago.
The next bit is even less obvious what's going to happen. Because she has said that with one week there will be an election within, I guess, the
leadership like the last time, to set the new party leader and prime minister. But the last time it was a two-month process. Now they're saying
it's a one-week process.
AMANPOUR: So we just don't know the details of how that's going to work out and which amongst these equals can actually have the credibility to
actually, in the real world, exert some stability, which already people, like the French president, calling from Macron's comment, "We wish for
stability in the U.K., as soon as possible."
ANDERSON: She was elected, as she herself pointed out, in her resignation speech just a couple hours ago, by the Conservative Party, not by the
British public. And many believe the only thing other than a general election at this point is undemocratic, which may be true.
But a general election is not the process in the U.K. The process is that those who chose Truss to take over from Boris Johnson will choose the next
leader of the party. Now the talk is that the call for her successor will take place by October 28th, she said within a week.
Do we know who the current favorite to take over the party leadership at this point and therefore to become the British prime minister will be?
AMANPOUR: Not really. I mean a lot of names have been thrown out there, not least Rishi Sunak, the previous chancellor, who ran against her, as you
know, for this leadership.
But many talking about potentially a panel of judges to run the country, people who can work together, perhaps try to, quote-unquote be the adults
in the room and lead the country.
But again, you know, who knows what's going to happen. We have heard the leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, already say that the country has
had enough in his words, of 12 years of revolving door Tory chaos. And what people need is some stability and certainty.
Again, Becky, you know, this has been portrayed and framed by the Tory Party as whether their leader can hang on as prime minister as well as
their party can hang on in a credible way, rather than about how it's affecting people, ordinary people, who are hurting very, very badly and
very suddenly after that mini-budget.
They were already facing inflation, cost of living. Obviously the Putin- inspired -- the energy crisis, the fallout from two years of COVID-19, the austerity that now looks like it's going to be coming into place to fill a
massive multibillion pound budget hole.
You know, the people are hurting. We've seen polls from the people of the U.K., including Conservatives, where the majority says there needs to be --
the Conservatives don't have faith in her -- but the majority of people in this country say there should be an election.
And so far, that does not seem to be in the offing at this. Moment but we now know things change, as you know, hour by hour, in this crisis.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Food prices, pushing U.K. inflation to a 10-year high yesterday, as you rightly point. Out the country needs a candidate who
can unify this party but more importantly, that the country can trust at this point.
Christiane, thank you. I know that you are standing by for an interview with Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, Labour Party member, so we will let you
go for that and bring you back when you have that interview.
Let's bring in Quentin Peel, a journalist who has covered British politics for decades. He's an associate fellow at Chatham House.
Humiliation does not come greater than this, does it, 45 days in the job, give or take?
She is the shortest serving prime minister ever. And there will be questions asked as to whether she ever had the capacity to serve as prime
Quentin, did she?
QUENTIN PEEL, CHATHAM HOUSE: I suspect not. I think she was a bad choice from the start. She demonstrated that she had real trouble with
communications and also, conceptually, she allowed this disastrous mini budget to be tabled, which immediately ran into a total backlash from the
Which is where the whole thing started to come apart. But absolutely clearly, she failed to get the backing of her own Conservative Party. So
the constitutional crisis we are in -- and it is nothing short of a constitutional crisis -- is that the Conservative Party do not look
inclined to give up power and yet look incapable of exercising power.
So it is a real dilemma.
ANDERSON: Two prime ministers, four finance ministers and two monarchs, my daughter is not yet six months old and that is what she has had to say, as
a British citizen today.
ANDERSON: A general election is not in the interest of the ruling Conservative Party. Let's remind ourselves what a landslide victory at the
back end of 2019, many will say that it is not democratic to have anything but a general election at this point.
What is the betting?
I mean there is a process. The process is an online poll, however they want to run this, the Conservative Party. Within one week they say there will be
a new leader of the party. They will not want a general election. Some will say it's not in the interest of the Labour Party, either.
Who wants to touch this hot mess at this point?
What is your best guess as to what happens next?
PEEL: I think at this precise moment it does look as if the Conservative Party will do almost anything to hang on in there. But as you say, there is
a real backlash growing. It is overwhelmingly clear that ordinary people want a general election.
They can see that this Conservative Party is incapable of choosing a leader who enjoys the support of the party, let alone the country. Labour say they
want a general election. But after all, it is a moment of deep economic crisis and social crisis in the country.
It will be very uncomfortable. In an ideal world, perhaps, you might have a government of national unity, forcing the parties to come together and join
in office. But there is no obvious way that can be done. So we need to invent new constitutional rules at the moment.
ANDERSON: Yes. I mean, it is the short term fix for the U.K.'s mounting crises that people are concerned about. I mean not all of those issues are
uniquely British, it has to be said. There is a worrying cost of living crisis across Europe and in other parts of the world.
Food prices are high. There is an energy crisis, energy crises are on a clip at the moment. But this is particularly worrying for the U.K., given
what it is going through. I have to ask you, you have been around the block. You have seen parties come and go, you have seen leaders come and
What has happened to leadership?
PEEL: Well, I fear that it has actually been drastically undermined. I would really public the biggest blame of that on Boris Johnson. He was the
man who actually sailed into power with a big majority and proceeded to actually make the office of prime minister look rather ridiculous.
He did not treat it seriously. He appeared to be misleading Parliament about what he had done. And I think that what we have seen over the years,
which is a growing mistrust of politicians, really came to a head with Boris Johnson.
The Tories were desperate. And in their desperation, they chose Liz Truss. And she has simply not been up to the task. They have not come up with a
leader who would enjoy genuine, popular support.
ANDERSON: I mean, there was some value, supporters will, I am sure, still suggest in her growth first plan. This is a post Brexit economy. It seems
what she was trying to do was put distance between Boris Johnson, who was taking Britain out of Europe, and her leadership, which was all about the
post Brexit economic story for Britain going forward.
And there is some value in talking about a growth first economic picture. She sort of -- she mirrored herself on Margaret Thatcher to a certain
extent. Much of what we heard from her had sort of Thatcherite clothing to it.
Except Margaret Thatcher ruled in the early 1980s. This is a very different era.
What does the next leader, whoever that is and from whatever party that might be, what does the next leader need to do first?
PEEL: Win credibility and show that they are trustworthy. Answer, I think, the real concerns of the British population, which, as you say, is
absolutely clearly the cost of living crisis, inflation and, at the same time, this war in Ukraine, that they cannot afford to walk away from.
And at the same, time the post COVID reality. You mentioned Brexit and post Brexit a couple of times. The truth is, I think that the nightmare of
Brexit, which was a disastrously wrongheaded decision and has really damaged the country and divided the country very bitterly.
PEEL: That needs to be resolved. And nobody has quite got the courage to do it. Neither the Labour Party nor the Conservative Party feel comfortable
with this post Brexit world, where we walked away from the European Union because, don't let's forget.
They walked away, saying things like we have had enough of experts. We want to be back in control. We don't trust that European bureaucracy. All of
those things have proved to be wrongheaded.
We're not in control, we need to listen to experts and we need to work closely with our European partners. So somehow, somebody has got to have
the courage to actually at least retreat from the hard Brexit that we are in.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Quentin, as always, a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
We will take a very short break. You are watching breaking news here on CNN. A disastrous six weeks in office are nearly at an end. Liz Truss, the
British prime minister, is resigning her position, less than two months into her post. Britain will have another leader in the next, we are
guessing, a week or so. More, after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN.
More now on what has been a stunning bombshell announcement from 10 Downing Street. Liz Truss is resigning as Britain's prime minister. Many of you may
not even be familiar with her name or, perhaps understandably so, she will become the shortest serving British prime minister in British history, just
45 days and counting.
She says she came into office at a time of great economic and international instability, set out a vision for a low tax-high growth economy but could
not deliver the mandate on which she was elected by the Conservative Party.
She will remain in office until a successor is chosen. Scott McLean is outside 10 Downing Street, Bianca Nobilo is outside Parliament.
Let me start with you, Bianca, because you've been working your sources. Let's just get this clear.
What are you being told about what led up to this resignation, this 90- second speech made by Liz Truss outside Downing Street, about 2.5 hours ago?
What happens next, crucially?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: So supporters and critics, of Liz Truss, will usually admit that she is very stubborn. So there were
question marks over what it would take to try and encourage her to resign if the political reality meant that she didn't have a mandate, she couldn't
get legislation through and she couldn't command the confidence of her party.
NOBILO: The option we have seemed to have seen transpire, today is that famous men and, in this case, one lady in gray suits option, which is when
party grandees, influential people in the party, close confidants of the PM herself went to her and had discussions about the fact that it was not
tenable for her to continue.
That's because this morning of the backbench committee who set the rules on Conservative leadership contests to oust the PM went to visit her inside
Downing Street at the prime minister's behest we understand to try and, quote, take the temperature of things.
I think it's blindingly obvious to everybody that the pressure cooker was boiling at that point. That was followed then by the party chairman, so
another influential person when it comes to the, rules.
And Therese Coffee (ph), who is a close confidant of the prime minister, both deputy prime minister and health secretary.
It was after those meetings that the prime minister suddenly announced the statement that came from Downing Street and she gave this very rapid -- and
understandably so; she doesn't have much of a legacy -- declaration that she was resigning because she did have the mandate to continue.
In terms of what happens now, the reason I just mentioned the gentleman that have stewardship over the, rules is because we don't really know
One of the things that was keeping Liz Truss in power, was the fact that the process to, A, oust her and, B, replace her was unclear. We understand
that that entire process will be wrapped up within one week. So we will have a new candidate to become prime minister by Friday, the 28th of
ANDERSON: Bianca is outside the Houses of Parliament.
Scott, I'm going to bring in shortly but I want to get back to CNN's Christiane, who has London's mayor.
AMANPOUR: Well, yes, Becky, and not just London's mayor but a key Labour Party official. And he's actually joining us from a conference of world
mayors, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sadiq Khan, welcome to the program. We were going to talk to you and we will ask, of course, about the significance of the climate conference you
But your leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for a general election. I just want to get your reaction to what has just happened here, yet another
prime minister, a Tory prime minister, has stepped down.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, I'm not somebody who's easily surprised or easily shocked. But I'm surprised and shocked. Just a few weeks after
Liz Truss became the Conservative leader and the British prime minister, we have the chaos we have seen over the last few days and weeks, leading to
her resigning today.
Keir Starmer is absolutely right. What we don't want is yet another internal Conservative leadership contest with a another Conservative leader
becoming the U.K. prime minister -- more continuity austerity policies.
What we need, is for Liz Truss or whoever Conservative members choose to be the next leader, to give the British public the opportunity of voting for a
fresh start. If the direction was called, campaigning for it would be incredibly hard for the British public to vote for Keir Starmer and the
Labour Party because we have some of the responses to the big challenges our country faces.
I'll tell you this, Christiane, Ben Ganzares (ph), with some of the leading mayors from cities across the globe, think of any major city across the
globe, the mayors are here and we are a laughing stock. Our reputation has been diminished every minute Liz Truss has stayed in office.
People here this morning have been asking me, what is going on in your country?
On the one hand, you're showing global leadership for London; on the other hand, your country is a laughing stock. From the global south, listen, we
used to look on the U.K. as providing certainty and calm. You've got the mother of all parliaments. We look to you for moral leadership and we are a
AMANPOUR: You know, you said it before I was going to ask you. One of the things that really did stand in Britain's favor for so many decades and
centuries was its very powerful position on the global stage.
So what do you think -- in particular, you are there, at a world mayors' conference, about the environment and how best to push through climate
change laws, to save basically humanity and the planet.
I just want to ask, you because you know that the crisis happened in Parliament last, night over a fracking bill. And this Liz Truss-led
government and her ministers, have been very unfriendly to the idea of climate regulation and climate policy.
KHAN: What we know, is Liz Truss was selected and chosen by a very small number of British people, Conservative members. We also know that her
campaign was supported, by donors who have a vested interest in fossil fuels.
KHAN: Whether it's fracking, whether it's petrol, whether it's gas, so it's not surprising, when she became prime minister, she was espousing
policies incredibly unpopular with the British public; incredibly damaging to the environment but very convenient for her. Supporters
And what you saw yesterday wasn't simply a rejection of her views to accelerate fracking, which could cause earthquakes in our city, but also
the disunity in the Conservative Party.
Look, climate change is happening. We saw it this summer in London, temperatures in Exeter 40 degrees Celsius. We have seen in China the
hottest summer since records began.
We've seen flash flooding across the globe and in Pakistan, we saw flooding leading to 33 million people being displaced. We've got a choice, which is
to kick the can down the road, to set targets on 2050 or 2065 or to turn this crisis into an opportunity to have another prime minister,
Conservative prime minister but a far better one than the one that has resigned today.
Winston Churchill who said, never waste a crisis. What we have done as mayors and leaders from across the globe, today we've announced we will be
creating with businesses, 50 million green good jobs by 2030.
Tomorrow we will be announcing policies where we get billions of pounds of support to the global south, who are least responsible for causing the
crisis that we have now with climate change but suffer the worst consequences.
And we have got to give them support in relation to loss and damage but also to address these issues.
AMANPOUR: And, you know, you said and correctly, that is a huge issue for the British public and publics all around the world, the climate issue. As
we've said, your leader plus the Scottish first minister, plus the leader of the Liberal Democrats, have all called for a general election.
No more internal party selections that are increasingly being called an undemocratic way to govern at this particular time.
But what -- if you imagine there was a general election, what would a Labour government. Do?
You've got billions and billions of dollar hole in the national budget because of all of this. You do have external factors, like the inflation,
like the Ukraine war that has jacked up the energy and cost of living crisis.
Is this something that a Labour government would welcome the opportunity to be in power at this particular time?
KHAN: Well, those of your viewers watching from outside the U.K. may not realize that we have a parliamentary democracy. So it is possible between
general elections for the incumbent party to change its leader and not need to call a general election.
Famously, of course, we know Harold Wilson, Jim Callahan, Margaret Thatcher, to John Major, Tony Blair to Gordon Brown, Theresa May to Boris
Johnson. But never have we had two leaders change in between general election.
That's why it's so important in Britain, for the next Conservative leader to call a general election, because our constitution has never had
experience of successive change of leaders without a general election.
The second point to make is what do people want?
Businesses, families, the markets, they want certainty. They want calm. They want leadership which have a clear plan. The Labour Party with Keir
Starmer as the leader, Rachel Reeves as the shadow chancellor, showed that the Labour Party conference, our convention, how we could have a
combination of policies that could both economic competence but also social justice.
Actually, what this government needs is to -- because they are tired, they've run out of steam, they've run out of energy, they've run out of
road, is to make way for a general election to give the British public a chance of a fresh start.
What Keir and Rachel have done with the shadow cabinet is firstly, transform the Labour Party. So we show them a different party to the one
that got the worst results since the 1930s, in 2019.
Secondly, we've exposed the limitations of this government by being an effective opposition party. But thirdly and as importantly, we have set out
a positive vision for our country, to have a green future created, well paid jobs going for British energy, for British people, raising sustainable
energy to make sure we create good well paid, jobs living wage jobs going forward, to build more homes.
Affordable homes that are energy efficient, that save energy bills, but address the cost of living crisis. By working with the private sector to
create wealth and prosperity, the Labour Party is now ready to be the next government. And that's why it's incredibly important for the British public
to begin with a chance to vote for. Them
AMANPOUR: And very finally, about the region where you find yourself, very close by in Brazil, you've got an election campaign.
AMANPOUR: And it's now much more close between Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva than it was thought. Bolsonaro has a record of really being anti climate
change legislation and actions, not to mention the possibility of questioning an election that he might lose, despite the polls closing as I
What are your fellow mayors saying about democracy and environment in Latin America; in particular, Brazil?
KHAN: In the last 10 years across the globe, we have seen the rise of nativist, populist movements, so right wing extreme politicians playing on
people's fears, winning elections, from Poland, to Hungary, from America to Brazil.
But what we've seen in recent past is progressive politicians by addressing people's failures, winning again from Australia to USA, France -- Macron
holding back the far-right. We saw what happened in relation to other parts of the, world.
I'm hoping this Saturday that the Brazilian people, you know, choose a progressive future, not somebody who is deforesting more of Brazil, not
somebody who plays on people's fears in relation to the. Other, not somebody who appeared to be COVID denialist and did not address some of the
big challenges that we face.
Many people I speak to, whether it's mayors, business people, Latin American leaders, understand the challenges people face. I've been hearing
stories about hyperinflation and real concerns about the future.
I'm hoping, though, as a progressive, I know it's unwise to get involved in other people's politics but I'm hoping obviously that it wins.
AMANPOUR: Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, thank you for joining us.
And, Becky, back to you. You heard loud and clear why a very prominent Labour politician believes that now is the time for every issue, including
the environment, to have a general election here. And Labour, of course, he would say, can meet the burdens of that kind of leadership at this time.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. We will see. Christiane, thank you.
We are taking a short break at this point, back after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. We are broadcasting from Abu Dhabi where it's half past six. But the
breaking news is from London this hour. For the second time this year, a British prime minister is resigning.
ANDERSON: Earlier this morning, Liz Truss announced she will bow out as the Conservative Party leader, just two months into the job.
This after her political capital all but dissolved over the short 45 days she has been in office. She came into the job pledging to strengthen the
country's troubled economy. She now says, despite her best intentions, there is no path forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUSS: I recognize, though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore
spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The prime minister says she will stay on until a successor is elected; she says that will be within a week. Let's have a look and see how
investors are treating this news.
The FTSE 100 stock index most closely following the U.K., up about a quarter of 1 percent and the U.K. pound up about 1 percent. Look, the
market absolutely hates uncertainty. They hate volatility. In some ways, the resignation -- but you would expect the argument to be that causes more
I think it was the mess that Truss' government had gotten the country into that is the problem for these markets. Therefore, you see the pound
actually coming back off the back of this, strengthening somewhat. Let's bring in our Richard Quest, on assignment in Istanbul, Turkiye. But with us
understandably, on what is an important day.
Anna Stewart is in London, Scott McLean also with us from Downing Street.
Richard, I want to start with you, Richard. Liz Truss, whose name might not even be familiar to many people around the world, only in office, for a
couple of months, she said she came into office at a time of great economic and international instability.
She said she set out a vision for a low tax-high growth economy but could not deliver the mandate on which she was elected by the Conservative Party.
She couldn't deliver -- those were her words. She could not deliver it, Richard, because it did not make financial sense, despite there being some
value in its vision.
What has happened?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Its goal was admirable, Becky, growth. Growth at a time of slowing economies and recessions. And every other government is
doing something similar. But most governments are doing targeted support. They are doing limited growth.
What she planned was a massive unfunded, uncosted plan that was going to create a massive hole in the British government's accounts. And she had no
plan to fill that hole. And that was the problem.
This was the irresponsibility of not discussing it with cabinet, not discussing it with the Office of Budget Responsibility, not discussing it
with senior colleagues. They just did it.
And then having made the mistake, they brazened it out. And the markets -- look, people will say the bond market did her in, the financial world did
No, the financial world gave an honest assessment of the longterm costs to the British public of this policy. Becky, do not forget, many of my
colleagues, I think one of them sitting next to me in the little window, who will come up, will face an increase in mortgage over the course of the
year, as fixed term mortgages come off of their fixes.
They will have to reschedule entire mortgage rates. It will cost people billions.
ANDERSON: I think you might be talking about you, Anna.
Perhaps he's talking about Scott. Both of you live in the U.K., I'm not sure what your mortgage status is.
But I have just seen a breaking news alert, which suggests housing sales have slumped by some 23 percent in the U.K. I mean this is significant.
What is going on at present, significantly hurting the housing market.
And that is the worst number since something like 2007, just before the financial meltdown. And Richard is making some very good points here.
The question is, have you spoken to your sources in the investment world?
What is a short term fix at this point?
I mean, as we say, we are marking that; the caveat is these markets are sort of holding relatively steady at present, sort of waiting for some
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Waiting for direction, looking at the pound against the dollar today, it's now above $1.30 level, we saw that on
Monday. I think this is a really important part of the story.
STEWART: We saw this on Monday, when Jeremy Hunt, the latest of the chancellors we've had, essentially tore apart the mini budget, reversed on
most of the proposals. And that is what markets wanted to see.
And we have seen the pound rise considerably in the last hour. So actually, I think the prime minister resigned more than one hour ago. I think that's
because Jeremy Hunt said he would not be running for prime minister.
That is really interesting. He will not be running as leader of the party; he has run many times before. I think that is what markets want to see.
Hopefully that means he will remain a chancellor and we will have some sort of stability and continuity here.
Yes, the pound is still weak against the dollar, mortgage rates have not recovered from what has been a very chaotic few weeks. Bond deals are down,
where they were incredibly high a few weeks ago.
As Richard said, in many ways, this was a market story. When the mini- budget was first announced, we saw financial chaos, frankly. The Bank of England had to intervene. We see some easing of that.
But Becky, I do question whether or not investors, the public, will have confidence in this government, given the public have not had a vote on the
current prime minister and they currently will not have a vote on the next prime minister.
That will be decided by Conservative MPs. So confidence is in short supply here in the U.K. And as Richard says, just anecdotally, being a Brit, I
came out to Dubai last week. My pound did not go very far.
As Richard mentioned, I do have to renegotiate my mortgage, it will cost me thousands of pounds more. And people's home sales are all falling through,
in terms of my friends and colleagues. So this has been something we have all really felt here in the U.K.
ANDERSON: Anything other than a general election at this stage, many people will suggest, is undemocratic. And, there is some truth in that, if
you look at the bold fact. But the point is, that is not how the U.K. system works. There is a process.
The process is that they will now be a ballot, it seems, a poll for a new leader of the Conservative Party. And it is that party, at present which
leads as a majority in Parliament and therefore that leader of the Conservative Party will be the next British prime minister.
So that begs the question, who might that be, Scott?
At this point, whose name or which names are being thrown around for her replacement?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it will be a pretty quick process to find this new person. There are some allies of the previous
prime minister, Boris Johnson, who think he might actually throw his name into the ring.
That seems quite remarkable, because he only left office seven weeks ago or so after his own series of scandals. For him to be able to come back that
quickly after something like that would seem absolutely remarkable. And perhaps not what Conservatives are thinking is the best solution right now.
Certainly, in the broader public, not the best solution, considering Boris Johnson's popularity ratings were quite low on his way out of office. And
obviously, time did help heal some of those things, perhaps not as quickly as just six weeks.
Obviously, many competitors from the leadership race, those names are starting to come up: Penny Mordaunt, who just narrowly got beat by Liz
Truss; and then Rishi Sunak, the most popular choice among MPs.
But not all of that popular amongst the party members. Becky, perhaps Rishi Sunak will get a second life, because all of the things he seemed to
predict about Liz Truss' policies, the tax cuts would make inflation worse and make the economic situation worse, seemed to come true.
Now a lot of Rishi Sunak's policies that he campaigned on are now attempted to be implemented by the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.
So it will be absolutely fascinating to see how all of this plays out. Graham Brady, quickly, the chair of the 1922 committee, he says his
expectation is that party members will get a chance to have their vote, have their votes passed.
So how exactly will this work precisely, still a pretty open question.
ANDERSON: Listen, we are going to take a break. Good to have you all, thank you very much, indeed.
The time here is 45 minutes past the hour of 6 in the evening, watching this story unfold. From Abu Dhabi in the UAE, stick with us.
ANDERSON: Well, reaction now coming into that dramatic announcement a short time ago, from 10 Downing Street. Liz Truss says she is stepping down
as Britain's prime minister after only 45 days in office.
The U.K.'s main opposition, the Labour Party, now calling for an immediate general election. The head of the Conservative 1992 committee which
oversees Tory leadership contests says the new prime minister should be in place before the end of the month.
What it means is a new leader of the party, which, of course, will mean a new prime minister.
Sources now say Boris Johnson's allies believe that he will stand again for prime minister even though he left Number 10 in disgrace. U.S. President
Joe Biden thanked prime minister Truss.
In a statement issued after her resignation he says, "The United States and United Kingdom are strong allies and enduring friends. That fact will never
change. I thank prime minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues, including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine."
Let's bring in Freddy Gray, the deputy editor of "The Spectator" magazine.
And I guess if Liz Truss has a legacy or whether she will be remembered for anything aside being the shortest British prime minister ever, it will be
for her position on Ukraine. So let's start there.
FREDDY GRAY, "THE SPECTATOR": Well, yes. I mean, of course, she was very much following on from Boris Johnson's position on Ukraine. It is probably
the one thing the Tory policy could agree on, actually, at the moment, its commitment to supporting Ukraine.
ANDERSON: It cannot agree on much else.
So what happens next at this point?
For the benefit of our viewers, who are not as imbued in Conservative Party sort of politics and machinations as you might be, just explain what we can
expect to see next.
GRAY: Well, we can expect another Tory knife fight and we keep talking about the extraordinary times we are in, in British politics. We've been
saying extraordinary for so long now, actually those are sort of the wrong words, it's almost ordinary now to have this level of political violence
going on in Westminster.
I think all we can expect is a very, very cantankerous and vicious fight, particularly if Boris Johnson comes back, which is what people are
suggesting, now and it seems to be the case.
We can expect a very vicious fight, principally probably between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, who are mortal enemies. Sunak was the chancellor
under Boris Johnson for quite a long time; by British standards anyway. And the two men dislike each other pretty intensely.
We have two camps who dislike each other very intensely. If you want to understand what is going on in British politics under the surface of Liz
Truss' premiership, it was a struggle for the so-called Boris faction and the Rishi faction, if you would like.
ANDERSON: Boris Johnson, when you think back to what was his resignation speech and comments outside of 10 Downing Street, which has only been, well
more than two months ago, it was before the summer.
But you know, similar image to that from Liz Truss.
Many people said, was he really resigning, really giving up the leadership here?
Is that what he has really determined to do?
Was a short period in office for Liz Truss perhaps part of the Boris Johnson playbook?
GRAY: That is certainly what Dominic Cummings, his former special adviser, who also now loathes Boris Johnson, has suggested. He knew Liz Truss would
be a disaster, the human hand grenade, as she is known. He and others knew she would blow up.
I don't think anybody anticipated for it to be quite this quick. And I think Cummings thought you would need a superior Labour government before
Boris Johnson was ready to come back.
But it seems to be happening in hyper speed at the moment in British politics. And so Liz Truss blew up. The human hand grenade exploded very
quickly. And now, in a sort of mood of desperation, the party is turning back to Boris Johnson because he is at least a proven election winner.
He has some popular appeal and he did win a mandate. It is easy to forget that. He has, you know, if the Tory Party wants to install another leader
without a general election, there will be a huge pressure to now call a general election, the one person who could answer that in a way, will be
Boris Johnson, because he was the person who was elected.
We just had a strange, almost feverish nightmare period of Liz Truss in the middle.
ANDERSON: I've got to take a break. Good to have you on, sir. Your analysis and insight is hugely important so thank you very much indeed for
joining us, Freddy Gray, of "The Spectator." We are taking a very short break, Don't go away.
ANDERSON: If you are just joining us, we are following breaking news. Britain's prime minister, Liz Truss, stepping down after just six weeks in
office, rapid downfall coming off a devastating reversal of her economic plan.
She is now set to become Britain's shortest serving prime minister ever. Her decision to step aside sending her party scrambling to elect a
replacement. Sources say allies of Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, will throw his hat into that ring. Bianca Nobilo is outside
What are your sources telling you at this point?
NOBILO: I just got off the phone with Boris Johnson's dad, quite a well- known figure in British media here. He genuinely sounded uncertain and said please let me know if I find out definitively if Boris will stand. But he
thinks he's well placed to be the person to unite the party going forward.
NOBILO: And he thinks the issues facing the country are ones that he's obviously been familiar with. That's the refrain we are hearing from those
supporters of Boris Johnson's campaign back in 2019.
They think he is someone who can unite both the membership and the parliamentary party. Becky, you and I have our own thoughts and discussions
about that time period, where Boris Johnson was just mired in scandal.
And all the crises and pressure that precipitated his political downfall. So really, it is a symptom of the depths of the crisis the Conservative
Party finds itself in. It could merely be a conversation to bring back a prime minister, only ousted just a matter of months ago and was seen to
have done quite a lot of reputational damage to their own party.
I think the sense that we get this afternoon in Parliament and from Conservatives, is though most of them desperately want this to be a very
short and sweet leadership contest, that can essentially coronate a new candidate, who can bring the party together, reestablish discipline and
give them a fighting chance in the next election.
It is already starting to take on those signs of quite a fractious contest with those developing and people jostling for power, making moves behind
the scenes as they all started to declare themselves going forward in what will be a really critical 24 to 48 hours.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. We do know it will be a relatively short amount of time. Not the couple of months that it took to elect Liz Truss. We are
talking about a week or so before we find out who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party; hence, the British prime minister.
We will take a very short break at this point. Second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD after this. Bianca will be with us for that as well, so do stay with
The breaking news this hour, Liz Truss, the British prime minister, is resigning her position, just two months into the job, after her economic
plan failed, sent markets into reverse. It was unsustainable. The party has gotten rid of her.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ANDERSON: This hour, Liz Truss resigns as U.K. prime minister after just 45 days in office, becoming the shortest serving leader in British history.
I am Becky Anderson, hello, welcome back to the show.