Liz Truss is a British politician who held the positions of Minister for Women and Equalities since 2019 and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs since 2021. She has served as the South West Norfolk district’s Member of Parliament (MP) since 2010. Under David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson, she held a number of cabinet posts. She is a Conservative candidate for the 2022 elections for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Mary Elizabeth Truss was born on Saturday, 26 July 1975 (age 47 years; as of 2020) in Oxford, United Kingdom. Her zodiac sign is Leo. When she was four, her parents left England and moved to Scotland. Liz went to West Primary School in Paisley, Renfrewshire. Later, she attended Roundhay School in the Roundhay area of Leeds. She left for Canada and studied at Parkcrest School for a year, from 1987 to 1988. She studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Merton College in Oxford. She was president of Oxford University Liberal Democrats and a member of the National Executive Committee of Liberal Democrat Youth and Students. In 1994, she gave a speech at Liberal Democrat Federal Conference. She expressed her Republican beliefs, she stated,
I agree with Paddy Ashdown when he said, ‘Everybody in Britain should have the chance to be a somebody,’ but only one family can provide the head of state… we believe in referenda on major constitutional issues; we do not believe people should be born to rule, or that they should put up and shut up about decisions which affect their everyday lives.”
She graduated from Merton College in 1996 and in the same year, she joined the Conservative Party.
A childhood photo of Liz at the age of 12
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 60 kg
Hair Color: Extra light beige blonde
Eye Colour: Blue
Liz belongs to a Christian family in England.
Parents & Siblings
Her father, John Kenneth Truss, is a professor of pure mathematics at the University of Leeds. Her mother, Priscilla Mary Truss, is a nurse, teacher, and member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She has three younger brothers.
A childhood photo of Liz with her parents
Wife & Children
In 2000, Liz married her fellow accountant Hugh O’Leary, who is a finance director. She met him for the first time at the Conservative party Conference in 1997. They have two daughters named Liberty and Frances.
Liz with her husband, Hugh O’Leary
Reportedly, Liz Truss had an affair with former Tory MP, Mark Field. They started dating each other in 2004, which came to an in June 2005 after dating each other for 18 months. When the news of their relationship became public, Mark Field’s 12-year marriage ended in divorce; however, Liz managed to save her marriage.
Signature of Liz Truss
Liz worked for a British oil and gas company, Shell from 1996 to 2000. In 1999, while working for Shell, she qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA). In 2000, she started working for a British telecommunications company, Cable & Wireless. She was promoted to the position of economic director before she left the company in 2005. In January 2008, she was appointed as the full-time deputy director of Reform, which is a research trust. While working at Reform, she became the co-author of multiple reports including The Value of Mathematics and A New Level.
In 1998, Liz was appointed as the chairperson of the Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association and held the position for 2 years. She participated in the 1998 Greenwich London Borough Council elections for Vanbrugh Ward and Elections to Greenwich Council in Blackheath Westcombe in 2002; however, she lost in both the elections. In 2006, she was appointed as the councillor for Eltham South in Greenwich, but before the end of her term in 2010, she resigned from the position.
Candidate For Parliament Elections
In 2001, Liz fought for the Labour-held constituency of Hemsworth in West Yorkshire. Before the 2005 UK General Elections, Liz was selected to stand in the elections after replacing the parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley Sue Catling. She was listed in the Priority List of Conservative members of Parliament under David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She was selected for the South West Norfolk seat by members of the constituency Conservative Association in October 2009; she won half of the votes in the first round of elections. Later, after the revelation of Liz’s affair with Conservative MP Mark Field, some members of the constituency association opposed Truss’s selection. At a general meeting of the association’s members held three weeks later, a resolution to cancel Truss’s candidacy was put forth, but it was defeated by 132 votes to 37.
Dualling of A11 Trunk Road
Prior to the elections to the House of Commons on 6 May 2010, she fought for the issues including the retention of the RAF Tornado base at RAF Marham in her constituency. In 2011, she succeeded in persuading the government for converting A11, a major trunk road in England, into a dual carriageway. She said,
My constituents were delighted to hear in the autumn Comprehensive Spending Review that the final stretch of the A11 was to be dualled. This will have a magnificent impact on economic growth in the county and local businesses. Yet we are still to hear exactly when this major work will take place.”
Protecting Thetford Forest
In 2011, she played a crucial role in protecting Thetford Forest from any potential sell-off of Forestry Commission land by designating it as a Heritage Forest. She along with other Parliamentarians and council leaders urged Defra secretary Caroline Spelman to award the Heritage Forest status to Thetford Forest. Regarding this issue, Liz said,
I highlighted to the secretary of state that I had received a considerable amount of correspondence from constituents who are extremely concerned that the status of the forest will change. I pressed upon the Secretary of State that Thetford Forest deserves Heritage status to preserve the biodiversity and community access. The Secretary of State did say said that this is a public consultation and that the public’s views will be taken into account. I would therefore urge those who are concerned about Thetford Forest to write to DEFRA whilst this consultation is ongoing. I will continue to keep pressing the case to ensure the Secretary of State understands the views of my constituents to safeguard Thetford Forest as a Heritage Forest.”
Wrote a Paper for EPI
In march 2011, she wrote a paper for an education policy think tank, Education Policy Institute (EPI), in which she mentioned how low-income students are being kept out of top jobs and improve social mobility. In 2012, she wrote for the same think tank about the changes that should be made in the structure of the childcare market in Britain.
Liz Truss at the 2013 think tank Policy Exchange
Founded Free Enterprise Group and Wrote a Book with its members
In 2011, she founded a group along with the support of over 40 other Conservative MPs titled the Free Enterprise Group. In the same year, she co-wrote the book “After the Coalition” with the help of four other members of the book. The book is about the Conservative principles adapted to the modern world that are essential for national success. In 2012, the same 5 authors published another book titled “Britannia Unchained,” which contained the declaration that “Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world.” She published a paper in 2012 to make a policy to allow people to have tax-free and less-heavily regulated marginal employment. This policy was examined by the Treasury to elevate growth. In 2011, she became a member of the Justice Select Committee
Cover of the book ‘After The Coalition’ co-written by Liz Truss
Preventing Waste Incineration Construction at King’s Lynn
In 2013, the building of a waste incinerator at King’s Lynn was approved by a Conservative administration at Norfolk County Council, but Liz did not support it, and successfully managed the government to withdraw its grant to the county council.
In January 2013, after seeing the concerns raised by Walsoken Parish Council about the large number of crashes occurring at the Road junction of the A47, including several resulting in deaths and serious injuries, as the MP of South West Norfolk, Liz began the campaign after visiting the junction herself and successfully received the confirmation from the Department for Transport that safety improvements will be made. Due to her efforts to stop additional fatal accidents on the A47, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss was selected Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake. Liz said,
The campaign to see improvements on the A47 is still ongoing and is a combined effort of MPs, local residents and councils. I thank Brake for the award and I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport to ensure that the A47 is fit for purpose.”
Junior Minister (2012-2014)
Liz became the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education on 4 September 2012. She was held responsible for childcare and early learning, assessment, qualifications and curriculum reform, behaviour and attendance, and school food review. After observing that British pupils are way behind in mathematics than those in Asian countries, she decided to enhance British standards in maths. In 2014, she went to Shanghai, China to visit the schools and teacher-training centres to observe how local children have developed into the world’s top mathematicians. In order to increase the number of children compared to adults in a care facility and to overhaul childcare qualifications, Truss also described plans for reforming childcare in England. These changes were made in order to increase staff pay and qualifications while also expanding the availability of childcare. Organisations like the charity 4Children, the Confederation of British Industry, and the College of West Angelia appreciated the reforms proposed by Liz. Still, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg, and the charity National Day Nurseries Association were the ones who criticised the reform.
Environment Secretary (2014-2016)
On 15 July 2014, Liz was appointed as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in a cabinet reshuffle. In the same year, she came up with a plan to save traditional meadows, which consist of the most fertile land for pollinators by launching a 10-year bee and pollinator strategy to save the decreasing bee populations. She authorised the restricted temporary suspension of an EU restriction in July 2015, allowing the use of two neonicotinoid pesticides on 5% of England’s oil seed rape crop for 120 days in order to combat the cabbage stem flea beetle; in 2012, campaigners informed that pesticides were harming bees by destroying their ability to find their home. In 2014, Liz confirmed to cut a taxpayer subsidy to farmers and land owners for solar panels on agricultural land. Regarding this scheme, Liz said,
I want Britain to lead the world in food and farming and to do that we need enough productive agricultural land.”
According to her, farming and food are “hotbeds of innovation.” Production and export of cheese, pork pies, apples, and more food items were promoted by her. In 2015, she was one of the two cabinet ministers, who voted against the government’s proposal for cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging.
Justice Secretary (2016-2017)
In July 2016, Liz began to serve as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor in the first ministry of Theresa May. She was the first woman to hold either of the positions in the history of office in 1000 years. In November 2016, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve and the Criminal Bar Association criticised her for not supporting the judiciary successfully and the principle of judicial independence when three judges of the Divisional Court were attacked by politicians and The Daily Mail for ruling against the government in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the Europen Union. The former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, criticised her by saying that she did not possess the essential legal expertise that the constitution requires. However, she defended herself by saying that the judiciary was enough robust to handle the attacks of The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail. She refused that she had failed to defend the judges, and said,
An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law, vital to our constitution and freedoms. It is my duty as Lord Chancellor to defend that independence. I swore to do so under my oath of office. I take that very seriously and I will always do so.
In 2015 and 2016, prison violence incidents increased, which made Liz invest £1.3 billion in the prison service programme in November 2016 and hire 2,500 extra prison officers for strengthening the security.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2017-2019)
On 11 June 2017, Liz held the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury, which was considered a demotion by others. She developed an interest in making her online presence on Twitter and Instagram. A British daily newspaper did not like her approach and called it unorthodox which made her famous. Her tenure was referred to as Chief Secretary “exhausting” due to her challenging work schedule and regularly asking officials multiple questions. In June 2018, she gave a speech in which she alerted that raising taxes could see the Tories being “crushed” at the polls. In 2019, she revealed that she could be a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party after Theresa May. However, she elected not to stand and decided to support Boris Johnson.
International Trade Secretary (2019-2021)
After Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister, Liz was expected to advance in her position as a result of her support for Johnson’s leadership campaign, during which she provided economic policy advice and helped design initiatives to lower taxes for those making over £50,000. Therefore, she was supposed to be appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer or Business Secretary, but she was promoted to the position of Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade. She was also appointed as the Minister for Women and Equalities after the resignation of Amber Rudd. In 2019, two times Liz said that the Department for International Trade “accidentally” allowed shipping of £435,000 of radio spares and £200 air coolers to Saudi Arabia violating an order of the Court of Appeal. It was later found out that the arms sold to Saudi Arabia by the UK were used in the war in Yemen unlawful. Even after Liz’s apology to a Commons committee on arms export controls, opposition MPs were not satisfied with the apology for breaking the law and wanted her to resign from her position. In March 2020, she presented the Trade Act 2021 to the Parliament, which settled a legal framework for the UK for doing business with countries around the world. On 7 July 2020, Liz removed the ban on the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia after one year. She said,
There is not a clear risk that the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
In August 2020, Liz took the responsibility to negotiate a post-Brexit free trade agreement between England and Japan. In September 2020, both countries signed the agreement. According to Liz, the agreement would make 99% of exports to Japan tariff-free. The agreement was considered a historic moment as it was the first major business deal signed by the UK after leaving the European Union. In December 2020, in a speech on equality policy, Truss claimed that the UK placed too much emphasis on fashionable racial, sexual, and gender concerns at the expense of poverty and regional inequality. It also criticised Paul-Michel Foucault and postmodernist philosophy. She declared in her address that unconscious bias training will no longer be used by the government or civil service.
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss with Former National Security Advisor of the United States in 2019
Foreign Secretary (2021-present)
On 15 September 2021, Liz was promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs. After Margaret Beckett, Liz was the second woman to be appointed for this position. In October 2021, she called Russia to step in the Belarus-European Union border crisis, which is a migrant crisis after the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrants specifically from Iraq, Asia, and some parts of Africa and put front her wish to have a closer economic and investment relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which Saudi Arabia and Qatar are members of. In November 2021, Liz declared a 10-year-long deal along with the former Foreign Affairs minister of Israel, Yair Lapid with the goal to stop Iran from making nuclear weapons. She had a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, in Stockholm in December 2021 urging Russia to draw back from the conflict in Ukraine. In December 2021, after the resignation of Lord Frost, Liz held the position of the government’s chief negotiator with the European Union. On 30 January 2022, she appeared on BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, where she said,
We are supplying and offering extra support into our Baltic allies across the Black Sea, as well as supplying the Ukrainians with defensive weapons.”
She was mocked for this statement made by her as Baltic states are situated on or near the Baltic sea and not the Black sea, which is at a distance of 700 miles from the Baltic.
British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss with Indian Foreign Minister, Dr S Jaishankar on her visit to India in 2021
Conservative Party Leadership Election in 2022
On 10 July 2022, Liz declared to take part in the Conservative Party leadership elections and replace Boris Johnson to become the next prime Minister of England. She pledged to cut taxes from day one if chosen and would help people who are facing problems with the cost of living by taking immediate action. As part of a “long-term plan to reduce the size of the state and the tax burden,” she declared she would cancel a planned increase in Corporation Tax and reverse the recent increase in National Insurance Rates. This would be subsidized by delaying the date by which the National Debt is supposed to be paid off.
After Boris Johnson had to resign from the position of Prime Minister of the UK, Liz Truss became the frontrunner alongside former finance minister Rishi Sunak to become the Prime Minister of England. Both the candidates got into several debates opposing each other. In one such debate on a news channel, the debate moderator, Kate McCann fainted on stage due to which the debate halted, immediately.
Her Standpoint on Economics and Foreign Policy
Liz is a true believer of Economic liberalism and a supporter of free trade. In 2011, she founded the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs, which is a free-market collection of parliamentarians arguing for a more entrepreneurial economy and fewer employment laws. In 2022, she called Saudi Arabia an ally but did not approve of the country’s policies. In an interview, she said,
We have to work with all of our allies around the world including Saudi Arabia to find alternative sources. Saudi Arabia is not a global security threat in the way that Russia is and we have to work with them.”
When the interviewer said that the condition of women in Saudi Arabia is terrible and disgusting, Liz replied,
I am not condoning the policies of Saudi Arabia, what I am saying is we are in an existential threat and we need to find alternative sources of oil and gas so we are no longer dependent on Vladimir Putin and his appalling regime.”
Her Point of View on Brexit
During the Brexit referendum that took place on 23 June 2016, England being a part of the European Union, she supported her country and said,
I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where they need a visa or permit to work in Europe, or where they are hampered from growing a business because of extortionate call costs and barriers to trade. Every parent wants their children to grow up in a healthy environment with clean water, fresh air and thriving natural wonders. Being part of the EU helps protect these precious resources and spaces.”
In 2017, she revealed that she would vote for Brexit if another referendum takes place and said,
I believed there would be massive economic problems but those haven’t come to pass and I’ve also seen the opportunities.”
Her Opinion on Social and Cultural Issues
In an interview, while talking about woke aggression and cancel culture, she said,
The Conservative party should reject the zero-sum game of identity politics, we reject the illiberalism of cancel culture, and we reject the soft bigotry of low expectations that holds so many people back.”
While speaking in a meeting at a convention about her duties as a women and equalities minister, she shared that she does not agree with identity politics and said,
I don’t agree with the idea that you should have different policies for women or men. What I think is you should make sure your policies are accessible to everybody, so you should be, in the criminal justice system, making sure women are being treated fairly, gay people are being treated fairly, black people are being treated fairly.”
According to Reuters, she has always supported and voted for gay marriage and LGBTQ+ rights, but has limited trans rights. She said that transgender people should not have the right to self-identify as a different gender without medical check-ups and that only women have a cervix. Liz who earlier supported single-sex services, later, in February 2022, wrote a letter to Equalities and Human Rights in which she mentioned that government is not interested in stopping transgender people from using single-sex toilets or changing rooms. In the letter, she wrote,
The Equality Act makes it clear that providers have the right to restrict use of spaces on the basis of sex as currently takes place. The Government has no interest in changing the current situation where transgender people are able to use facilities of their chosen gender. I very much support your attempts to correct the record and know that you will be seeking to engage and reassure LGBT groups on these issues privately too.”
The letter written by Liz to Equalities and Human Rights Commission
In 2019, Liz went to Australia on a trade tour, where she clicked pictures while riding a Brompton bicycle, which is manufactured in London, and posing in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under the rain. Taking this picture and some others like it cost more than £2,500. Reportedly, she hired a personal photographer for her visit to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The photographer was paid with taxpayers’ money. Under the Freedom of Information Act, it was revealed that she also charged £1,190 for her PR-related activities. She was trolled on social media for doing personal branding on official tours.
Liz in a picture captured in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under the rain
As of July 2022, Liz Truss’ net worth was reported to be £8.4million.
- In 2022, Liz as the British Prime Ministerial candidate made a statement regarding trade agreements. The government formed by her would prioritise trade with other commonwealth countries under a ‘New Commonwealth Deal’. She stated,
As one of the largest groups of freedom-loving democracies, we must ensure there are clear benefits to remaining a member of the Commonwealth and offer nations a clear alternative to the growing malign influence from Beijing.”
- Reportedly, Liz Truss is known for strained relations with bureaucrats for which she has also earned the titles like “Miss Dynamite” and the “human hand grenade.”
- When she was a child, while living in Scotland, her parents took her to an anti-nuclear and anti-Thatcher protest. In those marches, there was a specific slogan that everyone chanted while protesting against the Tory government. Liz Truss chanted the slogan in a Scottish accent, while talking about it, she said,
I remember standing in the Paisley piazza and we were chanting that slogan and other slogans. It was in Scottish so it was ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, oot, oot, oot.’”