Liz Truss, the next prime minister of the United Kingdom, is a political chameleon who has gone from a radical who called for the abolition of the monarchy to a flag-bearer of the Euroskeptic right wing of the Conservative Party.
Truss, who was only elected to parliament in 2010, has – in a relatively short period of time – established herself as a political force of nature who pursues her agenda with relentless vigor and unequivocal enthusiasm.
But after a decades-long transformation that has seen her personal views change enormously, many will be asking what exactly Britain’s new leader stands for.
Many who have observed her over the years question whether she has any sincere beliefs at all, or if she simply endorses whatever is the most convenient at the time.
To say that Truss, 47, has been on a political journey would be an understatement. She was born in 1975 into a family that she herself has described as “to the left of Labour,” Britain’s main left-wing party. She grew up in parts of the UK that didn’t traditionally vote Conservative, moving between Scotland and the north of England.
In contrast with her privately educated cabinet colleagues, Truss went to a state school in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, and later won a place at Oxford University. There she was an active member of the Liberal Democrats, a centrist opposition party that has long been an effective opponent to the Conservatives in large parts of England.
During her time as a Liberal Democrat, Truss supported the legalization of cannabis and the abolition of the royal family – positions that are at total odds with what most would consider to be mainstream Conservatism in 2022.
“I honestly think she was playing to the gallery back then, whether she was talking about decriminalizing drugs or abolishing the monarchy,” Neil Fawcett, a Liberal Democrat councilor who campaigned with Truss in the 1990s, told CNN. “I think she is someone who plays to the gallery with whatever audience she is talking to, and I genuinely don’t know if she ever believes anything she says, then or now.”
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