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IN LETTUCE WE TRUSS! Liz Truss resigns as PM, with LETTUCE outlasting her short-lived premiership

LIZ Truss’ premiership was beaten by a lettuce, in a damning blow to the shortest-lived Tory leader in living memory.

She lasted just 44-days in chaotic premiership dogged by U-Turns, a botched financial statement, the loss of two of her most senior Cabinet ministers and an open revolt by Tory MPs.

The Tories will now scramble to find a replacement who will become the third leader in two months with Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson as the main favourites to replace Truss.

Allies of former leader Boris Johnson pushed for him to make a comeback, while Rishi Sunak, who defeated Ms Truss among MPs in the last contest, also has supporters at Westminster.

Labour demanded a general election, while Tory leadership hopefuls were assessing their chances of taking over.

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A little over 24 hours after insisting she was “a fighter, not a quitter”, she stood at a lectern in Downing Street and said she had informed the King she was resigning as Tory leader.

She said she recognised she “cannot deliver the mandate” which Tory members gave her a little over six weeks ago when she replaced Mr Johnson.

Her announcement followed talks with the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives, Sir Graham Brady, where it became clear she could not hope to carry on.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by husband Hugh O’Leary, said a short leadership contest “will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security”.

“I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”

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Her decision to resign will trigger a scramble among Tory leadership contenders who will face a daunting task to revive the party’s fortunes.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was quick to rule himself out as he focuses on calming the financial markets, while Michael Gove will also sit out the contest.

Trade minister Sir James Duddridge, Mr Johnson’s former parliamentary aide, used the hashtag #bringbackboris on Twitter, saying: “I hope you enjoyed your holiday boss. Time to come back. Few issues at the office that need addressing.”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, viewed as a potential leadership contender after coming third among MPs in the last contest, said she would “keep calm and carry on”.

Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis has been encouraged to stand by colleagues, allies said.

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Sir Graham said the process could be concluded by October 28 so the new leader can be in place in time for a crucial financial statement on October 31 which is intended to reassure the City of London that the Government has a plan to repair the nation’s finances.

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