Support our Nation today - please donate here

Truss needs to hold on until new year to avoid being shortest-serving PM

14 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Liz Truss. Photo Henry Nicholls. PA Images

Liz Truss needs to hang on as prime minister until the start of next year to avoid her premiership becoming the shortest in British history.

The person who currently holds the title is the Tory statesman George Canning, who spent 118 full days as prime minister in 1827 before dying in office from ill health.

Ms Truss would overtake this number of days on 3 January, 2023.

There have been several prime ministers who for various reasons failed to last a year in the job.

They include two Conservative PMs in the past 100 years: Andrew Bonar Law, who clocked up 211 days from 1922 to 1923 before resigning due to poor health, and Alec Douglas-Home, who managed 364 days in 1963-64 until losing a general election.

During the 18th and early 19th century it was not unusual for prime ministers to serve for only one or two years, or to do the job for a short spell on several separate occasions.

Once Liz Truss has passed the 118-day mark set by George Canning, other predecessors she can aim to overtake include the 4th Duke of Devonshire, who was PM for 225 days in 1756-57, and the 2nd Earl of Shelburne, who managed 265 days in 1782-83.

Meanwhile, Kwasi Kwarteng has narrowly avoided being the shortest serving Chancellor of the Exchequer in modern history.

Mr Kwarteng clocked up 38 full days in the role before being sacked by Liz Truss – eight more than Conservative Iain Macleod, who died in office after just 30 days in 1970.

‘Economic fantasies’

Plaid Cymru has called on Liz Truss to resign, and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for a general election.

“This economic crisis we have been facing wasn’t started by Kwasi Kwarteng alone, it was a direct consequence of Liz Truss’ economic fantasies,” Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said.

“The Conservatives have lurched from extreme to extreme over the last seven years, causing economic vandalism on a massive scale. We owe it to the households, individuals and businesses up and down Wales and the rest of the UK who have been hit hard by this crisis, to take firm action now.

“Across Wales, people are angry, fed up and worried about the future. Most of all, they are furious that Conservative MPs seem to think this is an acceptable way to conduct the government of our country in these difficult times.

“Enough is enough, Truss should call a general election. The public did not give her a mandate to pursue policies so radically different from the 2019 Conservative manifesto nor to trash our economy and cause families up and down the country hardship.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are prepared to fight a general election and play our role in removing the Conservative Party from power.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.