Storm clouds greet new PM Truss - Scotsman comment

The storm clouds opened almost as soon as Liz Truss was appointed Prime Minister at Balmoral yesterday.

By the time she reached London, it was a full-on torrential downpour.

Her predecessor, a man overly fond of metaphor, was no doubt secretly rubbing his hands, having helped create the perfect conditions for his successor to fail.

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Whether she does or not will be largely defined by her actions not just in the coming months, but literally the next few days.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss will on Thursday set out a plan to save households and businesses from financial ruin as a result of soaring energy bills.
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Yesterday, we urged Ms Truss to prove she can move from a campaigner to a leader.

The country is in crisis on multiple fronts and she – as Nicola Sturgeon was only too keen to point out yesterday – is the one person with her hand on the giant lever to relieve the pressure.

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The early signs around a mooted £90 billion intervention to freeze energy bills are, on the face of it, positive. It is effectively enacting bits of policy touted by the opposition and the energy companies, and flying in the face of her shortsighted “no hand outs” statement during the campaign.

The devil will be in the detail, which must come quickly and be, unlike many of the actions of her predecessor, effectively scrutinised by parliament.

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It will not in itself, however, be a silver bullet and must be accompanied by a full suite of measures in an emergency budget.

With a zombie government in place in recent months while the Conservative party ripped itself apart, opportunities to take immediate action have come and gone.

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It is now the last chance saloon with swift, decisive action required to help both households and businesses through an unprecedented situation.

The unnecessarily elongated leadership contest ensured there is no honeymoon period for PM Truss in Downing Street. What began in the heat of summer has concluded in the downpours of autumn.

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As winter bites, her premiership will be judged.

A gap in the rain was just enough for Ms Truss to deliver her first Prime Ministerial address yesterday. She can be in no doubt, however, about the gathered storms ahead.