Liz Truss: New UK PM rules out snap election and windfall tax on energy firms

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By Euronews  with Reuters
New UK prime minister Liz Truss
New UK prime minister Liz Truss   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

Liz Truss stood before the British parliament for the first time as the country’s prime minister on Wednesday afternoon, answering questions from both friendly and opposition lawmakers in her first Prime Minister's Questions.

In answer to questions from the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, Truss, who was formally appointed prime minister on Tuesday, said she would be announcing her plan to help people pay spiralling energy bills on Thursday.

Truss added that she was against imposing a windfall tax on energy companies to help tackle an energy price crisis while repeating that she will make sure her plan will help people and businesses.

"I am against a windfall tax. I believe it is the wrong thing to be putting companies off investing in the United Kingdom," she said.

Truss also said she would get on and "fix" the agreement with the European Union covering post-Brexit trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, saying that it was putting strain on efforts to restore Northern Ireland's assembly.

"My preference is for a negotiated solution, but it does have to deliver all of the things we set out in the Northern Ireland protocol bill, and what we cannot allow is for this situation to drift," Truss told parliament.

At the same time, she pushed back at suggestions that she should call an earlier election.

As Conservative Party leader, Truss automatically became prime minister following an internal party election, in which just 0.5% of the British adult population was able to vote, since the party has a majority in the House of Commons.

Truss said on Wednesday that the British people wanted a government to tackle problems rather than have another national election.

"What the British people want, is they want a government that is going to sort it out and that is what I am determined to do as prime minister: sort out the energy crisis, get our economy going, make sure people can get doctor's appointments, that's what I'm focused on," she said.

Earlier on Wednesday Truss held her first Cabinet meeting, after appointing a government diverse in race and gender but seemingly united in its support for the new leader’s staunchly free-market views.