Mazeltov, Prime Minister! Communal and Israeli leaders congratulate Liz Truss

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Mazeltov, Prime Minister! Communal and Israeli leaders congratulate Liz Truss

As Foreign Secretary and during the leadership contest, Truss repeatedly spoke of her admiration for UK Jewry and of her support for Israel

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Liz Truss speaks after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London (Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay)
Liz Truss speaks after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London (Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay)

Liz Truss has been confirmed as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the next UK Prime Minister.

The result of a ballot of Tory Party members was announced at a ceremony on Monday, where it was confirmed that Truss had beaten challenger Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest.

Truss got 57.4% of the vote. At 82.6%, the turnout was lower than it was in the ballot that saw Boris Johnson elected in 2019.

The Board of Deputies congratulated the new PM saying:”“We congratulate Liz Truss and wish her well in navigating the challenging circumstances facing our country.

“The Board of Deputies looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with the British Government, advocating for our community at the highest levels.”

In a statement the Jewish Leadership Council said they “look forward to working closely with her to address the issues and concerns affecting the Jewish community and our members.”

CFI’s Parliamentary Chairmen Stephen Crabb MP (Commons) and Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles (Lords), and CFI’s Honorary President, Lord Polak CBE said: “The Prime Minister has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to supporting Israel and tackling antisemitism, from challenging anti-Israel bias at the United Nations to standing side by side with Israel in the fight against terrorism. As International Trade Secretary, she visited Israel to discuss a new free trade deal and during her time as Foreign Secretary, she signed an unprecedented ten-year strategic partnership with Israel.

“We look forward to working with Prime Minister Liz Truss and her new Government to take the ever-growing UK-Israel relationship from strength to strength”.

During the campaign both Truss and Sunak repeatedly praised the Jewish community for their contribution to British society, and both spoke of their support for the state of Israel.

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative backbench MPs 1922 Committee, confirmed the result of vote of the lengthy leadership contest in front of party MPs at the QEII Centre in Westminster on Monday.

Truss told the audience after the announcement: “During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative.

“We need to show that we will deliver over the next two years.”

She concluded her speech with a promise to “deliver a great victory” for her party in a 2024 general election.

“We all will deliver for our country and I will make sure that we use all the fantastic talents of the Conservative Party, our brilliant Members of Parliament and peers, our fantastic councillors, our MSs, our MSPs, all of our councillors and activists and members right across our country.”

Foreign Secretary Truss will formally take over as Prime Minister from Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

During the leadership campaign Truss unveiled a pledge to Britain’s Jews in which she vowed to “eradicate the scourge of antisemitism.”

As Foreign Secretary she has repeatedly spoken of her support for Israel, saying the Jewish state is a “beacon of freedom and democracy.”

Truss has also pledged to secure a free trade deal with Israel, and has condemned the BDS movement, which she pledged to fight.

But the new PM will inherit a cost-of-living crisis, the continued aftershocks of Brexit and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Truss’s comments in support of UK Jews also attracted some criticism after she spoke of a “woke” civil service beset by “creeping antisemitism”.

Many Jewish civil servants expressed surprise at the claim.

Her earlier pledge in support of UK Jewry also praised the community for upholding family values, and for being pro-business.

Truss and former chancellor Sunak were the candidates who came top after five consecutive rounds of voting by MPs to find former PM Johnson’s successor.

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