General election 'only way' forward after Liz Truss' resignation, says Mark Drakeford

The First Minister of Wales says the only way forward is a general election after the Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation.

Ms Truss announced she was stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party after just 44 days in office, the shortest premiership in British history.

Mark Drakeford said Ms Truss' time in office had been a "complete and utter failure of government with everyone in this country now having to pay the price."

He continued: "The complete lack of leadership is preventing decisions and actions from being taken to deal with the many challenges we are facing and help people over what is going to be a very difficult winter.

"Unfortunately, the deep and intractable divisions within the government means that any successor put forward will face the same set of challenges. A general election is now the only way to end this paralysis.”

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd, said Ms Truss had "done the right thing" by standing down.

Mr Davies continued: “People wherever they live in the UK are rightly concerned about the cost-of-living crisis.

“The new prime minister must grip this situation quickly, and provide leadership, confidence and hope to people across our nation.

“The Conservative Party must rise to this challenge, and deliver for people across Wales and the United Kingdom.”

Liz Truss made a statement to announce her resignation outside Downing Street on Thursday. Credit: PA

Plaid Cymru also called for general election, describing Truss’ resignation as a “chaotic circus” which is proof that “Westminster will never work for Wales”.

In a joint statement, leader Adam Price and Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said: “We urgently need a General Election so that the people of Wales can reject this Westminster chaos at the ballot box.

“This chaotic circus is proof once and for all that Westminster will never work for Wales.

“There is a duty now on Welsh Conservative MPs to recognise that their government’s time is up. Unless they do so, this disgraceful chaos will drag on indefinitely.”

Liz Truss said there would be a leadership election to replace her "to be delivered within the next week" after meeting with King Charles to offer her resignation.

Speaking at the lectern in Downing Street on Thursday, Ms Truss said she was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change the situation facing the UK.

She said: "We delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance.

"We set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit."

But she said the situation had prevented her from delivering on that mandate.

With her husband Hugh O’Leary alongside her, Ms Truss continued: “I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability.

“Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills.”

She said Vladimir Putin’s “illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent”.

She added the UK had been “held back for too long by low economic growth”.

The pound rallied after Ms Truss's resignation, with sterling 0.4% higher at 1.126 US dollars after her statement.

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