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Resign or be pushed? How UK's embattled Truss could leave office

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London: Britain's beleaguered Prime Minister Liz Truss looks to be doomed after only six weeks in charge, with her own MPs calling for her to quit and moves apparently afoot to remove her.


Here are the ways in which Truss could leave office, despite only succeeding Boris Johnson early last month. - Truss resigns - More than a dozen MPs from Truss's Conservative party have publicly urged her to quit in the aftermath of the dramatic U-turns on her economic agenda in recent days. Numerous others have told reporters her tenure is effectively finished, with one cabinet loyalist telling the Times that the situation was "terminal".


Following the decision last week to sack her finance minister, and Wednesday's tumultuous events that saw her interior minister resign and MPs rebel on a parliamentary vote, Truss could decide her authority has been so undermined that she must stand down. She would remain as prime minister until a successor was decided. That could mean another Tory leadership contest, less than two months after the last one formally concluded. But the party could avoid a lengthy and divisive fight by consolidating around a single replacement, who is selected in a coronation. Theresa May replaced ex-premier David Cameron in 2016 -- amid the fallout from the Brexit referendum -- after all the other contenders eventually withdrew. However, Truss has shown no sign of being willing to resign, telling parliament on Wednesday that she was "not a quitter". - No-confidence vote - Tory MPs could try to force Truss from office -- but it would require the party's ever-fractious 357 House of Commons lawmakers to approve unconventional measures. Conservative party rules prevent a new leader facing a vote of no-confidence by their colleagues in their first year, because only one contest can be held in any 12-month period. Outside of that, it normally requires 15 percent of the parliamentary party -- currently 54 MPs -- to back a leadership election.


However, the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, which sets the party's internal rules, could move to change them to allow for a no-confidence vote in Truss. Media have reported that the 54 threshold has already been breached, and that the committee is mulling changing the rules should a significant percentage of MPs call for a vote. If she loses that possible vote, Truss would no longer be Conservative party leader but would remain as prime minister until a successor was selected. The 1922 Committee would then need to agree on the rules for selecting that new leader -- who would be the party's third this year and fifth since 2016. Reports suggest Tory MPs do not want a protracted contest decided by rank and file party members, so they could attempt to rally behind a single so-called unity candidate.


But the party is deeply divided and may struggle to coalesce around a single figure. - General election - The next election in Britain is due by January 2025 at the latest, with the government able to decide if and when to trigger a contest prior to that. However, Truss's government must retain the support of a majority of MPs. Under Britain's uncodified constitution, there are thought to be three ways they can show they have lost faith, including by passing a no-confidence motion or voting down the government's budget plans. In such a scenario, the prime minister is expected either to resign or request the dissolution of parliament from the king, which if accepted, prompts a general election. The main opposition Labour party currently enjoys its highest poll leads in decades, with some surveys showing the Tories set to lose hundreds of seats. So it is seen as highly unlikely that the scores of Conservative MPs needed to vote down the government would join opposition parties in doing so.


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