The weather in London had defied all forecasts all day. From time to time clouds pushed in front of the sun, but no sign of rain. Boris Johnson, who took his leave at half past midnight local time, was able to climb dry-shod into his armored Range Rover to fly to the Queen's farewell.
Eight hours later, when his successor Liz Truss was due to take the lectern in the same place, buckets of the famous English rain were pouring down from the sky. The procession of the new Prime Minister inaugurated by the Queen in Scotland even made a loop to escape the worst of the downpour.
"We will brave the storm," declared the British Prime Minister with a suitable weather phrase when she finally stepped outside the famous black front door during a break in the rain. She spoke for less than five minutes. A sober speech without rhetorical brilliance, light years away from the brilliant style of its predecessor.
It takes sobriety to take on the gargantuan storm the 47-year-old plans to navigate her nation through. “Economy, energy, the NHS” are the three themes that Truss has prioritized.
All three areas need urgent structural reforms, which will cost many billions. In the very short term, the new prime minister wants to help consumers with skyrocketing energy costs. There is talk of the equivalent of 118 billion euros that Truss could pump into capping energy costs.
However, inflation in the UK was 10% in July and will continue to rise significantly. At the same time, the government has to pay its highest interest rate on borrowed money in a decade - all indicators that make lending huge sums of money to citizens highly problematic.
But that's not the only storm blowing in Truss' face. Inside, in the venerable halls of the House of Commons, the faction-internal adversaries are already positioning themselves. Influential and experienced ministers such as Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps loudly said goodbye to the infamous "backbenches" in Parliament on Tuesday. There, where the intrigues are spun.
The fact that ex-Prime Minister Johnson repeatedly called for unity in the party in his eloquent farewell speech was an indication that should not be misunderstood: From now on, Truss will have to constantly look around in all directions. s