Not even the fiercest critic of the efficacy of free market fundamentalism would have predicted that Liz Truss’ premiership was set to implode quite this quickly.
But after less than two months in office – doomed to be best known for the catastrophic ‘mini-budget – the former foreign secretary will be Britain’s shortest serving prime minister.
It is clear already who the contenders to replace her will be, with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak leading the pack of nominations at time of writing, while Boris Johnson is likely to seek to recover the office he left in disgrace mere weeks ago.
But whoever wins the next Tory leadership election, one thing is already clear. A fresh mandate must be sought from the electorate.
Pedants will not doubt already be sharpening their quills to point out we live in a representative democracy in which we don’t directly choose our prime minister.
Surely, they will argue, the party that won the last general election has a right to replace their leader as many times as they like during a parliamentary session?
On a constitutional level, they would be correct. But the manifesto that Boris Johnson stormed to victory with in 2019 is was contradicted on many a point by Truss’ direction of leadership.
Public trust in politicians is at an all time low, and reneging on manifesto pledges under new leadership without a fresh mandate will no doubt leave many voters feeling sore.
While snap elections have become too common an occurrence since Brexit – to the point of inspiring weariness among the electorate – now is the chance for a new prime minister to end the cycle of chaos.
If the 2019 election was the Brexit election, it’s about time we had a general election in the truest sense of both words. Britain has left the EU – now let us debate the full nature of our future outside the bloc.
THIS WEEK ON REDACTION
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