Despite some hurdles, Liz Truss has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rungs of government. We take a look at her career so far as she enters into negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol
Image: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, 46, is now at the helm of the UK’s negotiations team for the Northern Ireland protocol.
She took over the position following the resignation of the previous leader, Lord Frost, last month.
Speaking about the job ahead of her, Truss said: “There is a deal to be done but it will require a pragmatic approach from the EU.”
On January 13 she is set to hold talks with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic for the first in-person meeting between the two on the matter.
Read on for a look inside the career of the minister being dubbed by some as the “new Iron Lady “.
Who is Liz Truss?
A graduate of Merton College, Oxford, Liz Truss was elected as Conservative MP for southwest Norfolk in 2010.
Born in 1975, she was named State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on September 15, 2021. Before that, she had held the position of Minister for Women and Equalities since 10 September 2019.
Prior to her career in politics, she had been a Deputy Director at the think tank Reform.
Truss married accountant Hugh O’Leary in 2000 with the pair still remaining together at the time of writing.
Liz Truss’ Affair
Truss came under fire from party activists in her future Norfolk constituency in 2009 over an affair with a married MP.
The fling with then-Tory MP Mark Field is thought to have lasted around 18 months and almost derailed the then 34-year-old’s climb to becoming the nomination for the seat.
Speaking at the time, then-Tory leader David Cameron said: “She is an excellent candidate and I very much hope she will be the candidate.”
AFP via Getty Images)
Truss quickly rose up the ranks of the Conservative party. Just two years into her parliamentary career she was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, a role she held for two years until 2014.
Not long after, she became Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which she again held for two more years until 2016.
From here she did a year as the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain before springboarding to the role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
During the leadership of Boris Johnson, her success has continued. In 2019 she was made Secretary of State for International Trade and the President of the Board of Trade, which she held until September 2021. She was also made as the Minister for Women and Equalities, a role she still fills today.
In 2015 she also undertook the role of Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
Now, with concerns about the stability of Boris Johnson’s leadership following the lockdown party scandal, her name is cropping up increasingly frequently as a future leader of the party.
The infamous cheese video
In an impassioned speech at the 2014 Conservative Party Conference, Truss gave a talk about food exports in the UK.
The bizarrely delivered speech became a viral hit after she said, amongst other things: “We import two-thirds of our cheese. That. Is. A. Disgrace.”