(September 5, 2022 / JNS) Liz Truss won the vote on Monday to become the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, a contest that also decided who will replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.
Truss, who served in Johnson’s Cabinet as foreign secretary, was the odds-on favorite. She received 57.4% of the vote among party members, while her opponent, former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, garnered 42.6%.
In a brief acceptance speech, Truss said that she would cut taxes, tackle the energy crisis and improve national health care.
The first woman from her party to serve as foreign secretary, she earned a reputation as a supporter of Israel during her tenure at the Foreign Office, which she took over last September.
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid congratulated Truss, who he described as a “great friend” of the Jewish state.
“Our nations are allies united by our commitment to freedom and a shared vision for the future. I look forward to continuing our work together to take that alliance to new heights,” he said in a statement.
Truss pledged last month to consider moving the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if she became prime minister. She made the promise in a letter written to members of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) parliamentary group.
“I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel,” Truss wrote in her letter, adding that she has had “many conversations with my good friend” (Lapid) on the topic. She vowed to “review a move to ensure we are operating on the strongest footing with Israel.”
She has also made a number of strongly worded pro-Israel statements.
In an Aug. 11 interview with Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, she promised to “eradicate the scourge of anti-Semitism” and “change woke civil-service culture that strays into anti-Semitism.”
During “Operation Breaking Dawn,” Israel’s three-day aerial offensive last month against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Truss issued a statement on Aug. 6 expressing the United Kingdom’s support for Israel and its right to self-defense, while condemning the terrorists.
In November, Truss signed a 10-year agreement with Israel to cooperate on cyber expertise, technology, trade and defense. At the time, Lapid and Truss said the two countries would “work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power.”
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