Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
24 October 2022

The shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history

Liz Truss takes the record from George Canning, who died in office.

By Ben Walker

Liz Truss, elected by 57 per cent of Conservative Party members, succeeded Boris Johnson as Prime Minister on 6 September. Her departure from office makes her Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister.

*48 days to date

George Canning, the previous record holder, died after 119 days in office. He was succeeded by the Viscount Goderich, who was unable to hold together the coalition government Canning had concocted and so lasted only 144 days.

Truss's premiership has been accompanied by a sense of fatality. Her first few weeks, initially occupied by the death of the Queen, were then ruined by a badly received mini-Budget. The huge tax cuts announced caused panic in the markets and a depreciation of the pound. After just 38 days, her Chancellor and close ideological ally, Kwasi Kwarteng, was forced to resign. The successor, Jeremy Hunt, spent his first working day reversing almost all of the mini-Budget. Truss clung on for a few more days, still in office but clearly no longer in power.

[See also: Rishi Sunak becomes prime minister after Penny Mordaunt withdraws]

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Why public health policy needs to refocus
The five key tech areas for the public sector in 2023
You wouldn’t give your house keys to anyone, so why do that with your computers?

Topics in this article: ,