Merton alumna Liz Truss becomes UK prime minister

The College extends its congratulations to alumna The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP on becoming the prime minister of the United Kingdom, following her election as leader of the Conservative Party. She is the first Mertonian to have held the office.

Professor Irene Tracey CBE FMedSci, the Warden, said:

“I extend my fullest congratulations to Liz Truss and hold every hope that she will wisely and collaboratively lead our country forward through such challenging times.”

Liz Truss matriculated at Merton in 1993 to read Philosophy, Politics & Economics. After graduating from Oxford in 1996, she worked in the energy and telecommunications industries for ten years, and was then deputy director of the think tank Reform. In 2010, she was elected as MP for South West Norfolk.

Two years after entering the House of Commons, in 2012, Liz was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare; from 2014 to 2016 she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In July 2016 Liz was appointed as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, becoming the first woman to hold the latter office (discounting Eleanor of Provence who was Keeper of the Seal in 1253). She then became Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2017. She was promoted to Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade in July 2019 – again, the first woman to hold this position. In September that year she was also appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. In September 2021, Liz was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.