Britain’s new prime minister Liz Truss has flown overnight to the United Nations General Assembly in new York, straight from the queens funeral. The monarch’s death has so far dominated the start of the Truss premiership.
Leaders from across the world are heading to the UN headquarters in New York for an in-person general assembly after two years of virtual and hybrid summits. A number will have seen each other in London, where royalty and political powers from across the world attended to pay their respects to the late Queen.
Since the Queen’s death on the 8th September, politics has been on standby for a period of national mourning. The traditional hostilities of British politics are expected to resume today, with yesterday’s funeral marking the end of the national mourning period.
The Commons is not sitting today, but instead will sit for an additional day on Friday this week when new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng is due to make a statement on his plans around tax and spending.
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The war in Ukraine is expected to dominate Truss’s debut speech to the UN. She is likely to press for more support for Kyiv and call on nations to stop buying Russian oil and gas.
In a statement already released from Downing Street, Truss has said, “Too many lives — in Ukraine, in Europe and around the world — are being manipulated by a dependence on Russian energy”. She accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of throwing “millions of people in Europe into a colder and more difficult winter” by squeezing gas supplies.
Although the UK imports a lower proportion of its oil and gas from Russia compared to mainland Europe, it has been hit by soaring global energy prices, spurring a cost-of-living crisis that is Truss’ most pressing domestic challenge.
Truss is also scheduled to meet with Joe Biden on Wednesday. The pair were supposed to meet in Downing Street on Sunday, but it was postponed.
It is also expected that Truss will hold her first bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting with Macon will be closely watched. During the recent Conservative party leadership election, Truss said that the “jury’s out” on whether the French President is a “friend or foe”. The comment is said to have angered Macron’s team, despite insistence from Truss’ aides that it was said in jest.