France: Liz Truss warns to ‘stop threatening’ UK
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Liz Truss has made it into the final two in the race to take over from Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and the UK’s next Prime Minister. The Foreign Secretary, along with contender Rishi Sunak, will now battle it out to secure the vote of wider party members. The new Prime Minister is set to be announced on September 5.
But as the contest rumbles on, barbs between candidates have become ever-more personal, with both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak pulling out of a scheduled televised debate on Tuesday after Sunday night saw things turn personal.
So who is Ms Truss? She entered Parliament in 2010 and has since seen a rapid rise through the political ranks.
Before her Foreign Secretary position, she had been Secretary of State for Justice between July 2016 and June 2017, and then Chief Secretary of the Treasury for two years.
Away from politics she has been married to Mr O’Leary since 2000, and the pair have two children together.
However, Ms Truss was caught up in a scandal in 2006 after her affair with former Tory MP Mr Field became public.
When she was just 25 years old, she made her first foray into politics by contesting Hemsworth, in West Yorkshire, and bringing down the Labour majority from 24,000 votes to less than 16,000.
The Conservative party was impressed, and to improve her chances of securing a more winnable seat in future, Mr Field, who was the Shadow Minister for London, was assigned as her political mentor.
The affair lasted about 18 months until June 2005.
News of the scandal broke in the Daily Mail in 2006 at which Mr Field’s 12-year marriage broke down and ended in divorce.
However, Ms Truss and Mr O’Leary’s relationship survived.
When asked about the affair by the Daily Mail Mr O’Leary said: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
In a 2019 interview with You Magazine, Ms Truss was also coy when asked about the tempestuous time her affair became public, however she did stress: “I am really happily married.”
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The same year she posted a picture of herself on social media with her husband captioned: “Love of my life.”
Ms Truss met Mr O’Leary at the Tory Party Conference in 1997, and they went on their first date soon afterwards.
She told You magazine: “I invited him ice skating and he sprained his ankle.”
The Foreign Secretary has previously joked that Mr O’Leary, who attended the London School of Economics, is often “on hand” to discuss complex economics.
She said: “Whenever I want a late night discussion about supply side reform or econometrics, there’s always someone on hand.”
The couple have two daughters ‒ Liberty and Frances ‒ who are understood to be around 15 and 12 respectively.
The family of four live in Downham Market, Norfolk, but split their time between there and London.
In a 2018 interview on the BBC’s Pienaar Politics, Ms Truss described her uncompromising method of restricting her daughters’ screen time ‒ by locking their phone in a box.
She said: “I’m known as the phone jailer in our household.
“I think the best method is physically locking it away.”
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