Liz Truss
United Kingdom
Speaker at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2023

Born in 1975, Liz embarked on a career as an economist and accountant after graduating from Oxford and also became increasingly involved in politics, having joined the Conservative Party shortly after leaving university.

In 2012 Liz became one of the first of the 2010 intake of MPs to be promoted to ministerial office, serving initially as a junior minister at the Department for Education.

Promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2014, Liz pursued an agenda there which supported the British farming and fishing industries and promoted the export of British produce to all four corners of the globe. Between 2016 and 2017 she served as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, in which role she set about transforming prisons into places of hard work, discipline and self-improvement.

Liz was appointed to the Treasury in 2017, serving as Chief Secretary. Her duties there involved keeping a watchful eye on the public finances and driving productivity in public services.

With the UK able to dictate its own trade policy for the first time since 1972 following the UK’s exit from the European Union, in July 2019 Liz was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade. She signed dozens of key trade deals with important partners such as Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, kicked off negotiations with the US and submitted the UK’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

After being given additional responsibilities as Minister for Women and Equalities, she stood up against identity politics and promoted a Conservative approach to equality based on ‘the core principles of freedom, choice, opportunity, and individual humanity and dignity’.

In September 2021 Liz was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in which role she was able to continue to act as a cheerleader for Global Britain, improving relationships with allies around the world. She swiftly became a leading figure in the international alliance providing support to Ukraine.

Following Boris Johnson’s resignation in July 2022, Liz entered the race to become leader of the Conservative Party and succeed him as Prime Minister, winning an overwhelming mandate from Conservative Party members and the support of the majority of MPs declaring a preference during the final stage.

But the following two months were to prove both a momentous and tempestuous period: just two days after she entered Downing Street, the country was rocked by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and King Charles III acceded to the throne.

After leading the nation in mourning Her Late Majesty, Liz set about implementing her Plan for Growth, including a raft of tax cuts to kick-start economic growth and reforms to boost productivity. Regrettably these reforms did not command sufficient political and economic support. She reached the conclusion that she could not deliver the mandate on which she had been elected and stepped down.

Talks at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2023