The Week

Leading article

Liz Truss can’t ignore the issue of NHS reform

It’s hard to think of any Prime Minister who has entered office surrounded by such low expectations. Liz Truss was backed by just over half of Conservative party members and secured barely an eighth of MPs in the first ballot. Her critics dismiss her as a lightweight, wholly unsuited to tackling the problems now facing

Portrait of the week


Kwasi Kwarteng is a politician from a different age

Liz Truss doesn’t waste energy on unnecessary emotion. At the announcement of her victory at the QE2 Centre, she ditched the convention of hugging your partner and shaking hands with the runner-up. Instead she grabbed her notes from her husband Hugh O’Leary and marched past Rishi Sunak without a second glance. No time for sentimentality!

Ancient and modern

Does Cincinnatus have anything in common with Boris?

On retiring from office, Boris Johnson described himself as a sort of Cincinnatus, returning to his plough. This famous story attracted two comments from the media, both missing the point. According to the historian Livy (c.59 bc-17 ad), when Rome’s last king, the tyrannical Tarquinius Superbus – ‘the arrogant’ – was ejected in 509 bc,


How much can Boris Johnson earn on the speaker circuit?

In they come, out they go Liz Truss is the 15th prime minister to have served under Queen Elizabeth II, and her appointment was the 15th time the Queen has overseen a change of prime minister during her reign (Winston Churchill was already PM when she became Queen but Harold Wilson served twice). It would


Letters: Why we obeyed lockdown

Why we allowed it Sir: In her article ‘Why didn’t more people resist lockdown?’ (3 September), Lionel Shriver partially answers her own question. Priti Patel told us it was our public duty to shop our neighbours if they had three friends to tea, and our previously invisible police force started to patrol parks and beaches