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Liz Truss Outlasted by a Lettuce: The UK Loses Another Prime Minister

Truss' successor will need to be able to outlast an onion if they're to still be in office by 2023.

Various fruits and vegetables, champagne bottles, UK flags and a digital clock
The lettuce is currently "celebrating" on YouTube.
Screenshot/CNET

It looks like 2022 will be the year of at least three prime ministers for the UK. The country's current leader, Liz Truss, tendered her resignation on Thursday, making her the shortest-serving British prime minister in history.

Truss' premiership has been a wild ride for the country. During her 44 days in office, the queen died, multiple cabinet ministers were appointed and resigned, and a mini budget announcement caused the rapid fall of the pound, leading to criticism from both President Joe Biden and the International Monetary Fund.

Sensing that Truss' days in office might be numbered, the British tabloid the Daily Star set up a livestream of a fresh lettuce on Oct. 16 to see whether Truss would still be in office by the time the lettuce fell apart. The average shelf life of a lettuce in the UK is 10 days, so while it doesn't necessarily look at its most appetizing, the lettuce has indeed outlasted Truss.

The Daily Star is treating this as a "celebration," having campaigned for Truss to resign over the past week. Meanwhile, it's milking the lettuce's moment in the limelight by putting it on Cameo, the service that allows you to buy video messages from celebrities. Given that the lettuce has only around four days left before it will need to be thrown in the bin, it seems like this side hustle will have a limited impact on the Daily Star's annual earnings. 

The lettuce also delivered a victory speech which featured numerous vegetable puns. "I came into office at a time of great e-KALE-nonomic instability, but after an unbelievable campaign I am thrilled to have been crowned victorious in these CHARD times," was just one joke-filled line.

The Conservative Party, of which Truss was leader, will now elect a new leader by Oct. 28, meaning there should be a new prime minister in place by the time of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt and the G20 Summit in Indonesia next month. They will be the third Conservative prime minister of 2022, after Truss and Boris Johnson, who Truss replaced in September.

The new prime minister will need to be able to outlast an onion (around two months) if they still want to be in office by 2023. There's a chance that this might not be possible if a general election is called in the meantime. 

Although the news is serious, the sheer shortness of Truss' time in office sparked plenty of social-media sarcasm. The website Gawker offered up a list of things that lasted longer than her 44 days in office, including Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte season (68 days) and Kim Kardashian's marriage to Chris Humphreys (72 days).

One American Twitter user wrote, "As a Yank, my thoughts are twofold:

1. Solidarity to my friends across the pond in this time of tumultuous change.

2. lol. lmao."

Apparently, the Truss resignation didn't make news in the feline world. Larry the cat who lives at the prime minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, and doesn't leave the home when the humans move out, seemed unimpressed. One news service shared a photo with this caption: "Larry, the No 10 cat, was photographed yawning after Liz Truss announced her resignation as Prime Minister."