Liz Truss's teenage daughters set to welcome their mum home

Departing prime minister will leave No 10 next week after new leader has been chosen

Liz Truss showed signs of relief on Thursday as she gave a hint of a smile in her resignation speech. Getty
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Liz Truss offered a wry smile as she delivered her resignation speech outside No 10 Downing Street, possibly alluding to a sense of relief after six turbulent weeks in office.

The task of running a superpower country, let alone in the midst of a cost-of-living emergency, is a monumental one for any politician.

And as any working parent will know, the act of balancing a successful career with domestic life is a skill that takes time and patience to master.

This experience would have been acute for Ms Truss during her short stay in the UK’s highest public office as both her children are in their teenage years.

Frances, 16, and Liberty, 13, are shielded from the public eye and did not pose for photographers alongside their parents upon Ms Truss’s entry into No 10 on September 6.

But the girls are said to have played behind-the-scenes roles in their mother’s campaign, helping out with social media.

“I think there’s a dawning realisation that this is real," Ms Truss told The Telegraph before she won the Tory leadership race.

“I think my daughter’s friends at school are quite amazed by what’s happening.

“My oldest daughter’s working on the digital team. She’s done a computing GCSE so she’s helping out on that. And my younger daughter was there as well, giving general political advice.”

The youngsters were said to have been excited about the prospect of their mother winning the Tory leadership race, and were planning to throw sleepover parties at No 10 for their friends.

Like most teenagers, the pair would also have been looking forward to a stay at Chequers, the Buckinghamshire mansion which every sitting prime minister is allowed to use. The 16th-century manor has an indoor swimming pool and is set in 1,500 acres of sprawling gardens.

Throughout their mother’s tenure as prime minister, the girls were understood to have remained at the family home in Greenwich, a leafy suburb in south-east London.

Ms Truss’s husband Hugh O’Leary, whom she married in 2000, was also believed to have stayed in Greenwich.

Born in Oxford in 1975 to parents she describes as “left-wing”, Ms Truss was head of the Liberal Democrat society while studying at the University of Oxford.

Despite her liberal upbringing, Ms Truss said she developed a "fascination" with Margaret Thatcher from an early age. Around the age of 8, she played the UK's first female prime minister during a mock school election. “I got no votes,” she conceded.

During her time as international trade secretary and foreign secretary in Boris Johnson's Cabinet, Ms Truss was repeatedly compared to her idol, from what she said to what she wore.

While Ms Truss will bow out of No 10 as the country's shortest-serving prime minister, she may be relieved to return to her previous life of an MP. A job for her in the Cabinet of her successor looks unlikely, given the unpopular policies she oversaw in the mini-budget, almost all of which were later reversed.

Updated: October 21, 2022, 2:58 PM
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