Why British people are comparing U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss to a head of lettuce

·3 min read

The resignation of British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday after just six weeks in office had many people in the United Kingdom comparing her brief tenure at No. 10 Downing St. to the longevity of a head of lettuce.

“THE LETTUCE HAS OFFICIALLY OUTLASTED LIZ TRUSS,” the Daily Star, an entertainment-focused tabloid, declared in a tweet moments after Truss announced that she will step down. “ALL HAIL THE LETTUCE.”

The comparison of Truss’s political career to a wilting head of lettuce began earlier this month, when the Economist dubbed her “The Iceberg Lady,” predicting in an Oct. 11 editorial that the embattled prime minister had “the shelf-life of a lettuce.”

A photo illustration combining images of Liz Truss, the British flag, a stopwatch and a head of lettuce.
Liz Truss, left, and a head of lettuce. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Leon Neal/Getty Images, Getty Images (3))

“Truss has already secured her place in British political history,” the Economist wrote. “However long she now lasts in office, she is set to be remembered as the prime minister whose grip on power was the shortest.”

The Daily Star then began livestreaming a framed photograph of Truss next to a store-bought head of iceberg lettuce — shelf life of about 10 days — and posed the question: “Which wet lettuce will last longer?

The answer, it turns out, was the lettuce.

Truss’s resignation came after 44 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in U.K. history. Before Truss, the record for shortest-serving prime minister was held by George Canning, who served just 118 days before his death in office in 1827. (Canning died due to complications from pneumonia or tuberculosis.)

[What to know about Truss’s resignation and what’s next for the U.K.]

The jokes about her tenure, however, will almost certainly outlive her time as prime minister.

Shortly after her announcement, the Daily Star replaced Truss’s photograph with a bottle of champagne, disco lights and assorted produce on its livestream — all set to a reggae and dub-heavy soundtrack.

“Breaking: The lettuce will make a speech to the nation at 18:00,” read a chyron on the Star’s live broadcast, which, according to the publication, had attracted more than 400,000 viewers since its launch.

The Daily Star's livestream shortly after Truss's announcement. (The Daily Star/Twitter)
The Daily Star's livestream shortly after Truss's announcement. (The Daily Star/Twitter)

The leafy memes didn’t stop there.

“Romaine calm and carry on,” John Kruzel tweeted.

Other Twitter users were quick to point out things that lasted as long or longer than Truss’s tenure.

Among them: Illusionist David Blaine’s 2003 stunt in which he spent 44 days suspended in a glass box by the River Thames in London without food, Love Island Season 8 and, yes, that head of lettuce.