It started with a question: “Which wet lettuce will last longer?”
On October 14, British tabloid the Daily Star newspaper began streaming an online feed of a lettuce to see whether the off-the-shelf leafy vegetable or Britain’s embattled Prime Minister Liz Truss’s tenure would expire first.
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The stunt was inspired by a column in The Economist which referred to the leader of the Conservative Party as an “iceberg lady” and said she had “the shelf-life of a lettuce”.
Less than a week later, Truss issued her resignation after a series of political missteps and growing opposition. She is now set to become the shortest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.
A day before Truss resigned, the leader of the opposition in the House of Lords, Baroness Smith of Basildon, also referenced the lettuce.
“How embarrassing is it when, across the world, the media picks up on The Economist editorial that says the prime minister’s likely shelf life is shorter than that of a lettuce,” he said.
More than 12,000 Twitter users on Thursday afternoon were watching the feed as Truss announced her resignation outside the prime minister’s Downing Street residence.
Moments later, as viewer numbers hit 21,000, “God Save the King” rang out as a hand reached across the table and set Truss’s photo on its back, and the caption “The lettuce has outlasted Liz Truss” appeared.
The Daily Star lettuce has come out victorious in the battle of the year – to see whether it could outlast Prime Minister Liz Truss in #LizVsLettuce
— Daily Star (@dailystar) October 20, 2022
The stunt drew attention from across the United Kingdom – and beyond:
“We now go live to 10 Downing Street.” pic.twitter.com/ZdF9UgF4KK
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) October 20, 2022
Dmitry Medvedev, former president of Russia, whose relations with the UK have increasingly become frosty following the invasion of Ukraine, was quick in poking fun at Truss.
Bye, bye @trussliz, congrats to lettuce
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) October 20, 2022
Journalist Jane Merrick tweeted: “When a lettuce outlasts a Prime Minister, we have truly reached the endive days.”
When a lettuce outlasts a Prime Minister, we have truly reached the endive days
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) October 20, 2022
Here’s a roundup of other social media reactions on Twitter:
The lettuce after outlasting Liz Truss pic.twitter.com/MIn4hqNHZR
— George Civeris (@georgeciveris) October 20, 2022
Liz Truss has resigned as the British prime minister. The lettuce wins pic.twitter.com/WkRwuFZOJ1
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) October 20, 2022
The lettuce is currently being projected onto the UK House of Commons, the Palace of Westminster, after outlasting Liz Truss. pic.twitter.com/KMUbth5PxC
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) October 20, 2022
Truss’s resignation also sparked a series of meme reactions on social media.
CyberLeader Liz Truss has been replaced by an experimental upgraded lettuce. pic.twitter.com/TNoGoCHg4f
— Cybus Industries (@CybusIndus) October 20, 2022
Virgin Liz Truss vs. Chad Lettuce pic.twitter.com/8wPSajIoFK
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) October 20, 2022
Liz Truss beaten by a lettuce pic.twitter.com/s9f78gT5yH
— BremainInSpain (@BremainInSpain) October 20, 2022
BREAKING: As Truss’s resignation triggers a fresh Tory leadership contest, guinea pigs around the world lick their lips. 🐹😋🥬❤️ #lettucewins #piggylogic #lizvslettuce #lizztruss #toryleadershipcontest #toryleadershipcontest2022v2 #guineapig #lettuce #lettucecam pic.twitter.com/r8DThUA5Ja
— HayPigs!® | Guinea Pig Circus (@haypigs) October 20, 2022
— Ordinary Magic (@OrdinaryMagic5) October 20, 2022