She returned to a sodden Downing Street from Scotland, where she was officially invited to form a new government by the Queen earlier today.

The bleak weather which greeted Ms Truss’ return served as a grim portent for the challenges ahead but she vowed: ‘I am confident that together we can ride out the storm.’

Clouds are gathering over Britain as the cost of living crisis forces families into poverty – and the forecast for the winter ahead is even worse.

Heavy showers over London played havoc with plans for the speech, with the famous Number 10 lectern even having to be hastily covered with a shabby bin bag at one stage.

Tory MPs huddled under umbrellas as they waited for her convoy to arrive from RAF Northolt and as her aides pored over the weather forecasts to decide if the speech would be possible at all.

During a break in the rain, she told the country: ‘We shouldn’t be daunted by the challenges we may face.

‘As strong as the storm may be, I know the British people are stronger.’

Ms Truss laid out her government’s three top immediate priorities: tax cuts, helping with household bills and securing the country’s energy supply.

She added: ‘Our people have shown grit, courage and determination time and time again.

‘We now face severe global headwinds caused by Russia’s appalling war in Ukraine and the aftermath of Covid-19.

New British Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers a speech outside Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The Truss era begins with a speech on the steps of Number 10 as storm clouds gather above the country (Picture: Reuters)
New British Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers a speech outside Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The new PM is faced with the daunting challenging of softening the blow of the economic hit
the UK will feel this winter (Picture: Reuters)
New British Prime Minister Liz Truss waves alongside her husband Hugh O'Leary outside Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
She walked into Downing Street with her husband Hugh O’Leary (Picture: Reuters)
The microphones are covered with a plastic bag during a rainfall outside Downing Street before an address by new British Prime Minister Liz Truss in London, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 after returning from Balmoral in Scotland where she was formally appointed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A hi-tech solution was deployed to protect the podium microphones during one downpour ahead of the speech (Picture: AP)

‘Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back.’

She promised to get the economy growing again by investing in ‘roads, homes and faster broadband’, adding: ‘I will take action this day and every day to make it happen.’

A flurry of senior cabinet appointments are expected to be confirmed in the hours ahead as she seeks to form a government to tackle a daunting set of crises facing the country, not least spiralling energy costs.

Ms Truss is looking at options to freeze the price cap ahead of expected further rises in the new year, with the reported price tag expected to end up somewhere between £90 and £130 billion.

MORE : From pork markets to Prime Minister: How Liz Truss took over the Tory party

The new PM, who first became an MP in 2010, has been in government for almost a decade but only truly came to the fore in recent months as foreign secretary.

Ms Truss won support in the Conservative Party for her tough stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has promised low tax, free market economic policies, a shift she has contrasted to the approach taken by Rishi Sunak.

She was handed an elevated position in the cabinet by Mr Johnson, the man she backed early to become leader of the Tory party during the 2019 leadership election.

Supporters of new British Prime Minister Liz Truss wait amid rainfall for her arrival at Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rain battered Downing Street but the sun briefly came out to allow the speech to happen (Picture: Reuters)
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tories. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Liz Truss had an audience with the Queen at her Balmoral estate this morning (Picture: PA)
Liz Truss blanks Rishi Sunak as she’s named Conservative party leader

She paid tribute to him in her speech, saying ‘history will see him as a hugely consequential prime minister’.

The South West Norfolk MP becomes the 56th prime minister in British history, the 15th to serve during the reign of Elizabeth II, the fourth Tory to hold the position since 2010 and the third female PM in history.

During the leadership election, some party members rewarded her for loyalty to the outgoing PM during the final days of government.

She did not join the dozens of ministers who resigned in protest over the Chris Pincher affair, which brought down his teetering administration in July.

Boris Johnson bid farewell to Number 10 this morning before flying to Balmoral for a final audience with the monarch.

He left the stage after a tumultuous three years and 44 days in office but all eyes remain on his movements in the wings as he considers his next move.

06/09/2022. London, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Boris Leaving No.10 Downing Street. 10 Downing Street. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accompanied by his wife Carrie, departs No.10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
The Boris Johnson era came to an end with a speech surrounded by loyalists and with his wife at his side in Downing Street (Picture: Downing Street)

Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech on his last day in office, outside Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

His time in Downing Street has been among the most controversial tenures of any post-war British prime minister (Picture: Downing Street)

Some have speculated he will attempt a comeback and, despite the threat of a Commons suspension and the prospect of Labour unseating him in a future election, allies have previously disclosed he intends to remain as an MP.

For the time being, Mr Johnson has urged the party to get behind Ms Truss and indicated he intends to stay out of the fray.

He used his Downing Street speech this morning to compare himself to Cincinnatus, a Roman statesman who, according to legend, returned to his farm after triumphing in battle.

He said he is like ‘one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function’, and will now be ‘gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific’.

Mr Johnson added: ‘Like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plough and I will be offering this government nothing but the most fervent support.’

But he couldn’t resist the temptation to have one final dig at the MPs he led to a crushing general election victory in 2019 before they turned on him this summer.

Mr Johnson said: ‘The baton will be handed over in what has unexpectedly turned out to be a relay race.

‘They changed the rules halfway through, but never mind that now.’