Lettuce outlasts UK’s Liz Truss in salad days for social media

British newspaper stunt’s tracked whether the UK’s under-fire PM could survive longer than the leafy vegetable.

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.

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 stunt drew attention from across the United Kingdom – and beyond:

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.

Journalist Jane Merrick tweeted: “When a lettuce outlasts a Prime Minister, we have truly reached the endive days.”

Here’s a roundup of other social media reactions on Twitter:

Truss’s resignation also sparked a series of meme reactions on social media.


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