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Stop tweeting @liztruss your congratulatory messages. That's not Britain's new PM

This is Britain's new prime minister, Liz Truss, who goes by @trussliz on Twitter. It isn't Liz Trussell, aka @LizTruss, but Trussell will play along if you mistake her for the other one.
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This is Britain's new prime minister, Liz Truss, who goes by @trussliz on Twitter. It isn't Liz Trussell, aka @LizTruss, but Trussell will play along if you mistake her for the other one.

After Liz Truss was announced as the winner of her Conservative Party's leadership vote on Monday — and officially appointed by Queen Elizabeth the following day — constituents, politicians and world leaders took to Twitter to share their reactions and messages to Britain's newest prime minister.

Some of them tried to get her attention by including the handle @LizTruss. But rather than tagging the U.K. leader, who actually uses the handle @trussliz, they reached a woman named Liz Trussell. And, to the delight of many spectators, she's having fun with it.

When one user erroneously tagged her in a tweet announcing Truss' win, Trussell replied, "Gonna be busy." On another announcing the vote tally, she commented, "Yay! Go me!!!"

Even Sweden's prime minister wasn't safe from the confusion. On Monday, her account mistakenly tagged Trussell in a congratulatory tweet (which has since been deleted and reposted with the right tag) emphasizing cooperation between the two countries.

"Looking forward to a visit soon!" Trussell responded. "Get the Meatballs ready."

NPR has reached out to Trussell for comment.

She responded to one congratulatory tweet with "Thanks Hun" and a kissy-face emoji, and another — which praised her for showing that the "best man for a job is a woman" — with "preach sister" and the raised hands emoji.

Trussell also took criticism in stride. When one user hopped on a critical thread to add that they "bet she likes cake," she responded affirmatively (the icing on top was a pink cake emoji).

Last month, when a critic tagged Trussell in a tweet slamming Truss for "refusing" to be interviewed by the BBC, her response included an emoji of a shrugging woman.

"No one asked me," she wrote.

Trussell, who appears to have returned to Twitter this spring after several years offline, has gotten mixed up with the new prime minister — who most recently served as foreign secretary — several times in recent months. Well before that, she was mistakenly tagged in a member of parliament's tweet back in 2019.

Many of the users who accidentally waded into the Truss vs. Trussell minefield in recent weeks have ended up deleting their tweets (after all, Twitter is only just now testing out an "edit" feature) and apologizing to Trussell for the confusion.

One such example is Caroline Lucas, MP and former Green Party leader, who wrote this week that she meant to direct a previous tweet about Tory leadership at Truss, not Trussell, "tho frankly she'd probably make a better job of it."

"I'm in!" Trussell commented. "Vegas for everybody!!!"

Indeed, Trussell seems to be winning over plenty of admirers, whether it's from her platform, her attentive replies, her fitting Twitter handle or simply the fact that she's not Truss.

In recent days, her fans have been rooting for her to take on the prime ministership herself — or at the very least, get some sort of reward (perhaps some Nandos sandwiches, as one suggested) for putting up with the Twitter bombardment.

One user gave Trussell a "standing ovation" and expressed her hopes that she might get "some meatballs + an invite from the Queen for tea ... for her troubles."

"@RoyalFamily I'm available tomorrow," Trussell replied.

Fans have tweeted about starting a petition to make Trussell the new PM and wishing for her to be whisked away to Downing Street and onto the cover of Vogue. At one point, she suggested her own campaign slogan: #InTrussellWeTrust.

Some have even said that the mistake should apply to real life. One jokingly suggested that if Trussell got to Balmoral before Truss did and showed her ID, the queen would have to name her prime minister instead.

"I'm on my way," Trussell responded.

Another said, "there must be a way the new Prime Minister can be appointed via Twitter and the Queen accidentally appoints [Trussell] instead." Trussell seemed on board: "Me and Queen Liz would deffo be besties."

Trussell is the latest in a long line of ordinary people to be mistaken for high-profile — and sometimes controversial — public figures because of their names and, specifically, social media usernames.

Over the years, people with similar names have spoken out about being confused for former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the late civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis. Media Matters fellow Matthew Gertz has repeatedly reminded people on Twitter that he is not Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.

And it's not the first time a case of mistaken Twitter identity has affected a British prime minister.

In 2017, then-President Donald Trump meant to tag then-PM Theresa May in a tweet but instead tagged @theresamay, a British woman in her 40s with six Twitter followers and a protected account. She later said she'd been asleep when it happened, and only found out when she was subsequently bombarded with messages and interview requests.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.