Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s third prime minister this year on Tuesday, taking over for the humiliated Liz Truss after only seven weeks in office and inheriting a massive mountain of issues. Following the spectacular demise of Boris Johnson’s return campaign and Penny Mordaunt’s failure to get enough support from Conservative MPs, Mr. Sunak was elected as the new leader of the governing Conservatives on Monday. The first non-white and youngest prime leader of Britain in more than 200 years will be the 42-year-old Hindu.
The 47-year-old announced her retirement last Thursday, acknowledging that she was unable to carry out the Conservative members’ ‘mandate’. After a disastrous tax-cutting budget caused political and economic unrest, she departs office as the premier with the shortest tenure in history. Mr. Sunak promises to transform Britain’s political fortunes in the same way that he has transformed his own.
Prior to Wednesday’s ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ session in parliament, the incoming prime minister will begin selecting his top staff. On Halloween, October 31, whomever is in charge of the Treasury will present the much-awaited medium-term budgetary plans for the country. Hunt has issued a warning that ‘difficult decisions’ on public expenditure loom after virtually all of Truss’s tax cuts were reversed.
According to sources close to the former Tory leader Ken Sunak, Boris Johnson is unlikely to have a seat at the table as part of a power-sharing agreement. Senior MPs who opposed him, including Health Secretary Penny Mordaunt, must be considered when Mr. Sunak decides whether to add them to his cabinet. He admitted that a cohesive party in parliament is necessary for effective government.
UK voters want a general election by the end of the year, pollster Ipsos pollster says. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner: ‘He has no mandate, no answers and no ideas’. Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon also recognises the significance of Britain getting its first leader of colour.
The next election isn’t scheduled to take place until at least January 2025, and opposition parties lack the power to compel one absent the consent of several Conservative MPs. That seems improbable given that Labour has its highest lead in decades according to a flurry of surveys. Monday’s YouGov modelling revealed Mr. Sunak will have a difficult time winning back support for both the Tories and himself. Keir Starmer, the head of Labour, was rated as the ‘best prime minister’ in 389 seats, as opposed to Mr. Sunak’s 127, according to replies from 12,000 people over the weekend.