After receiving the overwhelming support of Conservative MPs to succeed Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak will become the country’s first non-white prime minister and the youngest prime minister in modern British history.
On Sunday, after garnering the public support of just over 50 MPs, the former prime minister Boris Johnson decided against making a comeback, opening the way for the former chancellor to assume power.
Following Truss’ resignation last week, Sunak’s final opponent for the leadership of the Conservative Party, House of Commons Speaker Penny Mordaunt, abruptly withdrew from the race before Monday’s 2 p.m. deadline for nominations. Mr Sunak ll give a speech to Tory MPs in Parliament today (Monday 24th October 2022) at 2.30pm.
Sunak, 42, is a younger prime minister than David Cameron and Tony Blair. He was raised in Southampton by Indian immigrants from east Africa. Despite receiving a resounding majority of support from Tory MPs, Sunak is a contentious figure in the party, with many Johnson backers accusing him of undermining his leadership when he resigned as chancellor in July.
In a statement released on Saturday, Sunak, a fiscal onservative who has pledged to “repair the economy,” stated that there will be integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level of the Government I lead”
He is expected to keep Jeremy Hunt as his chancellor, and is facing a daunting in-tray, including a crisis in the public finances, high inflation, stretched public services, industrial unrest, and possible Winter energy blackouts.
Today there was a positive mood from the markeys following his immediate approval as the next Prime Minister with Gilts and sterling both rallying today, with the pound climbing by as much as 0.9 per cent against the dollar.
So what will the New PM’s first week look like?
Rishi Sunak will take over from Liz Truss as the new head of the Conservatives after being instantly crowned, and it’s expected that he will visit King Charles to be appointed as prime minister next Monday .
The New PM’s Cabinet
The new leader of the country will immediately get to work appointing his new Cabinet, and will have to decide whether to keep Jeremy Hunt in post as Chancellor, given market jitters facing the UK.
The new premier will have to decide on extra help for families facing a cost of living crisis as rising prices bite, and whether to press ahead with legislation to override the Northern Ireland Protocol.
If he decides to press ahead with the fiscal statement, Mr Hunt will have four days to make any tweaks he desires, including dropping the commitment to raise defence spending to three per cent of GDP.
Rishi Sunak has ruled out calling an election before the General Election in 2024, however according to recent polls by YouGov, respondents in three times more constituencies believe Keir Starmer would make the best prime minister than Rishi Sunak. Overall, 38% of respondents thought Starmer would be the best, while 29% preferred Sunak. Additionally, the seat-by-seat statistics (generated by an MRP [multilevel regression and post-stratification] study) indicate that Sunak was not in the lead in any of the Boris Johnson-won “red wall” Labour seats.