Last Updated: October 25, 2022, 23:38 IST
Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London on October 25, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS)
Sunak becomes the 57th prime minister of the UK and the first person of colour to lead the country. He is also UK’s first Hindu premier but the former chancellor to the exchequer has rarely spoken about his religion despite being a practising Hindu
Indian-origin MP Rishi Sunak on Tuesday was officially appointed as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His tenure comes at a critical juncture when the UK faces “profound economic challenge” and needs someone to take on the gloominess and negative outlook surrounding the economy, which could be headed towards a recession.
Sunak is the third prime minister this year and will enter Downing Street as the youngest PM in two centuries. He announced his bid to become the prime minister days after Liz Truss announced her resignation from the top post on October 20 after party members rebelled against her citing that her mini-budget negatively affected the UK economy.
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The Conservative Leader was backed by more than 190 MPs as his contender Penny Mordaunt failed to earn the backing of 100 MPs which is a prerequisite for entering the PM race and bowed out of the race, minutes before the 1922 Committee Chief Sir Graham Brady announced the results.
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Sunak becomes the 57th prime minister of the UK and the first person of colour to lead the country. He is also UK’s first Hindu premier but the former chancellor to the exchequer has rarely spoken about his religion despite being a practising Hindu.
Sunak also unveiled his new cabinet and inducted several ministers from Truss Cabinet including Jeremy Hunt, Suella Braverman, Ben Wallace, Penny Mordaunt, Michelle Donelan, Chris Heaton-Harris, Lord True and Alister Jack.
Here are the latest updates as Sunak takes charge as the Prime Minister:
- Rishi Sunak met King Charles III at Buckingham Palace where the King asked him to form the government. With this, Sunak was officially appointed as the Prime Minister of the UK.
- Sunak made his first speech as PM outside Downing Street in which he acknowledged the mistakes of his predecessor Liz Truss while vowing to fix the economy. “I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Liz Truss. She was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country… But some mistakes were made, not born of ill will and bad intensions, quite the opposite infact. But mistakes nonetheless,” he said.
- Sunak said he has been elected as leader of Conservative Party and the Prime Minister to fix mistakes during Truss’ tenure.
- The new Prime Minister warned the UK of “difficult decisions” in the coming days and said he will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda.
- Sunak also expressed gratitude to Boris Johnson for his “incredible” achievements as the Prime Minister. “I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us. And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise,” he said.
- World leaders including US President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Sunak.
- Several ministers from Truss Cabinet were sacked by Sunak while some resigned from their posts ahead of the reshuffle.
- Sunak picked his close ally Dominic Raab as Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary and reinstated Indian-origin Conservative MP Suella Braverman as the Home Secretary. Braverman, a fellow Bexiteer like Sunak, had only spent 43 days in the role of home secretary under the Truss government.
- Jeremy Hunt has been retained as chancellor of the exchequer and Steve Barclay, who served as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from 5 July 2022 to 6 September 2022, will take over the same role again in Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet.
- Penny Mordaunt has been re-appointed as Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons while Ben Wallace was inducted as defence minister. Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed Minister without portfolio while Oliver Dowden has been entrusted with the responsibility of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
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