Rishi Sunak calls for “stability and unity” as he becomes the UK’s third Prime Minister in less than two months.
Rishi Sunak won the leadership of the Tory party on Monday over rival Penny Mordaunt after wildly unpopular Tory Liz Truss resigned. Truss served only 45 days in office, a period which encompassed the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the free-fall devaluation of the British Pound.
Sunak, 42, is the youngest PM in over two centuries, and the first ever Asian prime minister in Britain. On Tuesday, he became the first PM appointed by King Charles III. He’s a first-generation Briton from Southampton, and one of the wealthiest people in Britain after marrying into money.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave his first speech on Tuesday in private to the MPs, acknowledging that this is and will continue to be a difficult time for the government.
“The United Kingdom is a great country but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge,” he said. “We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together.”
His first public address as MP was a brief TV spot, less than two minutes. In it, he promised integrity to the people, and thanked his predecessor Liz Truss for leading the country during “exceptionally difficult circumstances.”
While he and Truss are publicly very amicable and she has promised him her full support, he has spoken disparagingly of her unpopular policies. Her tax-cutting “mini-budget,” he called “fairy tales.”
Sunak was not elected, but appointed to the leadership of the incumbent Tory party by his fellow MPs. Opposition parties are calling for a general election. Four consecutive conservative Prime Minsters have taken office (Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and now Rishi Sunak) without a democratic election, and another isn’t due until 2025. Sunak is not likely to call an early one, and is not obligated to.
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