LONDON (AP) – Rishi Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister this year on Tuesday and must now focus on tackling the economic crisis that has left the country’s economy in dire straits and millions of Britons struggling to afford food and energy.
Sunak, the UK’s first multi-generational leadermet at Buckingham Palace with King Charles III, who had just agreed to leave Liz Truss.
Sunak – at 42 he is Britain’s youngest leader in more than 200 years – is expected to begin appointing a cabinet and begin tackling the looming economic crisis. A third Conservative prime minister this year, he will try to unite the divided ruling party after Truss’s short-term policy has undermined Britain’s tough economic outlook.
Speaking outside the prime minister’s palace, Sunak acknowledged the mistakes of his predecessors and promised to put “economic stability and confidence” at the heart of his agenda.
He said he would tackle the “big financial crisis” with compassion and lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability.”
Truss left after a public address outside the Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street, seven weeks to the day he was appointed Prime Minister. Sunak was appointed to replace him as leader of the ruling Conservative Party on Monday.
Truss defended his low-tax economic policy and his short term in office before being kicked out of the Prime Minister’s House for the final time.
He said: “I am sure more than ever that we need to be brave and fight the problems we face. He stood by the principles of the free market of “low taxes” and “growing supply,” although the market was triggered by the budget package of September 23.
Truss wished Sunak success as Britain continues to “fight the storm.”
Sunak’s main priorities are to appoint cabinet ministers, and to prepare a budget plan that will explain how the government plans to come up with billions of pounds (dollars) to fill the financial hole caused by the rise in inflation and the recession, as well as growth. Economic evaluation of Truss.
The statement, which outlines tax increases and spending cuts, is due to be presented to Parliament on Monday by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt – if Sunak keeps him in office.
Sunak, who was Treasury chief for two years until July, becomes prime minister in a major reshuffle just weeks after losing to Truss in the Conservative election to replace former prime minister Boris Johnson. Party members this summer voted to cut taxes instead of his warnings that inflation should be moderated.
Truss admitted last week that he had not been able to meet his demands – but only if they tried to cause market turmoil and fuel inflation at a time when millions of Britons were already suffering from rising credit costs and rising energy and food prices.
The party is now looking for someone to steer the ship after months of turmoil under Truss and Johnson, who resigned in July after a scandalous record.
Sunak was elected as the leader of the Conservative Party after being the only person who stood to solve the problem of 100 people who were nominated to take part in the party’s elections. Sunak defeated his colleague Penny Mordaunt, who could get a job in his government, and the ousted Johnson, who went on holiday in the Caribbean to promote the return but failed to get enough support.
As well as the stability of the UK economy, Sunak must try to unite the ruling party which has fallen into trouble as its ratings have fallen.
Defense lawmaker Victoria Atkins, Sunak’s ally, said the party would “stabilize” under Sunak.
“We all know now we have to get behind Rishi – and, in fairness, that’s what the party has done,” he told LBC radio.
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