LONDON (HPD) — Rishi Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister of the year on Tuesday and must now tackle an economic crisis that has left the country’s finances in a precarious state and millions of Britons struggling to pay for food and your energy bills.
Sunak, the first black British president, met at Buckingham Palace with the king, who had just accepted the resignation of Liz Truss.
The prime minister, who at 42 will be the youngest British leader in more than 200 years, was expected to immediately start appointing a government and taking the helm of an economy headed for recession.
At the same time, he will try to unite a ruling party marked by divisions after the brief and disastrous mandate of Liz Truss, which weakened the country’s already difficult economic outlook.
Speaking outside the prime minister’s official residence, Sunak admitted that his predecessor had made mistakes and vowed to put “trust and financial stability” at the heart of his agenda.
He stated that he would approach the “profound economic crisis” with compassion and lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and responsibility.”
Truss stepped down after an appearance at the prime minister’s official residence, seven weeks after being appointed prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II. Sunak was chosen on Monday to succeed her as leader of the Conservative Party, which rules the country.
Truss defended his low-tax strategy and short tenure before leaving 10 Downing Street for the last time.
“I am more convinced than ever that we must be brave and face the problems that come our way,” she said. Despite the chaos in the markets unleashed by the budget plan that she presented on September 23, she reiterated her belief in the free market principles of “lower taxes” and “producing growth.”
Truss wished Sunak success as Britain “continues to go through a storm”.
The new prime minister’s top priorities will be appointing ministers and preparing a budget statement that will outline the government’s plans to fill a billion-pound (dollar) fiscal hole created by soaring inflation and a faltering economy. The crisis has been exacerbated by Truss’s destabilizing economic experiments.
The declaration, which was expected to include tax hikes and spending cuts, was originally scheduled to be presented to Parliament by Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt on Monday, if Sunak keeps him in office.
Sunak, who served as Treasury chief for two years until July, became prime minister in a remarkable turn of fortune just weeks after losing the Conservative vote to replace former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Truss. Party members in the summer leaned toward Truss’s tax-cut optimism rather than Sunak’s warnings that inflation needed to be curbed.