Finally, Sunak Emerges As UK’s Conservative Party Leader, Set To Become 1st British Asian PM

By NewsBits

Mr Rishi Sunak has emerged as the new Leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party.

Sunak, who turned 42 years old on May 12, 2022, and apparently the incoming United Kingdom Prime Minister will replace Liz Truss, who resigned last Thursday as UK Prime Minister after just 44 days in office. Upon swearing in, Sunak will make history as UK’s first British Asian Prime Minister.

Nearly 200 Conservative MPs publicly backed the former Chancellor ahead of the nomination deadline on Monday. Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt dropped out after failing to secure enough support among MPs. It means Sunak will succeed Liz Truss and become the youngest PM for more than 200 years.

Sunak has addressed Conservative MPs after the result was announced by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives. Earlier, Mordaunt announced his withdrawal from the race, leaving Sunak as the sole candidate for the position.

In a statement, Mordaunt said: “Our Party is our membership. Whether we are elected representatives, activists, fundraisers or supporters. We all have a stake in who our leader is.

“These are unprecedented times. Despite the compressed timetable for the leadership contest, it is clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today. They have taken this decision in good faith for the good of the country.

“Members should know that this proposition has been fairly and thoroughly tested by the agreed 1922 process. As a result, we have now chosen our next Prime Minister. This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party. Rishi has my full support.

“I am proud of the campaign we ran and grateful to all those, across all sides of our party, who gave me their backing. We all owe it to the country, to each other and to Rishi to unite and work together for the good of the nation. There is much work to be done”.

Sunak’s coronation, in effect, as Tory leader caps a rapid political comeback by the former chancellor after he lost out to Truss in the last leadership contest during the summer. Truss – whose tax-cutting agenda Sunak dismissed as “fairy-tale economics” – tweeted to congratulate him and offer her “full support”.

Mordaunt withdrew from the latest contest minutes before the result was announced, admitting it was “clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today”.

“This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party,” Mordaunt wrote in a tweet. “Rishi has my full support”.

Conservative Party Chairman Jake Berry said it was time for the party to “unite four-square behind Rishi” after a period of intense political turmoil under Truss’s premiership. Opposition parties have been clamouring for a general election, arguing that Sunak does not have a democratic mandate to become prime minister.

Sunak will be the fourth consecutive prime minister – after Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Truss – to take power without a general election.

The next general election is not due to take place until at least 2024, after the Conservatives won a landslide majority in the last one in 2019. Sunak is under no obligation to call an early election under the UK’s parliamentary political system.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said Sunak had been crowned prime minister “without him saying a single word about how he would run the country and without anyone having the chance to vote”.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said Tory MPs had “installed another out-of-touch prime minister with no plan to repair the damage and without giving the British people a say”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Sunak should call an early general election and must not “unleash another round of austerity”.

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