Rishi Sunak is the new Conservative leader and takes over as Prime Minister

Sunak was elected as the new British Prime Minister. /Photo: AFP

Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, 42, became the leader of the Conservative Party on Monday and will take office tomorrow as British Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the first to emerge from an ethnic minority and the youngest in the modern history of the country, which will replace Liz Truss.

The outgoing premier will formalize her resignation before King Charles III, who will then receive Sunak at Buckingham Palace around 11:30 a.m. (local time) and appoint him prime minister, Downing Street 10 (seat of government) reported in a statement.

In his speech as the new leader of the British Conservative Party, Sunak warned that the United Kingdom faces a “profound economic challenge” and, after Truss’s turbulent time in government, assured that his “priority” is to “reunite” to the country and is committed to serving citizens with “integrity and humility. “I will work day and night for the British people,” he added.

Graham Brady, head of the 1922 committee setting the rules for the Conservative leadership election, confirmed the news after his challenger Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race, minutes before the Party announced the number of MPs they had backed. to each candidate.

Sunak was elected as the new British Prime Minister


The bid had been reduced to Sunak and Mordaunt after former premier Boris Johnson yesterday ruled out running for the race.

Johnson, who was ousted just three months ago for a series of management scandals, He stated in a statement on Sunday night that he had the 100 necessary supports to present himself, but that he preferred not to do so because he concluded that it simply would not be the right thing to do.

His political career began in 2015 when he was elected MP for the Conservative Party for the county of Yorkshire Photo AFP
His political career began in 2015 when he was elected MP for the Conservative Party for the county of Yorkshire. /Photo: AFP

Sunak, a former banker and billionaire of Indian origin, who in early September came second in the leadership race against Truss in the summer, the support of more than half of the party in Parliament was secured on Monday.

Unlike the last internal election where the candidates were put to the consideration of the party members, the former Minister of Finance was chosen in a lightning election in which if any of the proposed candidates reached or exceeded 100 endorsements, they were automatically became prime minister.

He had been the favorite to succeed Johnson as prime minister after he resigned in July, but failed to persuade Conservative members, who finally put Truss in Downing Street in September.

According to the BBC political analyst, Chris Mason, September’s loser becomes October’s winner, “what an amazing moment,” he captioned.

“Literally at the last minute, as we approached 2pm, the point at which the window was about to slam shut for any Conservative challenger to muster 100 nominations to run for leadership, Penny Mordaunt’s confirmation came. “, he continued.

At 42, Sunak will become the youngest British prime minister in modern history; Tony Blair was 43 years old when he took office in 1997.

Sunak must now visit King Charles III and seek permission to form a government, after Truss submits his resignation to the monarch, and possibly takes office tomorrow.

The new conservative leader will also be the first prime minister that King Charles invites to form a government.

He will also take office amid a rising cost of living due to inflation and the energy crisis, a situation that was aggravated by the frustrated Truss economic plan, which motivated his departure from the Government less than 45 days after taking office.

Sunak called Truss's promises to cut taxes immediately reckless fairy tales.
Sunak called Truss’s promises to cut taxes immediately reckless “fairy tales.”

Meanwhile, following the announcement of Johnson’s resignation and the possibility of Sunak taking over, The pound rallied against the dollar and was higher on Monday morning at $1.1402 in Asian trading..

UK government bond prices rose slightly on news of Mordaunt’s withdrawal and thus confirmation that Sunak would be the next prime minister.

For Daniel Álvarez, analyst at the Intercontinental Stock Exchange in the City of Londonis generally seeing some upside in the FTSE and stability in the pound this morning, although he believes that Sunak was going to win was beginning to be priced in last week.

“But, effectively, he is the preferred candidate of the markets and the only one who seems to offer a stability plan for the United Kingdom in the short term. In that sense, I think that since Sunak is an expert in economics and finance, he will know build and, above all, communicate messages much better than its predecessor,” he stressed in dialogue with Télam.

However, after the news, the opposition increased its call for an early general election that was now joined by some voices from the Conservative Party itself among those most loyal to Johnson, such as the case of Nadine Dorries.

According to The Guardian newspaper, Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labor Party, accused the Conservatives of “evading scrutiny” when voters were asked to have a say.

“The Tories have crowned Rishi Sunak Prime Minister without him saying a single word about how he would run the country and without anyone getting a chance to vote.”he said in a statement.

He asserted that Sunak is the same Boris Johnson minister who failed to grow the economy, failed to control inflation and failed to help families with the cost of living crisis.

In turn, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, also called for elections and accused the Conservatives of destroying the economy, pushing health services to the limit and raising people’s mortgage interest.

While Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Independence Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, congratulated Sunak, but urged him to call an early general election and not focus on another round of austerity.

Guillermo Makin, an Argentine political scientist associated with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge, told Télam that the support for Sunak seems to be much greater than what he had before and that Truss had, and he may last longer in office. despite opposition pressure for a call for election.

“One of the advantages of the British system is that when a politician fails, he is quickly replaced. As society is very divided by Brexit and a series of problems that have been generated as a consequence of that, the divisions within the Party are very big, but Sunak’s support seems to be much bigger than what he had before and especially what Truss had, so it could last,” he stressed, after stating that only time will tell.

An analyst’s opinion

The confirmation of Rishi Sunak, as leader of the Conservative Party and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, brings general relief to the United Kingdom after the disaster that Liz Truss left in her brief stint in the Government, according to the British political specialist, William Makin.

“I think there is general relief after the disaster of former Prime Minister Liz Truss”the political scientist of Argentine origin and resident in the United Kingdom said in dialogue with Télam.

Makin, has a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, in addition to being a specialist in British politics, Argentina and the Falklands.

He is also the author of “Argentine Political Crises, Institutional Structure and Behavior Patterns,” and is a research associate at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge.

“There is like a breath of national relief, although naturally it is nuanced with the party affiliation that people have. I mean, if they’re Labor or if they’re Lib Dems, naturally they want a general election and they’re going to push for that,” he said.

For Makin, support for Sunak appears to be far greater than it was before when he ran in July to succeed Boris Johnson and also exceeds the support Truss mustered, so he can last longer despite pressure from the opposition to call for general elections, after two resignations from the conservatism in three months.

“Although society is very divided by Brexit and a series of problems that have been generated as a consequence of that, the divisions within the Conservative Party are very great, but Sunak’s support is much greater and he could last in power. But “only time will tell,” he stressed.

He explained that One of the advantages of the British system is that when a politician fails, he is quickly replaced.

In that sense, he assured that the opposition will continue to press and the form will depend on parliamentary arithmetic.

“A vote of confidence or vote of no confidence, which, for example, the Labor leader, Keir Starmer, did not decide to present, could precipitate an early election, as happened with the Labor government of James Callaghan in 1979,” the analyst explained. political.

“That is another characteristic that is not constitutionally prescribed because the mandates are not rigid as in the presidential system and also with the last change in the constitutional prescription there may be a change. But it is not known until time passes and reveals that it has everyone,” insisted

Regarding how Sunak will deal with pending issues such as the relationship with Scotland, the Irish Protocol or the European Union (EU), Makin highlighted the former banker as a pragmatist and supporter of gradualism.

“He is a supporter of gradualism, so if he manages to stay for more than 15 days or a month, little by little measures will emerge and we will wait to see how the Conservative Party, which is so divided, receives it,” he said, referring to some approach with the EU.

“It is very likely that Sunak, who proved to be very pragmatic, that is why his Keynesian recipe that he applied during the pandemic, can negotiate something with the European Union. He did not say anything because that would go down very badly in the Conservative Party, but perhaps he will do it gradually,” he said.

As for Scotland, which presents a tense situation due to the country’s intention to call a plebiscite for independence, the analyst believed that it will be a conflictive relationship, but it will surely be better than the one between Boris Johnson and Truss, who directly he ignored Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“Truss, a month after taking office, had never spoken to Sturgeon. I think Sunak is a more skillful and tactful person and he is going to talk to her based on the fact that he is the Prime Minister of the UK.”

He also predicted that King Charles III, who is perfectly aware of the importance of Scotland for the United Kingdom, will surely ask for assurances or advise him on how it should be handled.

“I know that he has spoken with the deputies, but I have not detected anything with a specifically Scottish reference, which is also bad. When the Scots are forgotten they get very offended,” he said, after stating that it is necessary to see how all the issues will evolve because it is still very recent.

Another of the big issues is the support of the United Kingdom for Ukraine, after the invasion of Russia, but for the specialist in British politics, this is something that will remain in the same line as Johnson and Truss.

Makin also discussed the fact that Sunak is the prime minister to come from an ethnic minority.

“It may attract more attention in Italy, Norway or Argentina than in the UK. In England an Indian is an important member of the community even though he is a member of a minority. The UK is a very pluralistic society and that’s something they take for granted,” she concluded.

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