Rishi Sunak became the first British prime minister of color who addressed the nation outside 10 Downing Street after his appointment by King Charles III, following Boris Johnson’s demise in July.
Sunak was chancellor of the exchequer, or head of the treasury, from early 2020 to July 5, when he resigned during a scandal that shook Boris Johnson’s government.
“I will unite our country – not with words, but with action,” the former finance minister said, pledging also unstinting support for Ukraine even while warning of “difficult” budget choices ahead.
Sunak said a disastrous budget that felled Truss was motivated by a well-intentioned desire to kick-start growth, but its tax-cutting measures were “mistakes nonetheless.”
“And I have been elected as leader of my party and your prime minister in part to fix them,” he said.
“And that work begins immediately. I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda.”
Departing Downing Street shortly before, Truss wished Sunak “every success” – and said she remained “more convinced than ever” that Britain needed to be “bold” in confronting the challenges it faced.
After Liz Truss’ imploded premiership left the Conservative poll numbers sinking to historic lows, Rishi Sunak will have around two years to restore confidence among his own legislators that they can retain power at the next national vote.
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