World

Rishi Sunak, 42, wins race to become UK’s PM

.He’s UK’s first leader of colour and first Hindu to take the top job

.He’s UK’s youngest prime minister in more than 200 years

Rishi Sunak will become the United Kingdom’s new prime minister after winning the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership contest, which was triggered by the resignation of Liz Truss last week.

Sunak’s win on Monday came days after Truss’s resignation after her disastrous tax cuts plans and policy U-turns plunged the markets into chaos. The unprecedented economic crisis drew a rare intervention from the Bank of England.

Sunak was to make his first remarks at 2:30pm (13:30 GMT), according to Conservative Party official, Graham Brady, whose 1922 committee of Tory MPs organised a rapid leadership election after Truss’s resignation.

Sunak, a former finance minister, has been left with the task of steering a deeply divided country through an economic downturn set to make millions of people poorer.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from London, said Sunak is “pretty well placed” despite the challenges ahead.

“In some ways, some of his work has already been done in terms of putting out the fires that Liz Truss created because it did cause a storm in the markets,” Simmons said.

“The whole list of tax cuts and ideas that frankly, according to Sunak and others, belongs to Disneyland because none of it was going to be really possible without crashing the economy more,” he said.

Sunak’s only challenger, Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons and former defence minister, was reportedly backed by 30 Members of Parliament (MPs) compared with nearly 150 supporting Sunak.

“This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party,” Mordaunt said in a statement as she withdrew from the race just minutes before the winner was due to be announced. “Rishi has my full support.”

Sunak and Mordaunt had lost to Truss last month in the race to appoint a successor to then-Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. He was forced to announce his resignation in July after a wave of scandals linked to parties held during the COVID-19 lockdown. -Aljazeera

Show More
Back to top button