Rishi Sunak, the winner of the contest to lead the Conservative Party, will take office as Britain’s next prime minister. He will be the country’s third leader in the past seven weeks and its fifth since 2016.
Before a single vote was cast among Conservative party members, both of his competitors in the campaign to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom withdrew. On Monday, Penny Mordaunt, the opposing candidate, conceded and withdrew.
The former Treasury chief will be the first person of colour to govern Britain, and his goal will be to stabilise the party and the nation during a period of economic and political unrest.
Sunak will also become the first Hindu prime minister of the United Kingdom.
He is also the youngest individual to hold the position in more than 200 years at the age of 42.
He serves as King Charles III’s second Prime Minister.
He will succeed Liz Truss, who resigned as prime minister last week after 45 turbulent days in office, as leader of the governing party.
Sunak’s position improved after former leader Boris Johnson withdrew from the race for the Conservative Party leadership on Sunday, capping a brief and high-profile bid to reclaim the office of prime minister from which he was expelled less than three months prior due to ethics problems. In any case, Sunak and Johnson had a meeting on Saturday night, although neither had given their consent to withdraw.
As the ruling Conservative Party sought stability amid severe economic difficulties and following months of upheaval that engulfed the previous two leaders, Sunak had been the clear favourite.
After the statement, Sunak reportedly received a thunderous response while speaking to party members privately.
Johnson received a heartfelt homage from Sunak, who said on Twitter: “I genuinely hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad.”
‘ Sunak’s The “I told you so” phase
If he forms a government, he has pledged to uphold “purity, professionalism, and responsibility” in response to the growing demand for a leader who can address the nation’s issues.
When losing to outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss just last month after his popularity among party members did not convert in the larger Tory membership ballot, Sunak’s victory is a spectacular turnabout in his political fortunes.
Prior to that, several Tory MPs, like James Cleverly and Nadhim Zahawi from the cabinet and former Home Secretary Priti Patel, changed their allegiance from Johnson to Sunak.
In order to offer Sunak the best chance of succeeding as the next leader, said Patel, the former minister of Indian descent who quit the Cabinet after Liz Truss was chosen as the new prime minister last month.
Up until his retirement, Sunak had to fend off criticism of his performance as chancellor from those who opposed him.
In order to win over a base of Conservative Party supporters who have historically supported low taxes, he remained steadfast in his focus on inflation rather than any vote-winning tax cut promises. “In this Parliament, I will reduce taxes, but I’ll do it responsibly. I win elections to reduce taxes, not the other way around “He announced.