The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt that we face a profound economic challenge, and we need stability and unity, Sunak said in his first public speech after winning the leadership contest unopposed to choose the replacement for Liz Truss, who resigned last Thursday.
In the brief intervention broadcast on local television from the headquarters of the Conservative Party, the young politician of Indian descent described his election as prime minister as the greatest privilege of his life, and promised to serve the British with integrity and humility.
Both Truss and Sunak are expected to meet separately with Charles III at Buckingham Palace tomorrow, Tuesday, to officially present her resignation and request permission to form a new government, respectively.
For analysts, the big question will be whether the former head of the Treasury who was defeated by Truss in the leadership contest held last August to relieve Boris Johnson, who also resigned, is capable of uniting the conservatives and pulling the country out of the economic crisis.
The Labor Party, demanding a general election due in late 2024, was quick to recall that as a member of Johnson’s cabinet, Sunak failed in his attempts to boost the economy and stem inflation.
Rishi Sunak has no mandate (to govern) and no idea what the working class needs, said deputy leader of the Labor Party, Angela Rayner, after insisting that the British public must have the right to decide at the polls on the future of the country.
His detractors also highlighted that, as head of Finance, the former banker was the one who implemented the tax hike that Truss later tried to reverse as part of his erratic economic policy, while his wife, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, was accused of trying to evade taxes in the UK.
Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney pointed out, for her part, that Sunak’s first public speech did not reassure people worried about paying electricity and gas bills and health services this winter, because he did not say anything about his government plans.
They put someone in 10 Downing Street with no one voting for him, who is totally out of touch with families and retirees struggling to pay their bills, and who didn’t even tell us what he’s going to do next, Olney said.