Rishi Sunak is named Britain's new prime minister after a fast-paced race in the Conservative leadership set in motion to fill the void left by Liz Truss' resignation.
Sunak, who will become the country's first black prime minister, was the leader of the Conservative Party after his only rival Penny Mordaunt was dropped from the race just before the MP’s vote was announced on Monday afternoon won the role.
It follows former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal from Sunday's party leadership race.
In the ceremony, the resigning Prime Minister, in this case, Truss, must first announce his resignation to King Charles, so Sunak will not automatically become Prime Minister on Monday. The King then appoints Sunak in a few days.
The 42-year-old finished her second place behind Truss, who stepped down on Thursday, after she took office in just seven weeks, quickly ending her 44-day tenure. This is the shortest tenure of a British prime minister.
Sunak said in his first public statement since being elected prime minister on Monday: “I am humbled and honored to have the support of my parliamentary colleagues and to be elected as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party,”
The former Treasury secretary steps into the role as the country grapple with worsening economic conditions following the chaotic aftermath of the Truss' September mini-budget.
The stock market plunged, the pound plummeted, and the Bank of England made emergency bond purchases after Truss and then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarten announced a series of cash-strapped tax cuts for the wealthy. I had to intervene in my actions. It faces a deepening cost of living crisis.
Sunak, known for leading the UK economy through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, is widely seen as a financially safe pair. But it seems he was right in his criticism of the prime minister's "underfunded tax cuts."
Shortly after the announcement of Sunak's victory, the pound rose to $1.1326 where he was against the dollar.
Sunak said at the Conservative Party's campaign headquarters in London: “There is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge,”
“We now need stability and unity, and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party together because that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face and build a better, more prosperous future for our children and our grandchildren.”
Sunak is expected to keep newly appointed UK Treasury Secretary Jeremy Hunt as prime minister, suggesting some continuity after months of upheaval in the UK government.
But some have questioned his ability to reunite the splintered Conservative Party, and many MPs find him guilty of overthrowing the scandalous Boris Johnson three months ago. There is Johnson, who withdrew from the leadership race on Sunday, said in a statement that he had attempted to make a single ticket with both Snack and Mordant in the interest of the "national interest", but both had opposed his offer.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sunack, an Oxford-educated former investment banker, has been criticized for being incoherent, especially after a dispute over his wife's tax policy, and his ability to lead the country through the cost of living crisis has been criticized.