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BREAKING: Rishi Sunak named UK’s Prime Minister



Rishi Sunak


Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer – the person in charge of the UK’s money – has been named as the leader of the conservative party and prime minister of Britain.

He was the only nomination for the new leader of the party after Penny Mordaunt withdrew.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped out of the contest on Sunday evening after saying it was not the “right time” for him to try and make a comeback as leader.

He then called on his supporters to get behind the former chancellor for the unity of the Conservative Party.

House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt had been trying to secure the support of the 100 MPs needed by the 2pm deadline – but in the end she withdrew, meaning Mr Sunak was the only one left in the contest.

Some MPs who supported Ms Mordaunt in the race to be prime minister said that in the end they had encouraged her to back Mr Sunak because they felt having a leader by this afternoon was better for the country than a week-long contest.

This win means he becomes the new Tory Party leader on Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – as well as the first UK prime minister from an Indian background.

Who is Rishi Sunak?

You might recognise him as someone who was on TV a lot during lockdown.

He took the role of chancellor not long before the coronavirus pandemic broke out and during that time he made lots of big decisions about how the UK should spend its money.

Some of the measures he introduced were popular with the public, for example the furlough scheme which gave money to support people who weren’t able to work due to businesses closing.

He also gave money to support businesses, and introduced schemes like the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ which was aimed to increase how much people were spending and help get the economy get going again after lockdown came to and end.

But the scheme was later linked to a spike in infections, while others think he spent too much money during his time as chancellor which could cause more problems for the UK economy in the long term.

Some people were also very angry about millions of pounds of government money being spent on a ‘Test and Trace’ app which didn’t work properly – a decision made by Mr Sunak.

What other jobs has he had?

He has always had a background in money and finance and from 2001 to 2004, Mr Sunak was an analyst for finance company Goldman Sachs.

He also has plenty of experience managing and investing other people’s money, after becoming a partner in two hedge funds.

In 2015, he made his move into politics, becoming the Conservative MP for Richmond in Yorkshire.

It didn’t take him long to start taking on more roles in the government, starting as a junior minister in Theresa May’s government before being made chief secretary to the Treasury by Boris Johnson.

He was promoted to chancellor in February 2020 and was a vocal supporter of Mr Johnson at first.

But he eventually resigned from the job in July 2022, a move that contributed to Mr Johnson having to step down from his job as Tory leader and prime minister.

Mr Sunak has said he was loyal to Mr Johnson, but resigned because his government was on the “wrong side” of serious ethical questions.

How did he finally get the PM job?

This will have felt like a long time coming for the former chancellor.

Mr Sunak had been the favourite to take the job off his old boss Boris Johnson, after he resigned as prime minister in July.

Over the summer a contest was held to find a new leader of the Conservative Party. Mr Sunak focused on one issue: the worsening state of the UK economy, and his plan to sort it out.

But he failed to convince enough members of the party that he was the right person for the job, and was beaten by Liz Truss at the deciding vote in December.

However some of the decisions Ms Truss made about the economy caused big problems for her – and led to some members of the party saying she was the wrong choice, and that they should have chosen Mr Sunak.

This time around Mr Sunak said he was standing as PM to fix a “profound economic crisis” as well as unite his party.

Some MPs within his party have said the job of bringing the party back together again is something that would be difficult for him to achieve, as many of Mr Johnson’s supporters feel be betrayed the prime minister by resigning.

The fact that Mr Johnson has told his supporters to back Mr Sunak can certainly be a good first step towards helping to heal this bitterness.

What will he do as Prime Minister?

Experts have warned that he will face a very difficult set of challenges, tasked with rebuilding Britain’s reputation for handling money responsibly – something that was damaged during the time Liz Truss was leader.

Last month, the UK’s sterling currency plunged to a record low against the dollar and government borrowing costs rose sharply after Prime Minister Liz Truss’s mini-budget.

Investors were concerned after the then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng promised major tax cuts without saying how they would be paid for – something Mr Sunak warned about during this summer’s leadership contest.

The new prime minister is likely to introduce deep spending cuts, and try and also help the public at a time people across the country are facing surging energy bills, rising prices and needing more money to be able to buy or rent a house.

Many other parties have been calling for a general election, to allow the public to decide if they still want the Conservative Party to continue to lead the country.

Avoiding this was one of the reasons given by Boris Johnson as to why he had decided not to stand again, so as things stand Rishi Sunak will have until 2024 when an election has to be called to convince both his party and public that he can make the best choices for the UK going forward.




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