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Rishi Sunak becomes Britain’s new Prime Minister while rival Penny Mordaunt quits

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's new Prime Minister while rival Penny Mordaunt quits
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Rishi Sunak has been named Britain’s new prime minister after beating rival Penny Mordaunt in a fast-paced race for leadership of the country.

Hollie Adams | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

LONDON – Rishi Sunak is named Britain’s new prime minister to fill the void left after a fast-paced race for leadership of the Conservative Party Resignation of Liz Truss.

Sunak – who will be the country’s first black man – won the role of leader of the Conservative Party after his only rival, Penny Mordaunt, dropped out of the race just before MPs’ votes were due to be announced on Monday afternoon.

It follows former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal from Sunday’s leadership race.

Sunak will not automatically become prime minister on Monday as the ritual dictates that the outgoing prime minister, in this case Liz Truss, must first submit her resignation to King Charles. The king will then appoint Sunak in the coming days.

The 42-year-old takes over just seven weeks later Second place behind Trusswho resigned on Thursday, quickly ending her 44-day tenure – the shortest tenure by a British prime minister.

A steady pair of fiscal hands

The former finance minister steps into the role as the country grapples with a deteriorating economic picture following the chaotic fallout of Truss’ September mini-budget.

The stock markets were in turmoil, Sterling fell and the The Bank of England had to intervene with an emergency bond purchase after Truss and then-Treasury Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced a series of unfunded tax cuts that will disproportionately benefit the wealthy even as the country faces a deepening cost-of-living crisis.

Sunak, who is credited with guiding the UK economy through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, is widely regarded as a safe pair of fiscal hands. Indeed after being berated as a voice by Truss during the race Treasury orthodoxyhis criticism of the prime minister’s “unfunded tax cuts” appears to have been vindicated.

Sterling fell to $1.1284 against the dollar shortly after the announcement of Sunak’s win.

And unite strength?

As prime minister, Sunak is expected to retain the newly installed UK Treasury Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, signaling some continuity after a turbulent few months for the UK government.

However, some have questioned his ability to reunite the fragmented Conservative Party and many MPs blame him for overthrowing Boris Johnson, who was ousted from office in a scandal three months ago.

Johnson, the retired from the lead race on Sundaysaid in a statement that he had attempted to form a single ticket with both Sunak and Mordaunt in the interest of the “national interest”, but both had opposed his offer.

Meanwhile, Sunak – an Oxford-educated former investment banker – has been criticized for being incoherent, particularly in the episode Dispute over his wife’s tax statuswith some questioning its ability to guide the country through its cost-of-living crisis.

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