After an unprecedented rise, former finance minister Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's prime minister and is tasked with stemming the collapse of his Conservative Party. The 42-year-old was able to gather significantly more supporters in the group than his only competitor Penny Mordaunt, who then announced her withdrawal on Monday.
On the Hindu holiday Diwali, the party elected a professing Hindu head of government for the first time. In his first public appearance as prime minister-designate, Sunak announced that he wanted to unite both the country and the recently divided Tory party. He had previously spoken to his group behind closed doors, which received him with demonstratively loud applause. Sunak warned that the party was facing an "existential threat" and had the choice of "uniting or dying," reported those present.
In the summer, Sunak was still defeated by his competitor Liz Truss in the race to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But Truss had to resign after a few weeks - mainly because her economic policy had triggered the financial turbulence that Sunak had warned about during the election campaign. Now Sunak will become the youngest prime minister in more than 200 years. Just seven years after entering Parliament in 2015, he became Prime Minister - faster than any other politician in recent British history. Sunak could be officially announced by King Charles III this Tuesday. charged with forming a government. The monarch traveled back to London from his country estate in East England, Sandringham.
What path will the new prime minister take?
However, the jubilation over Sunak's forthcoming move to Downing Street is unlikely to last long. Despite the clear vote in the Tory group - well over half of MPs voted for Sunak - the group and party are divided. The right wing continues to call for a more radical tax cut policy and a hard line against the EU in the dispute over Brexit special rules for Northern Ireland. Business representatives are hoping for a steady hand. "The political and economic uncertainty of the past few months has damaged the British business climate enormously and must now be ended," said the Chamber of Commerce Association.
Because the Tories are far behind the largest opposition party, Labor, in polls, they fear an early vote. As those present reported, Sunak ruled out a new election in front of the parliamentary group. Former Conservative leader Robert Hayward told Sky News the party would be "completely wrecked" if there were a general election. "There is no longer a safe seat for the Conservative Party," Hayward said.
Sunak does not have the full support of his party
Various factions called on the Tories to unite behind the new prime minister. "The time for internal debates is finally over and I know that under the leadership of Rishi Sunak we can and will deliver on the priorities of the British people," said General Secretary Jake Berry.
However, Sunak is considered controversial, especially at the party base. Many members accuse him of triggering the end of scandal-ridden ex-Prime Minister Johnson, who is still very popular at the grassroots level, with his resignation as finance minister at the beginning of July. His wealth also raises doubts as to whether Sunak really knows the everyday problems. The former investment banker is considered the richest MP. That's also thanks to his wife, who owns a hundreds of millions of pounds in Indian IT giant Infosys. Her father was one of the founders of the company.
The son of Indian immigrants, Southampton-born Sunak is the first ethnic minority Prime Minister in Britain. Representatives of the large community of Indian origin in Great Britain spoke of a historic moment in view of Sunak's election. This shows "that the highest office in Britain can be open to people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds," said Sunder Katwala of think tank British Future. "This will make many British Asians proud - including many who do not share Rishi Sunak's conservative policies."