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Sunak’s first address as British Prime Minister; Vows to bring stability amid economic crisis

Rishi Sunak, who will replace Liz Truss as UK Prime Minister, warned on Monday of a major economic challenge, saying the UK needs stability and unity.

In his maiden speech after being elected leader of the Conservative Party, the former finance minister said he pledged to work to overcome challenges by bringing the party and the country together.

“The UK is a great country, but we face a major economic challenge. We need stability and unity now and I will make it my top priority to bring our party and our country together because that is the only way we can overcome challenges and build a better future for our children and grandchildren.” he said as he spoke from the Conservative Party. Party headquarters in London.

“I promise to serve you with integrity and humility and I will work day in and day out to help the British people,” he added.

The prime minister-designate also paid tribute to Liz Truss for her dedicated public service to the country. She has led with dignity and grace at a time of great change and under exceptionally difficult circumstances both at home and abroad, he said.

Sunak was supported by more than 190 MPs as his contender Penny Mordaunt failed to earn the support of 100 MPs, which is a prerequisite for entering the PM race, and bowed out of the race minutes before the head of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, announced the results.

King Charles will now ask Sunak, one of the wealthiest politicians in Westminster, to form a government. The former Goldman Sachs analyst becomes the UK’s first Prime Minister of Indian descent.

After the win, Sunak said:Humbled and honored to have the support of my parliamentary colleagues and to be elected leader of the Conservative & Unionist Party. It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve the party I love and give back to the country to which I owe so much.”

ALSO READ: From MP in 2015 to PM in 2022: Rishi Sunak’s meteoric rise as he makes UK history

Sunak becomes the 57th Prime Minister of the UK and the first person of color to lead the country. He is also the UK’s first Hindu Prime Minister, but the former Chancellor of the Exchequer has rarely spoken about his religion, despite being a practicing Hindu.

Sunak announced his bid to become prime minister days after outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on October 20 after party members rebelled against her, claiming her mini-budget was negatively impacting Britain’s economy.

Truss is the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British political history, having served for just 40 days. It should also be noted that Truss defeated Rishi Sunak 40 days earlier, on September 5.

Sunak was elected from the Richmond (Yorkshire) constituency in 2015. He swears his allegiance as a Member of Parliament in the Bhagavad Gita. Before entering politics, Rishi Sunak was an analyst at investment bank Goldman Sachs. Sunak then moved into hedge funds by becoming a partner at the Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund.

The 42-year-old has held various government positions so far. He was the Junior Minister for Local Government in the year 2018-19. He then became the Chief Secretary of the Treasury in 2019-20. Sunak then became the Chancellor of the Treasury in the year 2020-22.

Sunak gained national attention when he became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Johnson, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Britain. He has been widely acclaimed for swiftly introducing ‘leave’ aid schemes worth billions of pounds to preserve jobs and businesses during 18 months of Covid lockdowns.

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