'Elected to fix mistakes': UK PM Sunak in first address
Addressing the public on the first day of formally taking over as the United Kingdom's prime minister, Rishi Sunak said that he has been elected to "fix mistakes." While acknowledging the country is facing a "profound" economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, he admitted mistakes were made by the previous administration and he has been elected to correct them.
Why does this story matter?
- The political turbulence and economic crisis in the UK that triggered former PM Liz Truss's resignation pose a major challenge for Sunak, who has taken over the premier at a crucial time.
- Sunak is the third Conservative Party prime minister that the country is seeing in two months as Boris Johnson left office in September, while his successor Liz Truss resigned last week.
King Charles III anoints his first PM
Sunak took the oath of office on Tuesday after winning the Tory leadership and UK PM race on Monday as his contenders withdrew. King Charles III anointed Sunak as his first PM since ascending the throne following the demise of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8. Following his appointment, Sunak gave an introductory speech that focused on the UK's current situation.
'Would not leave the next generation in debt': Sunak
As the United Kingdom faces a severe economic crisis, which made Truss resign, Sunak said he would not "leave the next generation in debt." "The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves," he emphasized. Sunak further said he would prioritize "public needs above politics."
'Will unite country with action'
Amid discord in the Conservative Party and calls for a fresh general election in the country, which is not due until 2025, Sunak asserted, "I will unite our country not with words, but with action." "I will work day in and day out to deliver for you. This government will have integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level," the new UK PM said.
First Indian-origin PM of UK
Sunak has created history by becoming the first Indian-origin prime minister of the United Kingdom. He is also the youngest premier of the country in the nearly two centuries. Notably, Sunak was elected as the Conservative Party's leader on Monday after his contenders—former PM Johnson and Penny Mordaunt—failed to secure the minimum required support of the Tory MPs and eventually aborted the race.
Liz Truss could not 'deliver on promises'
To recall, Truss stepped down as the PM on Thursday as she said that she cannot "deliver the mandate" on which she was elected by the Conservative Party. The latest Tory leadership contest was necessitated after she resigned—within 45 days after assuming power—amid criticism from her own party members as her government's policies triggered economic turmoil and backlash from different quarters.