King Charles to appoint Rishi Sunak as UK PM today
Rishi Sunak is set to be appointed as the first prime minister of color of the United Kingdom on Tuesday after meeting King Charles III. The uncertainty of the UK's next premier was settled down on Monday after his contenders pulled out of the race for the top post. Sunak will be the third Conservative Party prime minister appointed since the 2019 general election.
Why does this story matter?
- The political turmoil in the UK settled on Monday after Sunak won the contest for the premier post as his contenders aborted the race. As calls for a fresh general election rise, Sunak is set to take the oath of office on Tuesday.
- Interestingly, he is set to become the UK's third prime minister in two months and the fifth premier in six years.
Sunak set to take over as Liz Truss's successor
King Charles III will administer the oath to Sunak on Tuesday. The former is set to anoint his first PM since ascending the throne following the demise of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. She died on September 8—two days after appointing Liz Truss as PM. Truss—who resigned last week—will hold a final cabinet meeting before issuing a departing statement at Downing Street on Tuesday.
Sunak calls for stability and unity after winning race
After winning the UK PM race, Sunak has called for "stability" and "unity" as the country witnesses a severe crisis. In his first speech, he said his top priority is to bring the country and his party together. On Monday, after Sunak emerged victorious, a YouGov analysis showed that Sunak has an uphill challenge before him to restore confidence in both Tories and himself.
Race for the premier post
After Truss's resignation last Thursday, the Conservative Party geared up to appoint a new party leader and the next UK PM. Besides, Sunak—the runner-up against Truss in the last contest—Penny Mordaunt and former PM Boris Johnson were in the race this time. However, Johnson withdrew from the contest on Sunday, while Mordaunt pulled out on Monday as she couldn't gather the minimum required support.
Sunak to hold first Parliament session tomorrow
Indian-origin Sunak, who is set to become the youngest UK PM in two centuries, will reportedly conduct his first Parliament session on Wednesday, a day after taking the oath. Prior to the session, he will also appoint his cabinet. Reports suggest that a few of the ministers who were part of Truss's cabinet may retain their roles while some new faces are also expected.
Contest did not reach ballot
The Conservative Party rules require the leadership race contestants to secure the support of at least 100 of the total 357 Tory MPs to face the ballot voting. Moreover, only a maximum of three MPs are allowed to compete in the party leadership contest. However, the other two contestants—Mordaunt and Johnson—could not secure the minimum support to take the contest to the ballot.
Calls for general election in UK
Meanwhile, after becoming the latest UK PM to lack the electorate's direct mandate, Sunak is facing calls for a general election—not due to take place before 2025. "He has no mandate, no answers and no ideas," Labour Party's deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted on Monday, batting for an early general election. About 62% of voters want an election by 2022 end, per pollster Ipsos.
Truss's resignation came amid turmoil in the country
Truss stepped down on Thursday as the UK's prime minister as she said that she "cannot deliver the mandate" on which she was elected by the Conservative Party. The resignation came as her government's policies in the country triggered rebellion and backlash from different quarters. Her government came under immense pressure after two important ministers, Suella Braverman and Kwasi Kwarteng, exited her cabinet.