The next Prime Minister of the U.K. will be former finance minister Rishi Sunak, who will replace Liz Truss. Sunak announced his candidacy for the top spot on Sunday and by Monday morning it became apparent that all rivals for the job had dropped out of the running.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was withdrawing his name from consideration Sunday evening. The last remaining contestant who stood between Sunak and the appointment was former defense minister Penny Mordaunt. She dropped out of contention Monday morning, clearing the path for Sunak.
In order to win the job, Tory party candidates need to secure at least 100 supporters in Parliament by Monday afternoon. When Mordaunt withdrew, she had commitments from only 90 members compared to nearly 190 who agreed to back Sunak.
BREAKING: Rishi Sunak is new UK Prime Minister. He’ll be the first British-Asian PM & first Hindu PM, and at 42, the youngest PM in modern times. I’ve backed @RishiSunak for a long time, think he’s the right guy for the job, and wish him every success. pic.twitter.com/oNfKXlk9R2
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 24, 2022
Mordaunt said that she decided to withdraw and support Sunak “in good faith for the good of the country.” She added that the appointment of Sunak “is a historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party. Rishi has my full support.”
Sunak’s support in the conservative party boomed after Johnson took his name out of the running. Sunak was finance minister under Johnson. His parents are of Punjabi Indian heritage. At age 42, Sunak will be the youngest Prime Minister in over two centuries.
Sunak issued a statement saying the U.K. is “a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.” He said that he has a “track record of delivery, a clear plan to fix the biggest problems we face and I will deliver on the promise of the 2019 manifesto.”
Sunak went on to pledge that there “will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead and I will work day in and day out to get the job done.”
Truss’s troubled time in office lasted only 44 days before she announced her resignation last week. Her term was plagued with extreme controversy over her economic policy proposals that included deep and broad tax cuts. Truss also pressed for greater domestic U.K. fossil fuel production and planned on issuing new oil and gas leases for the North Sea.
Even though she retreated from many of her announced plans, the chaos created in her administration was too much to overcome.