Following the withdrawal of his final opponent from the Conservative Party race early on Monday morning, British MP Rishi Sunak will take over as the country's prime minister in place of Liz Truss.
Being of Punjabi Indian ancestry, Sunak, who previously served as Boris Johnson's finance minister, will be the nation's first non-white prime minister. After years of political unrest within the group, including Truss' resignation after only six weeks in office due to the failure of her economic growth and tax cut plan, he was elected leader of the Conservative Party.
Sunak stated in a statement yesterday that "the United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis." “I have the 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. 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.”
In order to maximize political stability, Conservative Party members decided to select the country's new leader before the end of the week. Johnson gave up on his surprise quest to win back the majority after failing to secure the endorsement of at least 100 of the 357 Conservative ministers necessary to move on to the next round of the election. Sunak's election as prime minister was revealed when fellow Conservative member Penny Mordaunt declared that her colleagues had decided to support Sunak "in good faith for the good of the country," thereby forcing her to withdraw from the race.
“These are unprecedented times. Despite the compressed timetable for the leadership contest it is clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today,” Mordaunt said. “This decision is a historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party. Rishi has my full support.”
Sunak, who is 42 years old, will be the country's youngest prime minister in more than 200 years. Earlier this year, during the Johnson replacement campaign, he had anticipated the adverse market effects of Truss' economic strategy. Truss stated last week that she would scrap some of her plan and fire finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng as a result of investors selling off their holdings out of concern that the government wouldn't be able to pay its debts. Truss was given the royal seal of approval by Queen Elizabeth II just days before she passed away, and political upheaval soon followed her passing.
The Daily Mail said that over 100 Conservatives had planned to have Truss removed. “She has lost the confidence of the markets and she is hemorrhaging support. We need to cauterize the wound, and fast,” one unnamed minister told the outlet. “There is an overwhelming desire among colleagues for it to be over — people want it done this week.”
Truss advocated for more fossil fuel production and established the objective of becoming a net exporter of energy by 2040 – a part of her agenda that appears to have survived, despite having her tax cuts rejected. She also abolished her country's ban on shale gas production, including the practice of fracking, which involves injecting pressured liquid into subterranean rocks in order to extract fuels. She also announced a fresh round of oil and gas licenses for the North Sea.