Earlier today, the UK got another new PM-its 3 within 2 months!-(he’s had his audience with King Charles around 11am UK time), after Liz Truss tendered her resignation last week (demitted office, formally, in an audience with the king) and the Tory Party set a short timetable to nominate a new leader.
Only one person met the threshold of 100 supporters (publicly over half of the nearly 360 Tory MPs were said to be supporting him.
That’s even though ripples were made by a former PM, Boris Johnson, who came back from his Caribbean holiday to cause tongues to wag furiously, over the weekend. But, he withdrew on Sunday, saying the 57 supporters known publicly really represented 102 backers. As one wag quipped, 57 is 102 in base 19 🤔😂
The only other declared candidate, Penny Mordant, withdrew during Monday. Her declared support was well below 50.
What will he bring, as a former chancellor of the exchequer, especially over areas other than economics and finance? As he’s said, and all Brits know, “these are trying economic times”.
He’s got lots of other big issues to tackle, early on, including those with the EU and the Northern Ireland protocol. But, there’s also the matter of trade deals, including with India. But, Mr. Sunak has no political credentials in foreign affairs. He also is untried in the political arena on most matters.
Much will be made of the possible advance in multicultural aspects of British life.
Sunak’s grandparents left India and went to East Africa, and he’s now the first PM of British-Asian origin. He’s a practising Hindu, and it was ironic that he got the nod, yesterday, the same day as Diwali began (a holiday for Hindus, Sikhs and some other faiths).
He’s the youngest PM in modern times, at 42, since Lord Liverpool in 1812.
He has so far not crowed about ‘I told you so’ about the disaster that may be called ‘Trussonomics’, but he did predict what such policies would bring in.
Can he do what’s necessary to unite the country and his party?
Amazingly, Liz Truss never contacted the first ministers of Scotland or Wales during her brief tenure!
General election demands swirled, as opposition parties smelt blood near the crashing and burning Truss administration, and the obvious question arose about what real public mandate the Tories had to run the country.
His (multi-millionaire) and his family’s (billionaire) wealth was and will be a topic of discussion, for some. For me, it’s a non-story for the leader of a party linked historically to wealth and privilege.
Liz Truss was defiant to the end:
Sunak’s first speech as PM was a bit better than his first as leader, yesterday, hitting good sombreness and laying blame gently on his predecessor: