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24 Oct, 2022 13:19

Rishi Sunak to become new UK PM

The former treasury chief replaces Liz Truss, who resigned after only six weeks in office
Rishi Sunak to become new UK PM

Rishi Sunak is set to become new UK prime minister, replacing Liz Truss, the shortest-serving PM in British history. 

Sunak on Monday clinched the race after his main opponent, Penny Mordaunt, failed to receive the backing of 100 Conservative MPs before 2pm BST.

As she withdrew from the contest, Mordaunt issued a statement on Twitter, expressing full support to Sunak and calling upon the Conservatives to rally behind the new PM. “We all owe it to the country, to each other and to Rishi to unite and work together for the good of the nation. There’s much work to be done,” she wrote.

Former UK PM Boris Johnson, who claimed to have enough support for a comeback to 10 Downing Street, announced he was pulling out of the leadership race on Sunday. “This would simply not be the right thing to do,” Johnson said in a statement.

Truss resigned as prime minister on October 20 after the mini-budget put forward by her cabinet, in an attempt to alleviate soaring inflation and the energy crisis, failed and sent the markets into turmoil. She spent only six weeks in office, becoming the shortest-serving PM in the nation’s history.

Sunak, a 42-year-old of Indian descent, was Truss’ rival in the race to replace Johnson in office, but did not succeed the first time around. He previously held the positions of chief secretary to the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer.

Johnson, who served as prime minister from 2019 to 2022, was forced to step down in early September, following a series of scandals and a wave of resignations in his cabinet.