Rishi Sunak announces official bid to become UK Prime Minister


LONDON – Former British finance minister Rishi Sunak has announced he will succeed Liz Truss as the next leader of the Conservative Party, putting him on track for the final round of the race for prime minister .

“I want to fix our economy, unite our party and contribute to our country,” he said in a speech. Sunday Tweets.

This is the 42-year-old Sunak’s second bid for the role in less than four months. Over the summer, the former chancellor entered the final round of the race to replace Boris Johnson, but lost to Truss in the vote for party membership.

Sunak, who was relatively unknown until his promotion to Johnson’s finance minister in 2020, has since become known for his attention to fiscal detail and his pragmatic approach to managing the country’s finances, an image he has built by leading the country through the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus. Popularity. He and Johnson formed a contrasting dual role at the top of British government: Sunak played the sensible accountant in the room as the prime minister captivated the public with his unique sense of humor.

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Sunday’s announcement made Sunak the first — and so far the only — candidate to be officially announced, according to public tally, who had collected 100 nominations from other lawmakers by 2 p.m. Monday, to appear on the party’s ballot. If more than one candidate passes the threshold, MPs will elect two to be voted online by party members, with results expected to be announced on October 1. 28.

As of Sunday, Sunak’s biggest challenger appeared to be former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in July, kicking off Britain’s current round of political chaos.in seconds tweet Containing his formal resignation letter as Johnson’s finance minister, which prompted others to resign and eventually forced Johnson to resign, Sunak said the public deserved a government that was “proper, competent and serious”.

British media reports on Saturday that the pair, who once worked side-by-side, were in late-night talks, sparked speculation the pair could reach a deal to set aside their rivalry for a joint ticket.

If elected, Sunak will become the country’s first South Asian prime minister. He was born in Southampton, England, to Indian parents who immigrated from East Africa.

Some Tory MPs and former Johnson allies, including former cabinet members Sajid Javid and Gavin Williamsonhas announced support for Sunak.

In a major coup in Sunak’s camp, Suella Braverman — a rising star on the party’s right who resigned as home secretary last week, prompting Trus’ resignation — also Backed the former finance minister, arguing that he was in “the predicament that the country is in right now”.

“I need a leader who will tidy up our house and hold the tiller steadily and carefully. For me, that person is Rishi Sunak,” she wrote in The Telegraph on Sunday. .

In a major blow to Johnson’s chances, David Frost, who negotiated the Brexit deal and was later awarded a seat in the House of Lords by Johnson, declared on Saturday that it was time to “move on” from the former prime minister.

Many Sunak supporters have sought to portray him as a stable candidate who could end the chaos of recent months. Sunak’s advocates also point to his candidacy having the most support from his parliamentary colleagues in this summer’s leadership race with Truss.

However, critics within the Conservative Party worry he is out of touch with voters and accuse him of being disloyal to Johnson – a key source of contention among many of the party’s grassroots members, in which Johnson remains popular.

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Get an education at one of the UK’s most prestigious schools At a private school like Johnson, Sunak has a stellar resume, with degrees from Oxford and Stanford and a stint at Goldman Sachs. One of Britain’s richest politicians, he is married to Indian tech heiress Akshata Murthy, whose tax situation caused Sunak some political discomfort during the summer leadership campaign.

A video clip from a 2007 BBC documentary circulated online in which Sunak suggested he didn’t have any “working-class friends” as some Britons dismissed a string of high-society Conservative contenders.

Nonetheless, Sunak remains popular among Conservative politicians, despite his poor performance among the party’s national membership, with 57.4% supporting Trus in September compared to Sunak’s 42.6%.

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For his supporters, Sunak was a stabilizing hand for the economy, as he correctly predicted the market crisis triggered by Truss’ policies when she cut taxes and sent the pound tumbling. Before he took office, Truss referred to his proposed economic reforms as “fairytale” economics, an assessment that might give credence to his image of fiscal responsibility.

One blemish on his record, however, is his link to the “Party Gate” scandal that overthrew Johnson’s government. Like his boss, Sunak was fined by London’s Metropolitan Police for attending a rally at 10 Downing Street during his tenure, while the Briton was subject to the government’s draconian coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Some critics, such as former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, point out that Britain’s record levels of inflation began during Sunak’s tenure as prime minister.

As of Sunday afternoon, the BBC’s tally of Conservative MPs put Sunak at 146, Johnson at 57 and Penny Mordout at 24.

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