Rishi Sunak set to be next UK PM as rival withdraws from race

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s prime minister on Monday after other candidates dropped out of the race to lead the Conservative Party, putting him in charge of leading a deeply divided country through the economy recession, which will leave millions of people out. poorer.

Sunak, one of Westminster’s richest politicians, will be asked by King Charles to form a government to replace outgoing leader Liz Truss after just 44 days in office.

He defeated centrist politician Penny Mordout, who failed to gain enough support from lawmakers to vote, while his rival, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, dropped out saying he could no longer unite the party .

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“This decision is a historic one that once again showcases the diversity and talent of our party. I fully support Richie,” Mordault said in a statement, as she withdrew from the contest minutes before the winner was announced.

Sterling and UK government bond prices briefly rose on news of Mordaunt’s exit, but quickly returned to their previous levels.

Former finance minister Sunak, 42, became Britain’s third prime minister in less than two months, tasked with restoring stability to a country plagued by years of political and economic turmoil.

The former hedge fund boss is expected to slash spending in an attempt to rebuild Britain’s fiscal reputation just as the country slid into recession due to soaring energy and food costs.

Britain has been in a state of perpetual crisis since voting to leave the European Union in 2016, sparking a battle in Westminster over the country’s future that remains unresolved.

The latest drama has drawn consternation from foreign capital and ridicule from the world media.

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, Sunak drew national attention by becoming finance minister under Johnson at the age of 39 and setting up a successful furlough scheme.

The former Goldman Sachs analyst will become Britain’s first prime minister of Indian origin.

His family moved to the UK in the 1960s, when many people from the former British colonies moved to the country to help it rebuild after World War II.

After graduating from Oxford, he went to Stanford University, where he met his wife Akshata Murthy, whose father is Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, the founder of outsourcing giant Infosys Ltd.

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Writing by Kate Holton, Additional reporting by Muvija M, William James, Paul Sandle, James Davey; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Hugh Lawson

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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