New England Prime Minister Rishi Sunak began delivering promises that “work would begin immediately” within an hour of meeting King Charles II. Sources said he had asked several members of Liz Truss’ cabinet to resign ahead of the announcement of his new cabinet.
So far 3 ministers have been asked to resign. They include Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis and Development Minister Vicky Ford. Jeremy Hunt will replace Kwasi Kwarteng as finance minister, according to reports.
In his first speech as prime minister, Mr Sunak pledged to put “economic stability and efficiency” at the heart of this government’s agenda. “Trust is earned, I will earn yours,” he said, describing his election as a move to right the “mistakes” of his predecessors.
Mr Sunak also said his government would deliver on promises of a stronger NHS (National Health System), schools, safer streets, support for the armed forces, equality and job creation. He said it will have “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”.
The UK is currently facing a major economic downturn and is heading towards recession. Critics have accused the Conservative Party of failing to confront the situation.
Last week, Mr Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, stepped down after her mini-budget — which consisted largely of unfunded tax cuts — spooked markets. A U-turn by Jeremy Hunt, who he appointed after sacking Kwasi Kwarteng, failed to reverse the economic mess.
Bonds rose and the pound fell to a record dollar on fears of a debt spiral. Mr Sunak’s takeover stabilized the situation to some extent, but Mr Hunt had warned of “difficult decisions” in the coming days.
In his speech today, Mr Sunak echoed this sentiment. But he said it would be “mercifully” gentle.
“You saw me doing everything I could to protect people and businesses during Covid. There are always limits, now more than ever. But I promise you, I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today,” he said.