Sunak begins life as British youngest PM in over two centuries
• Truss departs with a rare record of serving two monarchs in 44 days
Former Goldman Sacs employee and hedge fund manager, Rishi Sunak, started life as Britain’s 57th Prime Minister just before noon, yesterday, when, after meeting King Charles III at Buckingham Palace and being formally appointed, he was asked to form his government.
Aside from being the first Briton of Asian descent to be PM, the 42-year-old father of two is the youngest Prime Minister since another 42-year-old, Robert Jenkinson, occupied the post in 1812.
A few hours before the new Prime Minister went to get the King’s nod, Liz Truss, the shortest serving PM in British history, was also at the Palace to formally say goodbye to His Majesty and close the chapter on her 44-day turbulent stint that ended last Thursday when she resigned.
But despite the unenviable record, Truss departs with the rare honour of being the first British Prime Minister to serve two monarchs in more than 70 years.
She was appointed as PM by the late Queen Elizabeth II in early September, after defeating her successor in the Conservatives (aka Tories or Tory party) leadership contest decided by the Conservatives party members.
Sunak, who didn’t have to go through another leadership contest in seven weeks, grabbed the keys to 10 Downing Street after his former boss and PM, Boris Johnson, pulled out of the three-horse Conservatives leadership race on Sunday night.
His emergence as Prime Minister became certain before 2:00 p.m. on Monday, when Commons leader, Penny Mordaunt, withdrew from the race.
He spoke briefly outside Number 10, after returning from Buckingham Palace, admitting that the country is facing a “profound economic crisis.”
Though he was welcomed with the goodwill tweet: “Congratulations, Rishi Sunak, on becoming Prime Minister and making history as the first British Asian PM,” by Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, he noted: “The Tories have crashed the economy, with low wages, high prices and a cost of living crisis.”
After a shadow cabinet meeting, Starmer then threw an uppercut at the new Prime Minister, saying he “has only ever fought one leadership election battle his entire life and ‘got thrashed’ by Liz Truss.”
The former barrister peppered him further, stating: “And no wonder he doesn’t want to fight a general election.”
Aside from the Labour Party, calls for a general election have also come from the Scottish National Party, SNP.