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First British African Asian premier

by Staff reporter
25 Oct 2022 at 06:08hrs | Views
Rishi Sunak will become the UK's first British Asian prime minister after his only remaining rival pulled out of the Tory leadership contest.

Nearly 200 Conservative MPs publicly backed the former chancellor ahead of the nomination deadline yesterday.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt dropped out after failing to secure enough support among MPs.

It means Sunak will succeed Liz Truss and become the youngest PM for more than 200 years.

Sunak – a 42-year-old practising Hindu – is expected to take office in the coming days now the result of the Tory leadership contest is known.

Sunak has addressed Tory MPs after the result was announced by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives.

In the speech – which took place behind closed doors – Sunak told them this was going to be a tough period and ruled out an early general election, MP Simon Hoare said.

The King will appoint Mr Sunak, who will take over from Ms Truss following her resignation just 45 days into her tumultuous premiership last week.

Sunak's coronation, in effect, as Tory leader caps a rapid political comeback by the former chancellor after he lost out to Ms Truss in the last leadership contest during the summer.

Truss – whose tax-cutting agenda Sunak dismissed as "fairytale economics" – tweeted to congratulate him and offer her "full support".

Her successor will take office at a time of economic crisis and pressure on public finances, exacerbated by Truss's mini-budget, which has been mostly scrapped.

Conservative Party chairman Jake Berry said it was time for the party to "unite four-square behind Rishi" after a period of intense political turmoil under Truss's premiership.

Mordaunt withdrew from the latest contest minutes before the result was announced, admitting it was "clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today".

"This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party," Mordaunt wrote in a tweet. "Rishi has my full support."

Mordaunt took the leadership race to the wire but came under pressure to unite behind Mr Sunak after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdrew from the contest on Sunday.

Mr Johnson – who resigned as prime minister only seven weeks ago – claimed he had enough support to stand but acknowledged now was "not the right time".

Some Conservative Party supporters have cancelled their memberships following the announcement that Rishi Sunak is set to be prime minister, with one voter of more than 40 years saying they felt as though the party "has been destroyed from within".

While some felt "delighted" by the news, others said the move has left them "fuming" that party members were not able to vote for Sunak to take over from Truss.

Lyn Bond, a 60-year-old retired nurse who has voted Conservative since she was 18, sent an email to cancel her membership after it was confirmed the MP for Richmond will lead the party.

"The whole thing is rather sad because, for a party that had such a wonderful win in 2019, it has been destroyed from within," Ms Bond, from Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, told the PA news agency.

Meanwhile, a caller to one of UK's most popular radio stations said that Sunak is not even British owing to the colour of his skin.

The caller on the LBC radio show who identified himself as Jerry, a member of the Tory party said that Sunak "doesn't love England" and "isn't even British in most people's opinion."

Claiming to be a supporter of former prime minister Boris Johnson- who has not announced that he will run for the premier position again- Jerry said, "Rishi Sunak isn't even British in most people's opinion… He doesn't love England like Boris does."

In response, the show's host Sangita Myska said that Sunak was born in the UK and had attended prestigious educational institutions in the country, while Johnson was born in New York.

Source - Agencies
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