Rishi Sunak on Tuesday officially took over as Britain’s 57th Prime Minister, becoming the country’s third leader in seven weeks.
In his first speech to the nation from No. 10 Downing Street, Sunak said the U.K. is facing a “profound economic crisis” and that he has been chosen as the new Conservative leader to fix some of the mistakes committed by his predecessor Liz Truss.
Sunak said there are “difficult decisions to come.” The 42-year-old leader of Indian origin pledged to unite the country.
The new prime minister has promised to place “integrity” and “accountability” at the heart of his premiership but rejected opposition demands to call fresh elections.
Sunak met King Charles at Buckingham Palace to accept the role after outgoing leader Truss visited the monarch to offer her resignation.
As ministers of the Truss Cabinet started announcing their resignations, Sunak began the task of appointing his new Cabinet.
Responding to Sunak’s speech, Labor Party Chair Anneliese Dodds told BBC News that the country needed “a fresh start with a general election.”
Labor Party leader Keir Starmer repeated his calls for a general election after congratulating Sunak.
Sunak will become the first person of color and the youngest person to take the office in more than two centuries. He became a junior minister in Theresa May’s government and was later named the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer by Boris Johnson. Sunak had lost a tight leadership race with Liz Truss last month.
Sunak, who is the first British-Asian Prime Minister, was elected as Conservative Party leader unopposed on Monday a few days after Truss’ resignation.
He will be sworn in as the next prime minister on Saturday.
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