Live Update: Rishi Sunak becomes UK Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak’s rise to the top job in British politics is remarkable.

Just seven weeks ago, he was beaten by Leeds Trath in the Conservative Party leadership race. Today, swiftly shrugging off the wreckage of her short-lived premiership after winning a leadership contest, he’s just far from the audience of King Charles III in Downing Street.

The man who served as Boris Johnson’s finance minister for two-and-a-half years before resigning and overthrowing Johnson’s government now faces the challenge of regaining a shaky country after Truss’ disastrous tenure. Herculean task.

It’s fair to assume that he will do so by implementing the economic plan he outlined in his failed leadership campaign earlier this year. Sunak criticized Truss’ plans to cut taxes and borrow to fund day-to-day spending, saying it would wreak economic havoc.

He proved right when the Truss government implemented her plan in a “small budget” that sent the pound to its lowest level in decades, bond prices tumbled, sent borrowing costs soaring and pushed pension funds out of the blue to the brink of bankruptcy.

As Sunak predicted, rising interest rates pushed up mortgage payments and lenders scrambled to withdraw their products from the market, dashing the hopes of many potential homeowners almost overnight.

Before Truss took office, Britain’s international reputation had already taken a hit. Endless scandals eventually forced Johnson out of office, and world leaders did not take Britain well beyond his repeated threats to violate international law over his personal Brexit deal with the EU.

Sunak’s addition can be directly blamed on the chaos of the past few months. He is seen as a pair of safe hands, having won widespread praise for his handling of the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping businesses and citizens implement large government spending plans that have saved many livelihoods. His job now is clear: bring peace.

Unfortunately for Sunak, he inherited a political party that has been humiliating itself over the past few years. The Conservative Party in 2022 is defined by factionalism and divided loyalties that keep both Johnson and Truss out of power.

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