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HomeNewsRishi Sunak warns of ‘difficult decisions’ as he becomes UK PM

Rishi Sunak warns of ‘difficult decisions’ as he becomes UK PM

Britain’s new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, today said he would try to fix the mess left by his predecessor, restore faith in politics and tackle a “profound economic crisis” but warned the country there would be difficult decisions.

Standing in front of his new Downing Street office, Sunak said: “And I have been elected as leader of my party and your prime minister, in part to fix them. And that work begins immediately. I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. This will mean difficult decisions to come.”

He paid tribute to Liz Truss, whose economic programme roiled the markets. “I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Liz Truss … But some mistakes were made. Not born of ill will or bad intentions. Quite the opposite, in fact. But mistakes nonetheless,” he said.

Sunak — at 42 the youngest British leader in more than 200 years — is expected to immediately begin appointing a Cabinet and getting to grips with an economy sliding toward recession. 

He said he would confront the “profound economic crisis” with compassion and lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability.”

Truss wished Sunak success as Britain continues “to battle through a storm.”

Sunak’s top priorities will be appointing Cabinet ministers, and preparing for a budget statement that will set out how the government plans to come up with billions of pounds (dollars) to fill a fiscal hole created by soaring inflation and a sluggish economy, and exacerbated by Truss’ destabilizing economic experiments.

Sunak, who was Treasury chief himself for two years until July, becomes prime minister in a remarkable reversal of fortune just weeks after he lost to Truss in a Conservative election to replace former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

As well as stabilizing the U.K. economy, Sunak must try to unite a governing party that has descended into acrimony as its poll ratings have plunged.

Conservative lawmaker Victoria Atkins, a Sunak ally, said the party would “settle down” under Sunak.

“We all understand that we’ve now really got to get behind Rishi — and, in fairness, that’s exactly what the party has done,” she told radio station LBC.

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