Angela Rayner calls on Tories to 'stop doling out prime ministers' as she demands general election

Rishi Sunak's coronation marked a 'continuation' of the same problems according to the Labour deputy leader

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Angela Rayner has said the Conservatives “can’t just keep doling out prime ministers” as she demanded a general election.

The Labour deputy leader said Rishi Sunak’s coronation in the Tory leadership race on Monday marked a “continuation” of the same problems and she criticised him for failing to spell out how he would address the challenges the UK faces.

The party has “no mandate now”, Ms Rayner said after the former chancellor was named its third prime minister in three months.

Angela Rayner reiterated demands for a general election.
Angela Rayner reiterated demands for a general election.

She told broadcasters at Westminster: “The Conservatives have completely broken their promises, broken our economy…

“They can’t just keep doling out prime ministers every month because they’re in total chaos and they’ve lost control of the markets and haven’t got any ideas of how they’re going to tackle the cost of living that people are facing.”

But Mr Sunak ruled out a general election following his victory in the Tory leadership contest when rival Penny Mordaunt failed to win the backing of MPs.

With Boris Johnson having ditched his own bid at a comeback, Mr Sunak will enter No 10 unopposed and avoid an online ballot of the Conservative members that rejected him for Liz Truss last month.

Ms Rayner said: “What we’ve seen played out is a coronation here and not an actual election where people have a mandate to serve the British people of this country.

“Rishi Sunak was rejected by his own party membership only weeks ago.

“The people in this country now deserve us to go to the electorate to put our policies forward about how we’re going to deal with this cost-of-living crisis that the Conservatives have put upon the British people and let them have a vote.”

Rishi Sunak emerged successful in his quest to become Tory leader after Penny Mordaunt departed the contest.
Rishi Sunak emerged successful in his quest to become Tory leader after Penny Mordaunt departed the contest.

While Tory MPs backing Mr Sunak have touted his ability to bring stability to the economy, Ms Rayner criticised his record at the helm of the Treasury.

“I think it’s a continuation of the problems that the Conservatives have faced,” she said.

“Rishi Sunak was the chancellor where we’ve seen low growth.

“He’s failed to deal with the inflation that we’ve seen and families are really worried about the cost of living that they face.”

She added that she has “heard nothing” from Mr Sunak during his brief leadership campaign “about how he’s going to actually tackle the challenges that people are facing today”.

Mr Sunak has the daunting task of leading the nation through an economic crisis only exacerbated by the chaotic legacy of Ms Truss, who was ousted after just six weeks in office.

Ms Rayner welcomed the fact that Mr Sunak will be the first prime minister of Asian heritage.

“I think it’s really important actually today to see our politicians, I’ve said this many times as a working class girl with an accent from Manchester, for our politicians to represent and for people to see themselves within our senior politicians.”