Rishi Sunak says 'mistakes were made' by Liz Truss as he makes first speech as PM

Rishi Sunak made the speech after officially becoming Prime Minister during an audience with King Charles III

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Rishi Sunak has said "some mistakes were made" by Liz Truss as he made his first speech after being officially named as Prime Minister.

Mr Sunak, who became PM during an audience with King Charles III on Tuesday morning, said he is determined to “fix” the “mistakes” made by his predecessor.

Mr Sunak said Ms Truss was “not wrong” to want to deliver economic growth but that mistakes had been made in doing so.

He said: “I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Liz Truss.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

“She was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country – it is a noble aim.

“I admired her restlessness to create change – but some mistakes were made.

“Not born of ill-will or bad intention – quite the opposite in fact.

“But mistakes, nonetheless.”

He continued: "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.

Mr Sunak said he is determined to “fix” the “mistakes” made by his predecessor
Mr Sunak said he is determined to “fix” the “mistakes” made by his predecessor

“But you saw me during Covid doing everything I could to protect people and businesses with schemes like furlough.

“There are always limits, more so now than ever. But I promise you this – I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.”

The former Chancellor also said he is “not daunted” by the task ahead of him and stands “ready to lead our country into the future”.

Mr Sunak has said he will “always be grateful” to Boris Johnson for his “incredible achievements” in No 10.

He pledged to deliver on the Conservative 2019 manifesto, insisting Mr Johnson would agree it is not “the sole property of any one individual”.

He said: “I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as prime minister and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

“I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us.

“And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise.

“A stronger NHS, better schools, safer streets, control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces, levelling up and building an economy that embraces the opportunities of Brexit where businesses invest, innovate and create jobs.”

His speech comes after he was appointed Prime Minister by King Charles III after he accepted the resignation of Liz Truss after just 49 days in office.

The new Conservative leader was invited to form a government by Charles when they met at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday after Ms Truss departed as the shortest-serving prime minister in history.

Mr Sunak, 42, is the UK’s first Hindu PM, the first of Asian heritage and the youngest for more than 200 years.

Mr Sunak’s first speech as Prime Minister lasted five minutes and 56 seconds – longer than all of the equivalent speeches by prime ministers in recent decades except for Mr Johnson in 2019, who spoke for 11 minutes and 13 seconds.

When Ms Truss made her first speech as prime minister in Downing Street on September 6, she spoke for four minutes and four seconds.