Rishi Sunak to be appointed PM by the King before building Cabinet

Mr Sunak ruled out an early general election demanded by opposition parties as the Tories move onto their third prime minister on the mandate won by Johnson in 2019.

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Rishi Sunak will be appointed as the country’s next prime minister by the King and look to build a new Cabinet in an attempt to unite the Conservative Party.

He won the Tory leadership contest without a vote being cast after Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out, and will replace Liz Truss in No 10 on Tuesday.

The handover of power will see Ms Truss, who quit last week after only six weeks in the top job, hold her final Cabinet meeting and give a farewell speech in Downing Street before formally tendering her resignation to Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Once she has left, it will be Mr Sunak’s turn to see the King, who will ask him to form an administration.

Mr Sunak is expected to address the nation just before noon, before entering No 10 as the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, the first of Asian heritage, and the youngest for more than 200 years at the age of 42.

Rishi Sunak will be appointed as the country’s next prime minister by the King and look to build a new Cabinet in an attempt to unite the Conservative Party.
Rishi Sunak will be appointed as the country’s next prime minister by the King and look to build a new Cabinet in an attempt to unite the Conservative Party.

The former chancellor will then turn his attention to assembling a top team that he will hope can return a measure of stability to both the Conservatives and the country.

He has been urged to avoid Ms Truss’s perceived error of appointing loyalists to key roles, with James Cleverly calling for the overhauled Cabinet to feature the best ministers.

While his team was remaining tight-lipped about the possible make-up of the team, his long-time backers Dominic Raab, the former justice secretary, Commons Treasury Committee chair Mel Stride and ex-chief whip Mark Harper were tipped to be in it.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who was brought in to steady Ms Truss’s ailing Government and has been working towards a highly-anticipated Halloween fiscal statement, is widely expected to keep the keys to No 11 to try to stabilise the jittery markets.

Ms Mordaunt, who bowed out of the race to hand Mr Sunak a spectacular political comeback as she failed to get the 100 nominations from Tory MPs, is expected to get some kind of promotion – with some speculating that she could replace Mr Cleverly as foreign secretary.

He has been urged to avoid Ms Truss’s perceived error of appointing loyalists to key roles, with James Cleverly calling for the overhauled Cabinet to feature the best ministers.
He has been urged to avoid Ms Truss’s perceived error of appointing loyalists to key roles, with James Cleverly calling for the overhauled Cabinet to feature the best ministers.

Mr Sunak ruled out an early general election demanded by opposition parties as the Tories move onto their third prime minister on the mandate won by Mr Johnson in 2019.

Mr Sunak, whose resignation from Mr Johnson’s Government in July precipitated a mass exodus that led to the then-PM’s downfall, on Monday hit the ground running by telling Conservative MPs behind closed doors in the House of Commons they face an “existential moment”.

Three MPs in the room said his message to the party was they must “unite or die”, as they focus on delivering on the public’s priorities during a cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Sunak now has the daunting task of leading the nation through an economic crisis only exacerbated by the chaotic legacy of Ms Truss.

A wave of industrial unrest, a buckling health service and the risk of a nuclear escalation by Russian President Vladimir Putin are only some of the challenges he faces.