Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak began delivering on his “work would begin immediately” promise less than an hour after meeting King Charles II. Sources said he had asked for the resignation of several members of Liz Truss’ team of ministers ahead of the announcement of her new cabinet.
So far, three ministers have been asked to step down. They include Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis and Development Minister Vicky Ford, sources said. Reports indicate that Jeremy Hunt – who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng – will remain finance minister.
In his first speech as Prime Minister, Mr. Sunak promised to put “economic stability and competence” at the heart of this government’s agenda. “Trust is earned and I will earn yours,” he said, describing his election as a measure to correct the “mistakes” of his predecessors.
His government, Mr Sunak also said, will deliver on the promise of a stronger NHS (national health system), schools, safer streets, support for the armed forces, leveling and job creation. He will have “integrity, professionalism and accountability at all levels”, he said.
The UK is currently facing a huge economic slump which is rapidly progressing towards recession. Critics have accused the Conservative Party of failing to address the situation.
Last week, Mr Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, resigned after her mini-budget – which included a significant chunk of unfunded tax cuts – spooked markets. The U-turn operated by Jeremy Hunt, whom she appointed after the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng, could not reverse the economic tumult.
Bond yields had soared and the pound had crashed to an all-time low on fears of spiraling debt. Mr Sunak’s takeover had stabilized the situation to some degree, but Mr Hunt had warned of “tough decisions” in the days ahead.
In his speech today, Mr. Sunak echoed that sentiment. But he said it would be tempered with “compassion.”
“You saw me during Covid doing everything I could to protect people and businesses with schemes like furlough. There are always limits, more than ever. But I promise you, I will bring the same compassion to the challenges we face today,” he said.