Rishi Sunak will be appointed as the country’s next prime minister by the king and will seek to build a new cabinet that can unite a fractious Tory party.
She won the Tory leadership contest without a vote being cast after rivals Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out, and will replace Liz Truss at No. 10 on Tuesday.
The handover of power will see Truss, who resigned last week after just six weeks in the top job, hold her final cabinet meeting and deliver a farewell speech in Downing Street before formally handing in her resignation to Charles at the Palace. from Buckingham.
Once she is gone, it will be Mr. Sunak’s turn to see the King, who will ask him to form an administration.
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 in more than 200 years at the age of 42.
The former chancellor will then turn his attention to assembling a top team that he hopes can bring some stability back to both the Conservatives and the country.
He has been urged to avoid Mrs Truss’s perceived mistake of appointing loyalists to key roles, with James Cleverly calling for the revised Cabinet to include top ministers.
The Foreign Secretary told Sky News: “We have to have the first 15 in the field. I know Rishi understands that.”
Sunak will seek to build a cabinet of “all talents” that will see the political return of “grown-ups”, according to reports.
While his team remained tight-lipped about the possible make-up of the team, his long-time backers Dominic Raab, former Attorney General, Commons Treasury Committee Chairman Mel Stride and former boss Mark Harper were invited to participate. .
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who was brought in to stabilize Truss’s ailing government and has been working toward a much-anticipated Halloween tax return, is expected to hold onto the keys to No. 11 to try to stabilize jittery markets.
Mordaunt, who dropped out of the race to give Sunak a dramatic political comeback by failing to win 100 nominations from Conservative MPs, is expected to get some form of promotion, with some speculating she could replace Cleverly as foreign secretary. .
Sunak has ruled out a snap general election demanded by opposition parties as the Tories move toward their third prime minister in the term Johnson won in 2019.
Harper told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “He has majority support in the House of Commons and that is the basis on which he is entitled to be Prime Minister and will govern and deliver the 2019 manifesto.”
He admitted that “of course you have to respond to the challenges you face” when asked that Sunak’s talk of the “profound economic challenge” and Hunt’s warning of “mind-bogglingly difficult” tax and spending decisions signaled a move away from Johnson’s 2019 promise to end austerity.
“Obviously you have to evolve, but the foundation of our program is the promises we made in 2019,” Harper said.
He also said Ms Truss’s six-week prime ministership made Mr Sunak’s job “more difficult”, due to “the way the markets responded”.
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting reiterated Labour’s call for a general election, saying “the public is clamoring for a voice”.
He said: “The Conservative Party is a sclerotic mess. They’re chaotic and who’s to say Rishi Sunak isn’t going to be out in six months’ time because you can hear the knives being sharpened in Westminster from disaffected Borisites… who still believe Rishi stabbed Boris Johnson in the back.”
Sunak, whose resignation from the Johnson government in July precipitated a mass exodus that led to the downfall of the then prime minister, began Monday by telling Conservative MPs behind closed doors in the House of Commons that they face an “existential moment”. .
Three MPs in the room said their message to the party was that they must “join or die” as they focus on meeting 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 reeling health service and the risk of a nuclear escalation by Russian President Vladimir Putin are just some of the challenges he faces.
Sunak’s rise from MP to prime minister is the fastest in modern political history, having first won the North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond in 2015.
However, his journey to the top job has not been without setbacks, as he was fined along with Johnson for violating coronavirus rules and faced questions about his wife Akshata Murty’s “non-dom” status for the purposes of tax.