December 10, 2023

BBC: UK in economic crisis and I will fix mistakes, says new PM Sunak


  1. Rishi Sunak has become the new UK prime minister after meeting King Charles at Buckingham Palace
  2. In his first speech, he says the UK is facing a “profound economic crisis” and that he has been chosen as the new Tory leader to fix some of Liz Truss’s mistakes
  3. “Trust is earned, and I will earn yours,” he tells the public from outside No 10 Downing Street
  4. In a short farewell speech earlier, Liz Truss defended her legacy of trying to push through tax cuts and said leaders needed to be bold
  5. Sunak will be UK’s third leader in seven weeks after winning a Tory leadership contest triggered by Truss stepping down
  6. Sunak ruled out an early general election, despite calls from Labour, the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party

Rishi Sunak isn’t the answer to UK’s economic problems – Labour

PA MediaCopyright: PA Media

Rishi Sunak “doesn’t have a mandate” to govern and isn’t the answer to the country’s economic problems, the Labour Party says.

Responding to Sunak’s first speech as PM, Labour Party Chair Anneliese Dodds told BBC News that the country needed “a fresh start with a general election”.

Dodds said: “Rishi Sunak is saying he’s the answer when the problem ultimately is the Conservatives.

“Rishi Sunak has been part of those 12 years of Conservative failure.

“People didn’t vote at the last election for a high tax, low growth economy, but of course Rishi Sunak was right at the heart of that.”

Sunak said in his speech that the mandate won in 2019 was his party’s, rather one person’s. 

Dodds criticised Sunak’s lack of concrete policy proposals, saying that it’s “ordinary people, of course, who are paying the price” for what she called the Conservative Party’s “economic failure”.

She said Monday’s planned fiscal statement was “setting up as a Halloween horror show”.

Sunak delivers second-longest inaugural PM speech in years

PA MediaCopyright: PA Medi

Here’s some trivia for you. Rishi Sunak’s first speech as PM lasted almost six minutes – five minutes and 56 seconds, to be precise – which is longer than all the equivalent speeches by incoming PMs in recent decades, except for Boris Johnson in 2019, who spoke for 11 minutes and 13 seconds.

Truss’s inaugural speech on 6 September lasted just over four minutes. 

No time wasted in updating Twitter bios

Within moments of Rishi Sunak being appointed as prime minister, his Twitter bio had been updated with his new title.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss’s Twitter account had a swift update after Buckingham Palace announced she was no longer PM.

Sunak’s acknowledgement of Tory mistakes won’t stop election calls

Nick Eardley Chief political correspondent

Rishi Sunak has just tried to address the key criticisms of the Conservative Party. 

He said he has to fix the mistakes made by his predecessor. He promised integrity in government – something opponents say was missing under Boris Johnson. 

And he’s tried to take in calls for a general election, by saying the 2019 mandate wasn’t just Johnson’s.

That won’t stop calls for a general election though. And it won’t stop criticism of the Conservative Party over the economy.

Sunak speech failed to reassure public about winter ahead – Lib Dem leader

The Liberal Democrats responded immediately after Sunak finished his speech, saying he failed to “reassure” the public worried about the winter ahead.

Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey says Sunak’s “refusal” to call a general election “shows the Conservative Party does not trust the British people”.

“The public will be rightly furious that they have been denied a say, while Conservative MPs get to decide who runs our country,” he says.

Davey says Sunak’s speech didn’t contain details on his plans to “fix the damage to our economy and the NHS” caused by, what he called, years of Tory “chaos and incompetence”.

He calls on Sunak to confirm that benefits and pensions will be increased in line with inflation and that there will be no spending cuts to public services.

Boris Johnson calls for all Conservatives to support Sunak

Following Rishi Sunak’s first address as prime minister, his former boss has tweeted his congratulations.

In the last few moments Boris Johnson wrote: “Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on this historic day, this is the moment for every Conservative to give our new PM their full and wholehearted support.”

Cheers as Sunak enters No 10 as PM

Sunak is posing for photos outside Downing Street after finishing his first speech as prime minister.

He enters No 10 to loud applause and cheers from the crowds outside.

During his speech, protesters could be heard heckling outside Downing Street and playing I Predict A Riot by Kaiser Chiefs on a speaker.

I’ll put country’s needs above politics, Sunak promises

Sunak says he is ready to lead the country “into the future and put your needs above politics”, adding he would build a government that “represents the best of my party”. 

Sunak ‘not daunted’ by pressures of the job

The new prime minister says he understands he has work to do to restore trust after all that has happened.

“I’m not daunted,” Sunak says, adding that he knows of the pressure of the high office and hopes he can live up to its demands.

New PM acknowledges hardships

Sunak goes on to say he understands how difficult this moment is after the costs of Covid and the Ukraine war.

“I fully appreciate how hard things are,” he says.

‘Stronger NHS’ among Sunak’s pledges

He adds that he knows the mandate the Conservative Party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of one person, rather “it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us”.

He pledges “a stronger NHS, better schools, safer streets, control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces and levelling up.”

Sunak pays tribute to former PM Boris Johnson

Sunak says he will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his “incredible achievements” as prime minister.

He will treasure Johnson’s warmth and generosity of spirt, he adds.

Trust is earned, says new PM

Sunak says his government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.

“Trust is earned and I will earn yours,” he says.

Sunak to work ‘day in and day out’ to deliver

Sunak says that during his time as chancellor he did everything he could “to protect people and businesses” through schemes such as furlough.

“I will bring the same compasssion to the challenges we face today,” he says, adding that he will not leave the next generation with a “debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves”.

“I will unite our country not with words but with action,” says Sunak. 

“I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.”

Work starts now to fix mistakes – Sunak

Sunak goes on to say he has been chosen as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister to fix some of the mistakes made by his predecessor.

“That work begins immediately,” he says.

Some mistakes were made – Sunak says of Truss’s leadership

Sunak pays tribute to Truss, saying she was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country, saying “it’s a noble aim”.

He says he admired her restlessness to create change – but “some mistakes were made”.

“Not born of ill will or bad intentions, quite the opposite. But mistakes nonetheless.”

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

To read much more and watch all the videos go to this BBC LINK

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