The Briton Sunak has to face the opposition for the first time as Prime Minister in Parliament

The Briton Sunak has to face the opposition for the first time as Prime Minister in Parliament


Rishi Sunak will face opposition lawmakers for the first time as Britain’s prime minister on Wednesday in what is likely to be a noisy parliamentary session after weeks of political turmoil.

It comes after he became the color’s first British leader to take power on Tuesday and vowed to repair the damage done by outgoing leader Liz Truss with her disastrous budget that unleashed economic carnage.

Sunak also promised to unite his fragmented Conservatives and an increasingly unperturbed country, and began his tenure by reappointing a host of ministers from his predecessor’s top team.

The former Treasury Secretary retained Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor of the Exchequer and offered to keep markets on the side after stabilizing the situation with his first appointment nearly two weeks ago.

He also retained Truss’ secretaries of state, defense, trade and culture, among others, and controversially brought back recently fired Interior Secretary Suella Braverman.

The line-up “reflects a united party and a Cabinet with considerable experience and ensures there is continuity at the heart of government at this uncertain time,” said a Downing Street source.

The largely identical-looking cabinet could hold an opening meeting on Wednesday before Sunak goes to the House of Commons for his first weekly “Questions from the Prime Minister” when he is set to fight Labor leader Keir Starmer and other opposition lawmakers.

They will no doubt seek to capitalize on weeks of chaos at the top of government, repeating calls for a general election after the election – by Conservative MPs – of their third leader in two months.

“The Tories have crashed the economy, with low wages, high prices and a cost of living crisis,” Starmer said on Tuesday, giving a taste of the lines of attack to come.

“The public needs a fresh start and a say in Britain’s future.”

– ‘Difficult Choices’ –

Truss left as Britain’s prime minister with the shortest tenure in history, replaced by its youngest since 1812 and first Hindu leader.

Sunak, 42, triumphed in a 96-hour Tory leadership contest after rival Penny Mordaunt failed to secure enough nominations from Tory lawmakers and Boris Johnson dramatically cut short a bold comeback bid.

Truss and Johnson offered their support – although Johnson, who privately blamed his ex-minister for his ouster in July, is believed to be furious and still harbors hopes of an eventual Downing Street return.

Sunak turned shortly after his appointment by King Charles III. to the nation outside Number 10, acknowledging that the country was facing a “deep economic crisis”.

“I will put economic stability and confidence at the heart of this administration’s agenda,” he said, adding, “This will involve difficult decisions.”

In an apparent effort for greater internal unity, Sunak immediately held talks with the devolved leaders of Scotland and Wales – something Truss failed to do during her seven-week tenure.

In his first meeting with a foreign leader, Sunak told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Britain would continue its “steadfast support” after the Russian invasion.

He also spoke to US President Joe Biden, who previously hailed the appointment of the first British-Indian prime minister as “groundbreaking”.

“President Biden said Britain remains America’s closest ally, and the prime minister acknowledged the tremendous strength of the relationship,” Sunak’s office said of their talks.

European leaders offered their own congratulations, while Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin Sunak recalled their “shared responsibility” to keep the peace in Northern Ireland following tensions under Johnson and Truss.

Sunak is unlikely to enjoy much or any political honeymoon as he inherits a number of issues.

Markets – and opposition parties – are eagerly awaiting an Oct. 31 Halloween financial statement from Hunt that will likely include public spending cuts to offset tens of billions of dollars in budget deficits.

It is accompanied by much audited independent assessments of government totals.

Labor and others are expected to continue to call for snap elections – due no later than January 2025 – as Sunak becomes the second consecutive prime minister without a direct mandate from voters.

Opposition parties have no way of forcing one unless dozens of Conservative MPs agree, which seems unlikely as a spate of polls show Labor has the widest lead in decades.

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