Rishi Sunak has been appointed Britain’s third prime minister this year and the first person of colour to lead the former imperial power, vowing to mend its stricken finances after Liz Truss lasted just 49 days.
Sunak was set to speak outside 10 Downing Street after his appointment by King Charles III, capping the latest extraordinary twist in UK politics following Boris Johnson’s demise in July.
Departing Downing Street a little before, Truss wished Sunak “every success” and said she remained “more convinced than ever” that Britain needed to be “bold” in confronting the challenges it faced.
Sunak became the ruling Conservatives’ new leader on Monday after triumphing over rival contender Penny Mordaunt, who failed to secure enough nominations from Tory MPs.
It had become a two-way fight after Johnson dramatically aborted a comeback attempt late Sunday, having failed to persuade Sunak to share power. He has maintained a deafening silence since.
Sunak, a Hindu, is the first British-Indian prime minister and, at 42, the youngest leader in more than two centuries.
US President Joe Biden called the choice “groundbreaking”, and vowed to reach out to Sunak shortly.