The Conservative Party has picked its next leader. Now comes the hard part.
Sunak, the son of immigrants of Indian descent, officially becomes prime minister, he will be Britain’s first prime minister of color. It’s a historic victory, and Conservatives are celebrating what they hope will be his steadying tenure in an incredibly difficult moment for Sunak’s party and country. In addition to the UK’s most dramatic currency crisis in recent memory, the country is also facing a cost-of-living crisis and staggering inflation that the Bank of England has yet to significantly curb.
Sunak, who served as chancellor of the exchequer (basically, finance minister) under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, won the contest among his fellow Conservative Party members of Parliament (or MPs) after Johnson and Penny Mordaunt, his closest rivals, withdrew from the race.
Sunak has vowed to “fix the economy, unite the Party and deliver for the country.” Given the steep economic headwinds the UK is facing and the Conservative Party’s sagging popularity, whether he can deliver on that remains unclear.
The incredibly wealthy 42-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker criticized the policy proposals that sparked the currency crisis. He has emphasized the need to bring down public debt and advocated for cutting taxes — but only if it’s affordable. His next policy moves aren’t clear, but in remarks both public and private, “stability” has been his key message.