New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak started delivering on his “work would begin immediately” promise within an hour of his meeting with King Charles II. Sources said he has asked for the resignation of several members of Liz Truss’s team of ministers as a precursor to the announcement of his new cabinet.
So far three ministers have been asked to step down. Among them are Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis and Development minister Vicky Ford, sources said. Reports indicate that Jeremy Hunt — who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng — will stay on as the finance minister.
In his first address as Prime Minister, Mr Sunak promised to place “economic stability and competence” at the heart of this government’s agenda. “Trust is earned and I will earn yours,” he said, describing his election as a measure to correct the “mistakes” of his predecessors.
His government, Mr Sunak also said, will deliver on the promise of stronger NHS (National Healthcare system), schools, safer streets, supporting armed forces, levelling up and create jobs. It will have “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level,” he had said.
UK is currently facing a huge economic slump that’s rapidly progressing towards recession. Critics have accused the Conservative party of failing to address the situation.
Last week, Mr Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss stepped down after her mini budget — which had a large component of unfunded tax cuts — spooked the markets. The U-turn made by Jeremy Hunt, whom she appointed after sacking Kwasi Kwarteng, was unable to reverse the economic tumult.
Bond yields had spiked and the pound collapsed to a record dollar-low on fears of spiralling debt. Mr Sunak’s takeover had stabilised the situation to an extent, but Mr Hunt had warned of “difficult decisions” in the days ahead.
In his address today, Mr Sunak echoed the sentiment. But he said it would be tempered with “compassion”.
“You saw me during Covid doing everything I could to protect people and businesses with schemes like furlough. There are always limits, more so now than ever. But I promise you this, I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today,” he said.