At the reins of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak wants to fix the “mistakes” of Liz Truss

Third British Prime Minister in two months, Rishi Sunak reappointed the main figures of the Conservative government on Tuesday, opting for stability and promising to repair the “mistakes” made by the short-lived Liz Truss.

The 42-year-old ex-banker and Chancellor of the Exchequer entered Downing Street just five days after the announcement of the resignation of Liz Truss, who was in power for just 49 days, yet another twist in a country in the throes of intense political turbulence.

“I will unite our country not with words, but with deeds,” Mr. Sunak assured on the steps of his official residence, after being asked by King Charles III to form a new government. He promised to “fix” the “mistakes” made under Liz Truss. “I will put economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. »

The new Prime Minister, the first from a former British colony and the youngest since the 19th century, takes the reins of a country which is experiencing a serious economic and social crisis. Inflation is over 10%. The risk of a recession hovers. Strikes are multiplying in the face of the fall in purchasing power.

Forced to leave after the storm caused by her massive tax cut plan, Liz Truss preceded Rishi Sunak to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to present her resignation to the king, after a record short term. She wished “every possible success” to her successor, “for the good of our country”, and reaffirmed her plea for audacity in power.

Reappointed ministers

Rishi Sunak immediately began to form a government with a double challenge: to give guarantees to the markets, on edge since the budget announcements in September, and to bring together a very divided majority after 12 years in power.

Economically, he opted for stability by confirming Jeremy Hunt, 55, as Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British equivalent of the Minister of Finance). Since his crash appointment in mid-October, Hunt has brought some semblance of calm to the markets by reversing nearly all of the tax cuts announced three weeks earlier and signaled tough steps ahead, raising fears of a return to austerity. He is due to present new budgetary measures on October 31.

In wartime Ukraine, Rishi Sunak also confirmed James Cleverly at Foreign Affairs and Ben Wallace at Defence. Pledge for the right wing: the ultraconservative Suella Braverman is renamed to the Interior, less than a week after her resignation from this post, which had contributed to the fall of Liz Truss.

If the latter had formed a very loyal cabinet, Rishi Sunak seems to show a desire to be open to the different currents of the majority. He nevertheless reminded the government of his ally Dominic Raab, who is returning to the posts of Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister.

On the BBC, MP Huw Merriman explained that Rishi Sunak wanted to bring “a sense of calm and stability” by leading the government “like a business leader”: “We don’t want any more turbulence. »

Rishi Sunak also said he was “aware” of the work to be done to “restore confidence”, referring to the scandals that occurred under Boris Johnson, to which he expressed his “gratitude”.

Work to be done

At the head of an extremely divided party, Rishi Sunak excludes the early elections demanded by the opposition. According to an Ipsos poll published on Monday, 62% of voters want such an election to be held before the end of 2022.

“Brexiteur” from the start, who passes for a pragmatic, workaholic, Rishi Sunak is in a hurry to detail his projects after having imposed himself without a program or a vote from the members. He was the only candidate to have obtained the necessary support from the deputies of his party. Faced with the magnitude of the task, he assured in his first speech that he would not be “intimidated”. He also reiterated British support for Ukraine, whose officials had not hidden their disappointment after the departure of Boris Johnson.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has also said he is ready to “continue to strengthen” the ties between the two countries. French President Emmanuel Macron, for his part, expressed his desire to continue together “to work to face the challenges of the moment, including the war in Ukraine and its multiple consequences for Europe and for the world”.