Rishi Sunak news LIVE: New Prime Minister will meet King Charles today before first address to UK as Liz Truss leaves Downing Street
PUBLISHED: 17:03 AEDT, 25 October 2022 | UPDATED: 19:03 AEDT, 25 October 2022
Follow MailOnline's live coverage as Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's new Prime Minister.
- Alastair LockhartHost commentator
The remarkable journey that has taken Rishi Sunak to Downing Street began not at Southampton General Hospital, where he was born just over 42 years ago, but at a busy roundabout on the A35 roughly half a mile away.
Here, opposite a Sainsbury's Local, you will find a row of red-brick shops that today consists of a baker, a hairdresser, a nail salon, a dentist, and a modest corner premises with a blue NHS logo and a large square clock over its front door.
This little store was for several decades called Sunak Pharmacy. Run by Rishi's mother, Usha, until her retirement a few years back, it was very much a family affair, like many successful small businesses.
During his teenage years, our future Prime Minister would spend weekends on his bicycle, delivering prescriptions to customers. And after choosing to study economics at A-level, he also began helping out by doing the books.
Fast forward 25 years, and, well, we all know how things worked out. The precocious child of second-generation Indian immigrants wakes up this morning as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
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Prime Minister Liz Truss has gathered her Cabinet in No 10 for the final time before she formally resigns later this morning.
Her first Cabinet meeting was on September 7 - less than seven weeks ago.
Rishi Sunak will put his own Cabinet together later after he is invited to form a government by the King.
No positions have yet been confirmed but Jeremy Hunt is expected to stay on as Chancellor.
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said Rishi Sunak must 'make it clear' to the party that it 'can no longer indulge in debates about policy'.
Put to him that Mr Sunak may have his job cut out for him dealing with Tory backbenchers, he told BBC Breakfast: 'Well, maybe. I think the truth is that there is a great desire to stop now having an argument in an empty room.
'He needs now to make it clear to his party - my party - that we can no longer indulge in debates about policy, we've just got to get on with governing.'
Rishi Sunak is preparing for his first day as Prime Minister with a hellish in-tray that includes soaring inflation, rising energy bills and a £40billion blackhole as he decides on a new cabinet.
The new Prime Minister, 42, is due to travel to the palace meet King Charles this morning before making his first address to the nation outside Downing Street at around 11.35am.
But he must now also choose a Cabinet to tackle a plethora of issues facing the UK, having earlier vowed to run No10 with 'integrity and humility' before warning of the 'profound challenges' to come.
Mr Sunak faces a £40bn black hole in the public finances amid speculation he could delay the Halloween Budget, while his new Cabinet must also deal with skyrocketing energy bills and soaring inflation that has left families struggling amid a cost-of-living crisis.
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Former minister Victoria Atkins said she believes the Tories have 'turned a corner' and will now 'settle down' under Rishi Sunak's stewardship.
She also said she believes the former chancellor will bring 'stability and confidence' to the markets with 'all his expertise and experience'.
'We all understand that we've now really got to get behind Rishi - and, in fairness, that's exactly what the party has done,' she told LBC.
'The range of endorsements and support he's had from all corners of the party and the enormous reaction he got yesterday when the result was announced, I genuinely think that we have turned a corner, we're going to settle down, and this period of pretty difficult politics, I hope, will now come to an end and we will be able to focus on the job that, frankly, we all came into politics for.
'I came into politics to help people, for us to be a force for good. We're now going to be able to do that with Rishi.'
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Rishi Sunak as he prepares to take office as British Prime Minister this morning.
Mr Sunak will become the first UK Prime Minister of Asian heritage and the first practicing Hindu to enter No 10.
He was elected Conservative leader unopposed yesterday on Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
Mr Modi said on Twitter: 'Warmest congratulations Rishi Sunak!
'As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues, and implementing Roadmap 2030.
'Special Diwali wishes to the "living bridge" of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership.'
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has accused Rishi Sunak of failing 'time and time again' to provide support to those struggling and impose a proper windfall tax.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he took aim at the former chancellor's record on economic policy, saying Mr Sunak took too long to act on the cost-of-living crisis.
'Liberal Democrats argued there was a cost-of-living crisis way before the Conservatives acted, way before Rishi Sunak acted,' he said.
'The problem was Rishi Sunak's approach didn't give people the help they needed and I'm really worried now that that will continue to be the case.
'When Rishi Sunak introduced [a windfall tax] it was like a Swiss cheese, it was so full of holes, it didn't deliver and get the money we need to help people.'
He added: 'We'll see what he does but I'm afraid all the signs are that he's just another Conservative who won't deliver on the values of the British people.'
Outgoing PM Liz Truss will hold her last cabinet meeting at 9am today before making a final statement to the public outside No 10 at 10.15am.
She will then travel to Buckingham Palace to formally offer her resignation to the King.
Shortly after, the King will meet new Conservative leader Rishi Sunak and invite him to form a government.
Mr Sunak will make his first statement as Prime Minister in Downing Street at 11.35am.
US President Joe Biden has said Rishi Sunak becoming Prime Minister is a 'groundbreaking milestone' as he marked Diwali yesterday.
Mr Biden said at an event in Washington on Monday evening 'it matters' that for the first time someone from an ethnic minority background, who is also the child of Indian immigrants, could rise to the highest political office in the country.
'And whether it's the United Kingdom, where just today, we've got news that Rishi Sunak is now the Prime Minister. As my brother would say, "go figure",' Mr Biden said.
'And the Conservative Party, expected to become the Prime Minister, I think, tomorrow when he goes to see the King.
'Pretty astounding. A groundbreaking milestone. And it matters, it matters.'
Pat McFadden, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, has acknowledged the prospect of a general election now 'looks less likely'.
The party has been calling for the question to be put back to the country as the Tories have changed their leader twice since they won a mandate to lead in 2019.
But Mr McFadden said Rishi Sunak appears to have 'ruled it out'.
He told BBC Breakfast: 'Given the parliamentary arithmetic - the Conservative Party has got a big majority - the only way a general election can happen, really, is if they agree to hold one. So, that looks less likely today.'
He said such a vote would be preferable to 'a game of musical chairs at the top of the Conservative Party'.
Mr McFadden added it was a 'big and positive milestone' for the country to have its first prime minister of British-Asian origin.
He said he thinks people will recognise that for 'the important moment it is'.
But when it comes to politics, he said: 'Things are a bit different.'
He said: 'Looking at the newspaper headlines this morning, it seems to be mostly about uniting the Conservative Party.
'But I think the country has got to come first here, and stability for the country. And it's actually the Conservative Party that's brought us all that instability and chaos in the first place.
'So on one level, I congratulate him, I think it's a big moment for the country, but I think that the party that he represents is now part of the problem, not part of the solution.'
Incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will move into Downing Street later today after he meets the King at Buckingham Palace.
Liz Truss will chair her final cabinet meeting this morning after just seven weeks as Prime Minister.
Mr Sunak was elected leader of the Conservative Party yesterday without a vote being cast when he became the only MP with over 100 nominations from Tory MPs.
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Rishi Sunak news LIVE: New Prime Minister will meet King Charles today
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