Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain’s next prime minister after his rival Boris Johnson quit the race.
Johnson admitted he could no longer unite their party following one of the most turbulent periods in British political history.
Sunak, the 42-year-old former finance minister, could become Britain’s third prime minister in less than two months on Monday, tasked with restoring stability to a country reeling from years of political and economic turmoil.
The multi-millionaire former hedge fund boss would likely introduce deep spending cuts to try to rebuild Britain’s fiscal reputation, just as the country slides into a recession, dragged down by the surging cost of energy and food.
“The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis,” Sunak said in a brief statement declaring his candidacy to lead the Conservative Party, and thereby become prime minister.
Britain has been locked in a sense of perma-crisis ever since it voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, unleashing a battle at Westminster over the future of the country that remains unresolved to this today.
The latest bout of drama has drawn dismay in foreign capitals and ridicule from the world’s press.
Johnson, the face of the Brexit vote, led his party to a landslide victory in 2019, only to be driven out of office less than three years later after a series of scandals.
His successor Liz Truss lasted just 44 days before she quit over an economic policy that trashed the country’s economic credibility.
Sunak, who has not said how he plans to govern the country despite potentially being hours away from taking over, will inherit a party riven by ideology and with some lawmakers still blaming him for the demise of Johnson.
The withdrawal of the former prime minister late on Sunday also left some ministers and lawmakers feeling angry for looking foolish after they backed him to return to Downing Street, only to have to change course and endorse Sunak later, NAN reports.