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How Liz Truss bowed out for Rishi Sunak to become UK Prime Minister




IT WAS indeed a great historic moment when on Monday, October 24, 2022, a 42 years old British-Asian and former British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was elected as the new Conservative Party leader and the third British Prime  Minister just in seven weeks. This extraordinary and dramatic event happened late same Monday, during the Conservative Party leadership race and the sudden withdrawal of the two major contenders, namely the Former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Penny Mordanunt paved the way for Rishi Sunak, who was a front runner as the only candidate in the race and was subsequently elected the leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister.

   It would be recalled however, that the charismatic former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who was then on holiday in the Dominican Republic of the Caribbean Island was rumored or speculated to be interested again in the Conservative Party leadership tussle and thereby staging a comeback, but on his return from his holiday, Johnson immediately dispelled the wide speculation and promptly disassociated himself from the Tory Party leadership contest. Similarly, a Tory Party stalwart, Penny Mordaunut also immediately announced her withdrawal from the race after she failed to garner enough votes required from her fellow Tory Party members.

    The man of the moment and the youngest Prime Minister in more than 200 years of British history, Rishi Sunak had moved into 10 Downing Street on Tuesday, after receiving his letter of appointment from King Charles III at the Buckingham Palace as successor to the immediate past Prime Minister, Liz Truss who had spent just 45 days in office. It was indeed an irony of fate that Rishi Sunak, whom the former Prime Minister, Liz Truss decisively defeated during the previous Conservative Party leadership contest only a few weeks ago, has now succeeded her in office. It’s indeed a moral lesson for all politicians around the globe that no condition is permanent in human affairs.

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    Premier Sunak had immediately hit the ground running by announcing his major cabinet appointments which included Jeremy Hunt, who retained his office as Chancellor, James Cleverly as Foreign Secretary and Penny Mordaunt as the new leader of the House of Commons, among others. Prime Minister Sunak, in his maiden speech after his election, acknowledged the profound economic challenges currently facing Britain and promised to serve the British people with integrity, transparency and humility. Expectedly, the British pound sterling had appreciated as a positive sign of confidence in the new British Prime Minister Sunak.

   It is instructive to observe in this piece however, that the immediate past Premier, Liz Truss, who had earlier resigned on 20th October, 2022, after only 45 days in office would go down as the shortest serving Prime Minister in British modern history. It would be recalled also that Liz Truss’s dramatic exit from office came amid the most chaotic and unprecedented political turmoil in the United Kingdom in recent times, even as her sudden resignation was obviously occasioned by her lackluster and inept leadership style as she was clearly overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the current deep economic and political turmoil in the country, as well as the intolerable level of poverty facing the British people.

    It is pertinent to recall also that Liz Truss decisively won the Conservative Party contest only a few weeks ago based on her economic blue print or policy which she presented to her Tory Party members and which she later abandoned soon after her assumption of office. It was abundantly clear however, that the former Premier, Liz Truss had no ready answers to the worsening economic crisis in Britain except her embarrassing policy somersault during her brief stay in office. The last straw that seemed to have effectively broken the camel’s back was the sudden resignation of her Chancellor, KwesiKwarteng only few weeks in office and which was quickly followed by the Home Secretary in circumstances described as melodrama.

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    Political watchers had observed that former Premier Truss was grossly incapable and totally lacked the requisite leadership qualities to pull Britain out of her present economic quagmire and her clueless and uninspiring leadership style became evident when she held sway in the foreign office in Boris Johnson’s previous government. It was therefore obvious that she lacked the charisma and strong personality to unite the deeply divided and polarised Conservative Party she inherited from her predecessor, Boris Johnson and which ultimately led to her sudden downfall from office.

    It is pertinent to note also that this writer, in his previous analysis of the current British political and economic imbroglio, had predicted that former Premier Truss might not last for long in office due to the perennial volatile political and economic uncertainties in the U.K, even as she hopelessly lacked the political sagacity and brinkmanship to weather the raging storm in British politics. The current dramatic political developments in the U.K had clearly vindicated the prediction of this writer on the lingering political impasse and instability in the U.K.

    Expectedly, the major opposition Labour Party, as well as the Liberal Party had both cashed in on the present chaotic and unstable political cum economic situation in the country and promptly called for a general election, even as both parties stressed the fact that the Tory Party had virtually destroyed the British economy through its anti-people policies in the past 12 years of the    Conservative Party’s unimaginative government. The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Mr. Kier Stamer had also insisted that the Labour Party was ready to offer a viable alternative and stability to the chaotic and directionless Conservative Party government that for long had taken the British people for a ride through its inept and visionless government policies and demanded for an immediate general election to enable the British people make their informed and preferred choices of leadership for the country.

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    Constitutionally, however, the life span of the current British Parliament will end in 2024, but it is yet to be seen for how long  the terribly battered image of the extremely unpopular Conservative Party would continue to hold on to power and resist an early general election as demanded by the British public and championed by the opposition parties in parliament.

   In conclusion, the historic election of Rishi Sunak, a British-Asian of Indian descent and a Hindu, as the new British Prime Minister had effectively broken the age long jinx or racial barriers and the acknowledgment of the fact of the diversity of the British society which places emphasis on competence and capacity to deliver for the common good rather than the primordial considerations of race, colour or religion of individuals for the top jobs in the country. 

   The milestone political development through the historic election of an erudite and vibrant British-Asian citizen, Sunak as the new British Prime Minister would obviously serve as a great lesson for other nations of the world that are yet to take advantage of their ethno-cultural and religious diversities and offer equal opportunities to all their citizens irrespective of their race, colour or religion in order to maximise their potentials for the orderly development and progress of their nations.

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