Rishi Sunak: 'Pretty good chance things will get better' says Neil
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Rishi Sunak vowed to fix the “mistakes” of Liz Truss’s leadership as he braced the nation for “difficult decisions” ahead. The freshly appointed Conservative leader warned the UK is facing a “profound economic crisis” in his first speech after being asked to form a Government by the King. But Andrew Neil warned the former Chancellor needs to “get on with it”.
Speaking to LBC, he said: “The most I would say is that with Mr Sunak as their leader and leader of the country now, there’s a pretty good chance things will get better.
“Better enough to save the Tories’ skin? Not so sure.
“Better in the sense of getting us out of this slough of despond that we’ve been in the past two months, I think that will happen.
“It will be a tough winter wherever you live.
Asked how will be we know Mr Sunak is making the country better, Mr Neil said: “Everyday politics is not on the front page. Just get on with it.”
Over an hour after Ms Truss defended her botched economic strategy in her farewell speech from Downing Street, Mr Sunak stood outside No 10 criticising her brief and chaotic tenure.
Mr Sunak said his predecessor, whose 49 days in the office made her the shortest-lasting PM in history, was “not wrong” to want to drive up growth, describing it as a “noble aim”.
“But some mistakes were made. Not born of ill will or bad intentions – quite the opposite in fact. But mistakes nonetheless,” he added.
Rishi Sunak makes first statement as Prime Minister
“I’ve been elected as leader of my party and your Prime Minister in part to fix them – and that work begins immediately.”
Mr Sunak, 42, became the UK’s first Hindu PM, the first of Asian heritage and the youngest for more than 200 years when he was appointed by Charles at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday morning.
The pound soared and the cost of Government borrowing dropped as 11 ministers who were either in or attended Cabinet returned to the back benches after Mr Sunak began his cull of Ms Truss’s top team.
Johnson loyalists Jacob Rees-Mogg, Simon Clarke and Kit Malthouse were out, as was Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry and chief whip Wendy Morton.
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Ms Truss had used her valedictory speech to stress the need to be “bold” as she defended her tax-cutting ideals despite being forced to reverse most of her policies.
She made no apologies for her disastrous mini-budget and stressed the need for lower taxes, before wishing Mr Sunak “every success, for the good of our country”.
After Mr Sunak was pictured shaking Charles’s hand during a formal handover of power in which the King was “graciously pleased to accept” Ms Truss’s resignation, he sought to explain why he was now Prime Minister.
“Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis,” he warned, blaming the lingering aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and Vladimir Putin’s destabilising war in Ukraine.
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