Forerunner or Traitor? Rishi Sunak is favored to be the next Prime Minister of the UK

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – To some Conservatives, Rishi Sunak is the minister who got Britain through the Covid pandemic, to others the traitor who stabbed Boris Johnson or Liz Truss’s rival forewarned that his tax plans would cause chaos.

Now he must weigh whether he can convince Britain’s ruling party that he is the man to save it from chaos.

The former finance minister came second in the last race to become Britain’s prime minister, which ended six weeks ago, despite being the most popular candidate among Conservative lawmakers in parliament.

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But he was defeated by Liz Truss in a decisive vote by grassroots party members, many of whom blamed him for the downfall of their hero Boris Johnson.

Sunak’s dramatic decision in July sparked a wave of ministerial resignations, eventually forcing Johnson to reluctantly give up the top job in Downing Street.

During the summer leadership race, Sunak warned that Truss’s tax cuts would increase borrowing costs, a message that proved correct in his death as his economic plan triggered a bond market crash.

With the Conservatives in turmoil, many in his party believe he is the only one who can solve the party’s woes.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said: “He has the plan & credibility to restore fiscal stability, reduce inflation and deliver sustainable tax cuts over time; bringing the best talent into government to deliver for the British people.” on Twitter.

To his supporters in the party, Sunak’s previous leadership campaign message that economic prudence was needed to address Britain’s rampant inflation and criticism of Truss’ “fairytale” plans showed him to be right for the job.

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Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak speaks at the Hustings event, part of the Conservative Party leadership campaign, on August 31, 2022 in London, Britain. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

But he will have to weigh whether he can overcome the hostility of party members hurt by his betrayal of Johnson. – Press life.

Not related?

Allegations that he was an unrelated former hedge fund boss escalated in April when his wife – the daughter of an Indian billionaire – confirmed reports that she had non-resident tax status in Britain, which he agreed to end.

Despite being the favorite to win the race, the betting companies have tipped Sunak to win the new race again.

Sunak’s troubles in the leadership race contrasted with his rapid rise through the Conservative Party, which began in 2015 when he was elected to parliament after previously working at Goldman Sachs and hedge fund TCI.

In 2020, Sunak, 39, was appointed finance minister shortly before the coronavirus pandemic hit Britain. He abandoned the conservatives’ small-government instincts to borrow heavily and avoid the risk of recession.

This made him one of the country’s most popular politicians, as he was praised for helping businesses and workers.

In a photograph that captured the spirit of unity behind his rescue plans, Sunak posed outside his Downing Street office with leaders of Britain’s largest trade union group and a leading employers’ group.

But that consensus disappeared as Britain emerged from the crisis saddled with £400bn more in debt and then plunged into a cost-of-living crisis.

Polls earlier this year showed his shares falling with the public, worried about the cost-of-living crisis and angered by his wife’s avoidance of British taxes and increased payroll taxes.

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Editing by William Maclean

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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