New UK prime minister pledges to fix Britain’s many problems

Photo: Reuters

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who became the UK’s third prime minister in two months on Tuesday, said he is not daunted by the scale of the challenge and pledged to restore trust, rebuild confidence and lead the country through an economic crisis.

The 42-year-old politician, who has only been in elected politics for seven years, has been tasked with bringing an end to the infighting and feuding at Westminster that has horrified investors and alarmed international allies.

“I fully appreciate how hard things are,” he said outside the prime minister’s residence at Downing Street.

“I understand too that I have work to do to restore trust, after all that has happened. All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands,” he added as quoted in a report by Reuters.

Sunak is expected to slash spending to plug an estimated 40 billion pound ($45 billion) hole in the public finances created by an economic slowdown, higher borrowing costs and a six-month program of support for people’s energy bills.

With his party’s popularity in freefall, Sunak will also face growing calls for an election if he moves too far from the policy manifesto that elected the Conservative Party in 2019, when then leader Boris Johnson pledged to invest heavily in the country.