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Home ยป Labour Call For Immediate General Election As Senior Tories Congratulate Sunak

Labour Call For Immediate General Election As Senior Tories Congratulate Sunak

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Labour has reiterated its calls for an immediate general election after it was confirmed Rishi Sunak will become the UK’s next prime minister.

After a rapid political comeback, the former chancellor will become the UK’s youngest prime minister in modern political history and the country’s first-ever Hindu leader after being selected unopposed by Conservative MPs to succeed Liz Truss.

The title of youngest ever prime minister belongs to William Pitt the Younger, who was just 24 when he took office in 1783.

Mr Sunak will enter Downing Street less than two months after he lost the last Conservative leadership race in the summer.

Sunak to become next PM – Politics latest

But Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner accused the former chancellor of having “no mandate, no answers and no ideas”.

“What we’ve seen played out is a coronation here and not an actual election where people have a mandate to serve the British people of this country,” she said.

“Nobody voted for this. The public deserve their say on Britain’s future through a general election. It’s time for a fresh start with Labour.”

Ms Rayner added: “Rishi Sunak was rejected by his own party membership only weeks ago.

“The people in this country now deserve us to go to the electorate to put our policies forward about how we’re going to deal with this cost of living crisis that the Conservatives have put upon the British people and let them have a vote.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reinforced this view.

“That he becomes the first British Asian – indeed the first from any minority ethnic background – to become PM is a genuinely significant moment. It certainly makes this a special Diwali,” she said.

“As for the politics, I’d suggest one immediate decision he should take and one he certainly should not. He should call an early general election. And he should not – must not – unleash another round of austerity. Our public services will not withstand that.”

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‘Sunak should call general election’ Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey accused the Tories of installing “another out-of-touch prime minister”, as he also called for the public to have the chance to go to the polls.

“The Conservative Party has trashed the British economy, pushed local health services to the brink, and added hundreds of pounds to people’s monthly mortgage payments,” he said in a statement.

“Now Conservative MPs have installed another out-of-touch prime minister with no plan to repair the damage and without giving the British people a say.”

Accusing Mr Sunak of not understanding “the challenges facing struggling families and pensioners”, he continued: “The only way to end the chaos is a general election now.”

Read more:

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But former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith disagreed: “I don’t think there is any need for a general election, I don’t want one now. I want us to deliver on what we said we’d do and then go to the polls in the normal time.”

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Rishi Sunak addresses British public Former PM David Cameron was among the first senior Conservatives to offer his congratulations to Mr Sunak, adding that he is “proud” to see Mr Sunak become the UK’s first British Indian prime minister.

“Huge congratulations Rishi Sunak on becoming PM to lead us through challenging times,” he posted on social media.

“I predicted a decade ago that Conservatives would select our first Brit Indian PM and proud today that comes to be.

“I wish Rishi the v best, he has my wholehearted support.”

Conservative peer Baroness Warsi, a former cabinet minister, described Mr Sunak’s election as a “historic moment”.

“Whatever your politics, this moment shows change and what is possible,” she said.

“The party that once had amongst its ranks Oswald Mosley and in living memory Enoch Powell now has a PM of Indian heritage and of the Hindu faith and notably. Rishi Sunak is unapologetically both.”

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Analysis: Challenges ahead for Sunak Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi said Mr Sunak’s election proves “the United Kingdom is a place where you can achieve amazing things”.

In a post on social media, he added: “Under Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives we will never stop helping people make their British dream come true, regardless of their background. Congratulations, Rishi.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished Mr Sunak his “warmest congratulations” and said he looks forward to the pair “working closely together on global issues”.

“Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership,” he said.

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‘Tories keep dolling out PMs’ Ms Truss, who quit as PM last week after just 44 days, offered her congratulations to Mr Sunak, adding: “You have my full support.”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, who withdrew from the contest at the last minute, said the same – and urged her Conservative colleagues to “unite and work together for the good of the nation”.

Fellow cabinet ministers echoed this message.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told Sky News: “We have absolutely got to focus on the needs of the British people

“That means uniting round the prime minister. We don’t have the luxury of argument and division. We have to focus on delivery for the British people.”

Boris Johnson-backer and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg agreed “now is the time for party unity”.

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Indian people ‘proud’ as Sunak is next PM Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry called for an end to Tory infighting, saying: “Now is the time for the whole party to come together and unite four-square behind Rishi, as he gets on with the vital work of tackling the challenges we face as a country.

He added that “the time for internal debates is well and truly over”.

Former PM Theresa May was among others to offer their congratulations.

“Rishi will provide the calm, competent, pragmatic leadership our country needs at this deeply challenging time. He has my full support,” she said.

Mr Sunak will be formally appointed to the role in a handover of power overseen by the King.