Rishi Sunak will have audience with King Charles at Buckingham Palace tomorrow – Daily Mail

By James Tapsfield Political Editor and David Wilcock, Deputy Political Editor and Greg Heffer, Political Correspondent For Mailonline
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Rishi Sunak will have an audience with King Charles at Buckingham Palace tomorrow before addressing the nation as Britain’s new Prime Minister outside Downing Street – as he prepares to choose his Cabinet amid soaring inflation and energy bills. 
The 42-year-old is due to travel to the palace meet the monarch tomorrow morning before making his first address at around 11.35am.
He today pledged to run No10 with ‘integrity and humility’ but warned of ‘profound challenges’ to come as he prepares to begin his premiership.
Mr Sunak delivered the stark message after being confirmed as the next PM when his sole remaining rival Penny Mordaunt failed to make the threshold of 100 nominations needed to trigger a run-off in the Tory leadership contest.
Speaking to a camera at Conservative HQ, Mr Sunak said the UK is a ‘great country’ and vowed to work ‘day in and day out’, but pointed to serious economic problems.
Outgoing PM Liz Truss is due to chair a last Cabinet meeting at 9am tomorrow before making a final address as premier outside No10. She will then travel to Buckingham Palace to formally offer her resignation to King Charles.
His Majesty will subsequently appoint Mr Sunak as PM, with the incoming premier set to make his own speech from Downing Street around 11.35am after travelling back from the Palace.
When Boris Johnson chaired his final Cabinet meeting in July, he was presented with Winston Churchill’s six-volume history on the Second World War following a whip-round among his top ministers.

Ms Truss will also be expected to recieve a gift from her senior team when she addresses them for the final time tomorrow, despite lasting just 44 days as PM before resigning.
Mr Sunak received a rapturous reception when he made a 10-minute private speech to MPs at Parliament this afternoon, telling his troops that leadership challengers Mr Johnson and Ms Mordaunt, as well as his former rival Ms Truss, were ‘all good Conservative colleagues and friends’. 
‘We’re united behind the policy and now cannot afford the indulgence of division over personality,’ he added.
According to one MP present he said: ‘We have one chance. It is unite or die.’
It marks a spectacular political revival for Mr Sunak, just seven weeks after he was soundly defeated by Ms Truss in the struggle to succeed Mr Johnson. But after her extraordinary 44-day implosion, he now faces one of the toughest in-trays for any PM with the public finances in chaos and the worst of the cost-of-living to come.
One of his first tasks will be to form a new Cabinet that can unite the warring party, with Jeremy Hunt set to continue as Chancellor – a week before he delivers a crucial Halloween Budget – and speculation that Ms Mordaunt could become Foreign Secretary. 
Ms Truss congratulated Mr Sunak on his ‘appointment’ this afternoon, saying he had her ‘full support’. 
Mr Sunak received public backing from over 190 Tory MPs – well over half the total – racking up more numbers as prominent supporters of Mr Johnson jumped on the bandwagon. They included senior figures such as James Cleverly, Brandon Lewis, Simon Clarke, Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel, and Nadhim Zahawi. 
Mr Sunak will be the country’s first non-white premier, and at 42 the youngest since the Napoleonic Wars.
Ms Mordaunt sounded defiance up until moments before the announcement, with allies claiming she had more than 90 supporters even though only 25 were publicly declared.
However, in a statement at 1.58pm Ms Mordaunt tweeted to admit she could not take the contest to the next phase. ‘Rishi has my full support,’ she posted.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the new leader had made it clear that getting the economy moving was ‘critical’
Asked if Mr Sunak had an ‘impossible task’ leading a divided party, Sir Iain added: ‘I think today will have brought that to an end. It is not ungovernable, if it chooses to be.
‘But looking at the response inside there today I think people are relieved, they want to get behind the PM and we have to do it. There is no other choice.
‘So I don’t think there is a need for an election, I don’t want one now, I want us to deliver on what we said we would do and then go to the polls at the normal time.’
The breakneck developments appear to have cooled the markets, in what is being branded a ‘dullness dividend’. Government borrowing costs have eased, the Pound has rallied, and expectations for interest rates are more than a percentage point lower than after the mini-Budget. 
However, other Johnsonites warned that he will need to call a snap election because he does not have a mandate – while the ex-PM himself suggested in his bombshell concession last night that he is only standing aside until the ‘right time’.
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Speaking to a camera inside Conservative HQ after being welcomed by MPs (pictured), Rishi Sunak said the UK is a ‘great country’ and vowed to work ‘day in and day out’, but pointed to serious economic problems
Mr Sunak greeted clapping MPs as he arrived at CCHQ to make his statement after winning the leadership  
Ms Mordaunt sounded defiance up until moments before the announcement, with allies claiming she had more than 90 supporters even though only 25 were publicly declared
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Mr Sunak seemed to snub former Cabinet minister Matt Hancock (pictured centre) as he arrived at CCHQ, passing straight by as he shook hands with other MPs
Rishi Sunak comes to No10 on a mission to bring calm, both to the Conservative Party and the economy.
After the turmoil of the Truss premiership and later party of Boris Johnson’s time in charge he wants to be a solid hand on the tiller.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nature of the leadership election means he set out pretty much no policies this time around.
But his run for the top job in the summer provided a glimpse of where his tenure may go. 
His main USP to set him apart from Ms Truss was over tax policy.
She promised a sweep of tax cuts, funded by extended borrowing, and followed through on this promise. Increases to Corporation tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) were reversed, the top 45p Income Tx rate was abolished. 
But Mr Sunak branded the idea ‘fairytale economics’ and was proved right when the markets tanked. 
He offered his own tax cuts but over a far longer time period. 
Even when the party did not want to listen he said that bringing down sky-high inflation would be his priority. 
Though he did offer a cut to VAT on energy bills, after polls showed how far head Ms Truss was. 
Away from economics Mr Sunak appeared slightly less sure. 
At one hustings he talked tough on identity politics, vowing to review the Equalities Act to stop the ‘woke nonsense’ it has allowed to ‘permeate public life’.
While claiming he has ‘zero interest in fighting a so-called culture war’, the Tory leadership hopeful pledged to ‘end the brainwashing, the vandalism and the finger pointing’ and ‘protect British freedoms’ if he becomes prime minister.
The father of two daughters also wants to preserve gendered words such as ‘woman’ or ‘mother’ by ensuring sex means biological sex in the 2010 Equality Act, and clarify that gender self-identification does not have legal force. 
Mr Johnson claimed he reached the ‘very high hurdle of 102 nominations’ and believed there was a ‘very good chance’ that he would have been successful in the leadership contest.
Despite doubts being raised about the numbers, the 1922 seems to have verified they were true.  
But the former PM concluded that continuing his drive for a return was ‘simply not the right thing to do’, citing the need to ‘unite’ the party.
Mr Johnson had been dealt a series of blows by big Tory players such as former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Brexiteer Steve Baker pledging their support to Mr Sunak.
However, his decision took even his biggest champions by surprise. Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi was embarrassed as an article praising ‘Johnson 2.0’ was published minutes before the withdrawal. 
And one of Mr Johnson’s chief lieutenants, James Duddridge, tweeted to say ‘that was unexpected’. Both have now switched allegiances to Mr Sunak, along with a host of others. 
Michael Gove and Priti Patel have also lined up behind Mr Sunak, urging the party to unite and take the fight to Labour.  
Touring broadcast studios this morning, Sunak backer and Home Secretary Grant Shapps said Mr Johnson did the ‘right thing’ by ruling himself out of the contest for the next prime minister.
He said he thought it was probably ‘a bit too early’ for Mr Johnson to make a return to No 10.
Mr Shapps told Sky News: ‘I saw Boris Johnson’s statement last night, he said he had the numbers but in the interest of both party unity and the country he said he would withdraw. I have to say I think he did the right thing. I think that’s sensible under the circumstances.
‘I think Boris Johnson was actually in many ways a very impressive prime minister, what with his response to getting beyond the Brexit thing, the Covid vaccine rollout … I think he did a lot of good things.’
But Ms Mordaunt fought on, praising Mr Johnson for putting ‘country before party’.
She tweeted: ‘In taking this difficult decision last night Boris Johnson has put country before party, and party before self. He worked to secure the mandate and the majority we now enjoy.
‘We should put it to good use, and I know he will work with us to do so.’
A pivotal moment came when Tory MP George Freeman, a key figure in Mordaunt’s campaign, broke ranks to make clear she should now stand aside.
‘Given the urgent need for Conservative stability and unity this week, I’m urging her to join and back Rishi Sunak today.’
A senior Conservative warned that Ms Mordaunt was running out of time to get leverage, saying she seemed to be demanding a key role for her campaign chief Andrea Leadsom. 

‘It’s insane. I know at the least one person has texted her and said ”for your own dignity withdraw”,’ the MP said.
‘I can only assume that Penny is trying to leverage a job not just for herself – which wouldn’t be a problem – but for Andrea Leadsom or someone else… She must owe someone.’  
Mr Sunak surged further ahead in the contest yesterday as he also secured the backing of Mr Shapps and Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey also said Mr Sunak would ‘bring together our divided party and restore stability to our Government’.
Crucially Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, writing for The Telegraph, endorsed Mr Sunak in an article in which he compared him to Winston Churchill due to his willingness to speak the ‘truth’. 
Rishi Sunak has been named as the new Prime Minister today (pictured with 1922 Committee officers) after Boris Johnson sensationally dropped out of the Tory leadership race last night

Mr Sunak was endorsed by another former Boris Johnson supporter, Priti Patel, today
Brandon Lewis backed Mr Sunak today as fellow Cabinet minister Simon Clarke (right) also lined up behind him 
Rishi Sunak has been elected as Tory leader and is set for a whirlwind first week as Prime Minister.
First of all, the 42-year-old will have to make a trip to see King Charles at Buckingham Palace in order to be formally appointed as PM. 
He will then face a first appearance in the House of Commons as the country’s new premier. 
Mr Sunak’s thoughts will also be dominated by how he’s going to fix the public finances with a Halloween budget looming next Monday.
Here’s how his first seven days as PM are likely to pan out:
Tonight/tomorrow – Mr Sunak is set to visit King Charles at Buckingham Palace tomorrow – or possibly as early as tonight – in order to be formally appointed as PM.
This will come after departing premier Liz Truss has visited the monarch to officially offer her resignation.
Mr Sunak is likely to make his first address to the nation from Downing Street once he returns from the Palace.
His thoughts will then turn to appointing the top team that will sit around the Cabinet table with him in No 10.
Soon after he arrives at his new office, Mr Sunak will be expected to summon Tory MPs to be appointed to the most senior Government jobs.
This could include giving Penny Mordaunt, who ended up being his closest rival in the Tory leadership race, the role of Foreign Secretary.
Jeremy Hunt is also tipped to remain as Chancellor, while Suella Braverman might make a return as Home Secretary.
Once he’s appointed his Cabinet, Mr Sunak will also have to conduct a reshuffle of more junior Government roles with many of his allies set for jobs.
 
Team Johnson had already indicated that they would keep Mr Hunt on as Chancellor.  
In his statement last night, Mr Johnson said: ‘In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament.
‘I have been attracted because I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now.
‘A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.
‘I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow. 
‘There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.
‘But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.
‘And though I have reached out to both Rishi and Penny – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this.
‘Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds. 
‘I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.’
Following the statement, Mr Sunak said he hoped the former PM would contribute to ‘public life at home and abroad’.
He added: ‘Boris Johnson delivered Brexit and the great vaccine roll-out. He led our country through some of the toughest challenges we have ever faced, and then took on Putin and his barbaric war in Ukraine. We will always be grateful to him for that.
‘Although he has decided not to run for PM again, I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad. ‘
A jubilant Sunak-backing MP told MailOnline: ‘I’ve known him since 1995: he never changes. He’s too thin skinned to be brave.’ 
There had been predictions that Mr Johnson would stand aside rather than be ‘Frank Sinatra on a comeback tour playing half-empty theatres’.   
A Cabinet source said the ‘writing was on the wall’ for the ex-PM after a day of bluster about his level of support.
Mr Johnson claimed he had reached the ‘very high hurdle of 102 nominations’ and believed there was a ‘very good chance’ he would have won the leadership contest – but pulled out anyway
The value of the pound soared and gilt yields tumbled after Boris Johnson‘s departure from the Tory leadership race left Rishi Sunak as the favourite to be the next Prime Minister.
This morning, the value of Sterling climbed as high as $1.1401 against the dollar in early Asia trading, amid expectations the former Chancellor could become Prime Minister today. 
Meanwhile the gilt market cooled, making it cheaper for the Government to borrow money. The interest rate on a 30-year UK Treasury gilt fell by nearly 0.2 percentage points to about 3.9 per cent. 
Commenting on the pound’s rise after weeks of weakness against the dollar, experts said a government led by Mr Sunak seemed ‘more welcome for stability’.
Mr Johnson dramatically pulled out of the contest last night, saying that continuing his bid for a return was ‘simply not the right thing to do’, citing the need to ‘unite’ the party.
The only other candidate in the running is Penny Mordaunt, but the Commons Leader has only secured 26 backers and needs 100 MPs on her side by 2pm to continue in the race.   
One Tory veteran pointed to Mr Zahawi being hung out to dry by the withdrawal happening minutes after his article was published. ‘Boris and his team can’t see beyond Boris,’ they said. ‘No sense of wider team, strategy, long term objective. Pure narcissism.’ 
Within 20 minutes Mr Zahawi, who served as Chancellor in the final days of Mr Johnson’s premiership, was endorsing Mr Sunak. 
He tweeted: ‘A day is a long time in politics… Given today’s news, it’s clear that we should turn to Rishi Sunak to become our next Prime Minister. 
‘Rishi is immensely talented, will command a strong majority in the parliamentary Conservative Party, and will have my full support & loyalty.’
Another gloomy Cabinet source told MailOnline the move meant the Tories might not disintegrate immediately, but the election would still be a disaster. ‘The party is still going to eat itself,’ they said. ‘We will be taking the pain for the ‘mini-budget’ for years.’ 
Former Chancellor George Osborne added: ‘Very welcome and sensible judgement call by Boris Johnson – the country was heading for a constitutional crisis. Instead Rishi Sunak can now – with hard but necessary decisions – begin to restore Britain’s economic credibility and good governance.’ 
Former Culture Secretary and Mr Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries also revealed her disappointment that he has bowed out, saying that a general election was now inevitable.
She said: ‘Boris would have won members vote – already had a mandate from the people.
‘Rishi and Penny, despite requests from Boris refused to unite which would have made governing utterly impossible. Penny actually asked him to step aside for her. It will now be impossible to avoid a GE.’
Keir Starmer said he put his head in his hands at the prospect of Boris Johnson running again for No 10.
The Labour leader said his ‘first sentiment’ on hearing Mr Johnson had ruled himself out of the race was that ‘he didn’t have the numbers’ required to secure a spot on the Tory ballot.

Mr Sunak hailed the departure of Mr Johnson from the leadership race last night – hinting that he could have a foreign policy job in future
Nadhim Zahawi executed a bewilderingly fast switch to back Mr Sunak after Mr Johnson pulled out 
In statement this evening, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed he was bowing out of the race because it is ‘simply not the right thing to do’, despite claiming he had cleared the ‘very high hurdle of 102 nominations’.
He said: ‘In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament.
‘I have been attracted because I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now.
‘A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.
‘I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow. There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.
‘But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.
‘And though I have reached out to both Rishi and Penny – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this.
‘Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds. I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.’ 
Speaking to LBC, Sir Keir said he was dismayed when he heard of Mr Johnson’s ambitions to return to the frontline.
‘When he first said that he was going to run, and everybody was sort of rallying around, I did put my head in my hands and think, so, really, we’re going to go from the prime minister who’s just crashed the economy… back to the guy that only… months ago, most of us were saying was unfit for office,’ he said.
‘It was never going to work, I don’t think.’
He added: ‘The less time now spent on this sort of chaotic, ridiculous circus at the top of the Tory party, the better.’
It came after Mr Johnson unsuccessfully reached out to his two main rivals in an attempt to make a pact. 
Ms Mordaunt, now Mr Sunak’s only rival in the leadership bid, was claimed to have rebuffed attempts from the former Prime Minister to get her to drop out in a phone call.
She is reported to have told Mr Johnson that the majority of her supporters were more likely to have switched to Team Sunak, rather than backing his return to the premiership.
It also means Ms Mordaunt is likely to be short of the 100 backers needed to remain in contention. 
Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak, meanwhile, met at 8pm last night, where the ex-PM is said to have told his former Chancellor that – if he re-entered No10 with Mr Sunak in a senior role – it would avoid a divisive battle.
But it was subsequently claimed this morning that no agreement had been struck between the pair following negotiations that last around three hours.  
It comes as Mr Sunak appeared to be surging further ahead in the contest today as he moved near to 150 Tory MPs publicly supporting him today.
His leadership bid was further bolstered by the backing of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is popular on the Tory Right, and her close ally Steve Baker.
Grant Shapps, who replaced Ms Braverman as Home Secretary following her resignation this week, and Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith also gave their support to Mr Sunak. 
And Armed Forces and Veterans Secretary James Heappey also this evening tweeted his support, saying: ‘I’ve been agonising all weekend knowing that our choice as next PM must bring together our divided party and restore stability to our Government. 
‘All wings of our party will need to work together after contest to achieve that but I’m supporting Rishi Sunak to lead us in doing so.’  
Earlier this evening, WhatsApp messages sent to supporters of the former PM are understood to have said that ‘all the paperwork’ had been completed to ensure he would appear on the ballot to replace Liz Truss.
Chris Heaton-Harris, Northern Ireland Secretary, wrote: ‘OK everyone! Some very good news!. Thanks to all your hard work I can confirm we have completed all the paperwork (verified all nominations, with proposer and seconder) to be on the ballot tomorrow.
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! More to follow, but thank you!!!!’
Investing guru Guy Hands has given a grim picture of the problems facing the UK.
The founder of private equity firm Terra Firma warned of worsening economic conditions and the spread of poverty ‘across the whole of society’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the UK could face ‘steadily increasing taxes, steadily reducing benefits and social services, higher interest rates, and eventually the need for a bailout from the IMF like we were in the ’70s.’
He added: ‘I think the reality is, if you’re a businessman, you have to speak positively.
‘I’d say 70 per cent of my investments are in the UK and I have to try and be positive about it from a business perspective, but, from an honesty perspective, and in terms of what I actually see out there, the increasing levels of poverty in the UK, and it’s a poverty which is moving up the economic level… 
‘It’s not just the 17 per cent of children who are now suffering from malnutrition in the UK, it is now middle-class people who will not be able to pay their mortgages when they are reset who are finding it difficult to make ends meet, and it will just it will move across the whole of society.’
The message, seen by the Sun and Bloomberg, came despite Mr Johnson only having had 57 publicly-declared backers.
Candidates need 100 nominations from Tory MPs by 2pm tomorrow if they are to remain in contention ahead of a final poll of party members.
Even last night, Mr Johnson’s campaign was sharing a memo outlining the results of five recent polls that suggested he has the best chance of saving the Tories from electoral wipe-out.
The four-page document listed the results of surveys by leading pollsters indicating he would narrow the gap between Labour and the Tories, compared to Mr Sunak. It was titled Five Polls In The Last Five Days That Show That Boris Johnson Is The Best Chance The Conservatives Have At Avoiding Electoral Wipe-out.
Mr Johnson loyalist Michael Fabricant also joined claims his support had met the threshold, adding: ‘Boris WILL go to the membership. He has exceeded the 100 certified supporters.’
But fellow Tory MP Richard Holden questioned the claims, tweeting: ‘Very odd to brief this out again… (2 days in a row) It’s what they briefed yesterday.
‘What a strange thing to do… Wonder why you’d do it… It’s almost as if they still need people and are desperate to show momentum, which they can’t because no-one will publicly come out.’
Mr Fabricant then followed up on his earlier tweet to reveal his disappointment at Mr Johnson’s decision to no longer run, adding that he is now backing Ms Mordaunt.
He said: ‘I am deeply disappointed that Boris has chosen not to stand. I shall now nominate #PM4PM to let the members of our great Party decide who should be our Leader and next Prime Minister. I abhor political coronations. They invariably get it wrong.’ 
Mr Sunak, meanwhile, has vowed to ‘work day in and day out to get the job done’ as as the UK faces a ‘profound economic crisis’.
He has also promised to lead a Government with ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability’ if he is confirmed as the new PM tomorrow.
Mr Sunak officially launched his PM bid in a Twitter post, as he promised to ‘fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country’

‘I’d like to pay tribute to Liz Truss for her dedicated public service to the country.
‘She has led with dignity and grace through a time of great change and under exceptionally difficult circumstances, both at home and abroad.
‘I am humbled and honoured to have the support of my parliamentary colleagues and to be elected as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.
‘It is the greatest privilege of my life, to be able to serve the party I love and give back to the country I owe so much to.
‘The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge.
‘We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together.
‘Because that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face and build a better, more prosperous future for our children and our grandchildren.
‘I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility. And I will work day in, day out to deliver for the British people.’
It comes after Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak met at 8pm on Saturday night, where the ex-PM is said to have told his former Chancellor that – if he re-entered No10 with Mr Sunak in a senior role – it would avoid a divisive battle.
But it was subsequently claimed this morning that no agreement had been struck between the pair following negotiations that last around three hours.
Mr Johnson earlier claimed ‘Boris 2.0’ had ‘learned from those mistakes’ he made during his first spell in No10 and would lead the Tories to ‘victory and prosperity’. 
Allies revealed a ‘smartly dressed’ Mr Johnson was on ‘good form’ as he ploughed on with his comeback bid this morning in a meeting with supporters. 
His hopes of a return also gained further traction today when Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, both declared their support.
But Mr Johnson suffered a blow when prominent Brexiteer Steve Baker gave his support to Mr Sunak and warned Tory MPs against putting the former premier back in Downing Street.
The Northern Ireland minister, who backed Ms Truss over Mr Sunak in this summer’s leadership contest, claimed a Boris comeback would be a ‘guaranteed disaster’.
‘This isn’t the time for Boris and his style,’ Mr Baker told Sky News, as he claimed the parliamentary Partygate probe hanging over Mr Johnson’s head would see his premiership ‘implode’.
He warned a ‘large number’ of Tories would refuse to ‘lay down their integrity to save’ Mr Johnson in a House of Commons vote over whether he misled MPs on Covid rule-breaking in No10, which is being investigated by the Privileges Committee.
Meanwhile, Mr Sunak officially confirmed his candidacy in a Twitter post yesterday morning, as he promised to ‘fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country’.
He wrote: ‘I served as your Chancellor, helping to steer our economy through the toughest of times.
‘The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities, if we make the right choice, are phenomenal.
‘I have the track record of delivery, a clear plan to fix the biggest problems we face and I will deliver on the promise of the 2019 manifesto.
‘There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead and I will work day in and day out to get the job done.
‘I am asking you for the opportunity to help fix our problems. To lead our party and country forwards towards the next general election, confident in our record, firm in our convictions and ready to lead again.’
Mrs Braverman, who dramatically quit as Home Secretary the day before Ms Truss’s premiership collapsed, backed Mr Sunak as ‘a leader who will put our house in order and apply a steady, careful hand on the tiller’.
She wrote in the Telegraph: ‘I have backed Boris from the start. From running alongside him in London in 2012, to supporting him to be our leader in 2019 and willing him to succeed throughout the travails of this year. His resignation in July was a loss for our country.
‘But we are in dire straits now. We need unity, stability and efficiency. Rishi is the only candidate that fits the bill and I am proud to support him.’
And Mr Shapps added: ‘We need someone who can provide stability and proven economic competence in these challenging times, and Rishi Sunak is that person.’
Rishi set to appoint Cabinet TOMORROW as new PM faces monstrous in-tray: Penny Mordaunt touted for Foreign Secretary with Jeremy Hunt to remain as Chancellor 
Rishi Sunak is set to appoint his Cabinet tomorrow after becoming Britain’s new Prime Minister.  
His win after rival Penny Mordaunt dropped out the Tory leadership race caps a meteoric rise for the 42-year-old, who only became an MP seven years ago.
But, while Mr Sunak might allow himself a celebratory can of his beloved Coca-Cola, he will soon have to get to work in No 10 with a string of challenges awaiting him.
The parlous state of the economy, the war in Ukraine, possible elections in Northern Ireland, the Channel migrants crisis and reuniting the Conservative Party are all critical tasks lying in his in-tray.
Yet the most immediate duty for Mr Sunak is for him to choose who will sit around the Cabinet table with him in Downing Street.
The incoming PM Rishi Sunak, seen leaving his home in west London today, will soon have to get to work in No 10 with a string of challenges awaiting him
Penny Mordaunt ended up being Mr Sunak’s closest challenger for the Tory leadership and, by convention, she should be offered a job in the new PM’s top team
Jeremy Hunt has been tipped to remain as Chancellor, while there has been speculation Suella Braverman could return as home secretary
Ms Mordaunt ended up being Mr Sunak’s closest challenger for the Tory leadership and, by convention, she should be offered a job in the new PM’s top team.
The Royal Navy reservist has already held the role of defence secretary and is currently the Leader of the House of Commons.
She is likely to be looking for a move up the Cabinet hierarchy, perhaps to one of the ‘great offices of state’.
Could foreign secretary suit someone who is a confident media performer?
Ms Mordaunt is a former international development secretary so has experience of managing Britain’s overseas aid budget, which is now under the remit of the Foreign Office.
The most immediate crisis facing Mr Sunak as the incoming PM is the state of the economy in the wake of Ms Truss’s mini-Budget disaster.
Her second Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has been working on plans to restore market confidence at a planned fiscal statement on October 31.
This includes spending cuts and possible tax rises in order to fill a blackhole in the public finances.
With financial markets having reacted well to Mr Hunt’s appointment and his ripping up of Ms Truss’s economic agenda, Mr Sunak will be tempted to keep him in place as Treasury chief.
Mr Hunt last night came out in support of Mr Sunak as PM in an article for The Daily Telegraph.
The final ‘great office of state’ could be filled by Suella Braverman, who is popular on the Tory Right, returning as home secretary.
Mrs Braverman also used a Daily Telegraph article this weekend to declare her backing for Mr Sunak.
Having been touted as a possible successor to Ms Truss herself, it hinted that Mrs Braverman had extracted promises from Mr Sunak on various home affairs issues.
This included dealing with the Channel migrants crisis by delivering on the Rwanda scheme and possibly reforming the UK’s relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights.
If Mr Sunak is keen to keep the Tory Right on side as he enters No 10, why not return Mrs Braverman to the Home Office – a job she only left five days ago?
What are the challenges waiting in Mr Sunak’s in-tray? 
ECONOMY
Liz Truss’s downfall as PM stemmed from her mini-Budget disaster when her announcement of £45billion in unfunded tax cuts prompted meltdown on the financial markets.
The price of government borrowing has soared in recent weeks and the Treasury is scrambling to deal with a huge blackhole in the nation’s finances.
Mr Sunak is likely to have to oversee severe public spending cuts and, perhaps, even tax rises in order to balance the books.
He will also have to deal with the continuing cos of living crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the harmful impact of runaway inflation.
As soon as she entered No 10, Ms Truss promised that energy bills for typical households would be frozen at £2,500 a year until 2024.
But, after her mini-Budget spectacularly unravelled, she was forced to pull apart that promise with the bills bailout now due to end in April.
From that point onwards, financial help is only set to be made available to those most in need.
Will Mr Sunak continue to limit help from April? Or will he give the policy yet another rethink in order to prevent millions of Britons being slapped with huge increases in their bills next spring?
He will also have to decide whether to increase both pensions and benefits by the rate of inflation, or at a lower level. 
Liz Truss’s announcement of £45billion in unfunded tax cuts prompted meltdown on the financial markets
A ‘WINTER OF DISCONTENT’
There are fears that disputes between militant trade unions and employers could worsen further as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
Britons have already been forced to endure a series of nationwide rail strikes in recent months, while Royal Mail workers, barristers, port workers and BT staff have also staged walkouts.
Teachers are set to be balloted on industrial action, with one union having pencilled in strikes from January.
And the Royal College of Nursing is also threatening a walkout in a dispute over pay.
Will Mr Sunak pursue a hardline stance on public sector wages at a time of spending restraint? Or will he not want to risk public anger over weeks’ or months’ worth of disruption?
Britons have already been forced to endure a series of nationwide rail strikes in recent months
UKRAINE
The most severe threat to global security remains Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Vladimir Putin continuing his brutal assault on his country’s neighbour.
There are fears the Russian president’s barbarism could escalate further if the conflict continues to go against him and his desperation increases. 
Mr Sunak will be under pressure to continue Britain’s staunch support for Kyiv, while also keeping in mind how he would react should Putin decide on more drastic action.
He will also face continued demands from Tory MPs to boost defence spending, having refused to commit to a target of raising it to 3 per cent of GDP.
There are fears Russia’s barbarism could escalate further if Vladimir Putin’s desperation increases
CHINA
Relations between Britain and China have deteriorated further after a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was dragged into the Chinese consulate grounds in Manchester and beaten up.
With an ever-growing number of Sino-sceptics among Tory MPs, how Mr Sunak deals with Beijing is set to be an important test of his premiership.
A Hong Kong pro-democracy protester is dragged into the Chinese consulate grounds in Manchester at the weekend
CHANNEL MIGRANTS
Mr Sunak has committed to continuing the Government’s bid to send migrants who enter the UK illegally to Rwanda.
The £120million scheme has still yet to get going, amid a series of legal challenges, despite it being announced back in April.
Former home secretary Priti Patel unveiled the plans as a means of clamping down on the number of migrants making perilous journeys to Britain across the Channel.
Mr Sunak will have to decide how he will push forward with the scheme, including possibly overhauling Britain’s relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights.
And, if the scheme continues to stall, the PM will have decide on what further action to take to try to stem the number of migrants arriving in small boats.
Mr Sunak has committed to continuing the Government’s bid to send migrants who enter the UK illegally to Rwanda 
NORTHERN IRELAND
New elections are due in Northern Ireland if there is no return to a power-sharing government before Friday.
The DUP is currently blocking the functioning of Stormont institutions as part of their protest against post-Brexit trading arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.
But the party is under pressure to end their boycott while resumed talks between the UK Government and the EU over the Protocol continue.
Mr Sunak will hope that increased positivity around the state of those negotiations with Brussels will soon lead to a breakthrough in the Protocol row.
This should then, hopefully, allow power-sharing to resume in Northern Ireland ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement next year.
US President Joe Biden is said to be planning a trip to the UK and Ireland to coincide with the anniversary.
The DUP is currently blocking the functioning of Stormont institutions as part of their protest against post-Brexit trading arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol
UNITE THE TORY PARTY
After two divisive leadership elections this year and months of bitter infighting between MPs, Mr Sunak faces a huge task in trying to unite the Conservative Party behind him.
If he fails to do so, it is not impossible that the Tories could seek to junk yet another leader before the next general election.
When he abandoned his sensational comeback bid last night, Boris Johnson raised the possibility that he could still chase a return to No 10 at another date.
‘I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024,’ the ex-PM said. 
Mr Sunak faces an immediate question over how to handle Mr Johnson, who obviously believes his career in frontline politics is not over.
The new PM hinted at a possible foreign diplomacy job for Mr Johnson, saying last night: ‘I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad.’
Mr Sunak faces an immediate question over how to handle Boris Johnson, who has suggested his career in frontline politics is not over
OVERHAUL LABOUR’S POLL LEAD
The Tories are currently staring at political oblivion on the basis of current opinion polls, which have given Labour huge leads amid the chaos of Ms Truss’s premiership.
Can Mr Sunak turn the Tories’ fortunes around, even as he faces all the numerous challenges listed above?
Britain’s first non-white and Hindu prime minister takes power on Diwali: Rishi Sunak’s journey from GP’s son to multi-millionaire ‘Maharajah of the Dales’ and then to youngest modern occupant of No10 
Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister after today being made Conservative Party leader, capping a meteoric rise to power that seemed all but over less than two months ago. 
The GP’s son from Southampton, whose Indian parents immigrated to Britain, retreated to the backbenches last month after being swept aside by Liz Truss in the battle to replace Boris Johnson.
But after her chaotic premiership ended in ignominy after just 44 days the Richmond MP was today made Tory leader on Diwali, one of the religion’s major festivals. 
He will now visit the King to be appointed as the UK’s first non-white and Hindu leader. The UK’s first – and only other – minority prime minister was Benjamin Disraeli, who was Jewish, in 1874. 
Mr Sunak, 42, took over after challenger Penny Mordaunt pulled out of the leadership race with two minutes to go. She conceded at 1.58pm after failing to get 100 backers for her bid.
It caps a political journey that began seven years ago when he replaced William Hague in his Yorkshire seat at the 2015 election. 
Mr Sunak only got his first ministerial job four years ago but became Chancellor of the Exchequer aged 39 in 2020.
He will become the youngest PM in the modern era to enter No 10, at the age of 42 – younger even than David Cameron in 2010 and Tony Blair in 1997.
The GP’s son from Southampton retreated to the backbenches last month after being swept aside by Liz Truss in the battle to replace Boris Johnson
But after her chaotic premiership ended in ignominy after just 44 days the Richmond MP has been appointed the UK’s first non-white and Hindu leader on Diwali, one of the religion’s major festivals
Mr Sunak with his wife Akshata Murthy and daughters Krishna and Anoushka. He has previously spoken about how his Asian identity matters to him, telling the BBC: ‘I’m a first generation immigrant. My parents emigrated here, so you’ve got this generation of people who are born here, their parents were not born here, and they’ve come to this country to make a life.’
After Oxford he studied at California’s Stanford University where he met his wife Akshata Murty

His parents saved up to send him to the £42,000-per-year Winchester College, and he later went to Oxford, where he studied PPE. 
After this he studied at California’s Stanford University where he met his wife. 
 Mr Sunak married Akshata Murty, an Indian tech billionaire’s daughter, and built a multi million-pound fortune that saw him dubbed the ‘Maharajah of the Dales’.
Her father, NR Narayana Murthy, is India’s sixth-wealthiest man thanks to his ownership of multinational business technology giant Infosys.
The couple married in her home city of Bangalore in 2009 in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests.
Thanks to his own banking fortune and that of his wife he is believed to be one of the richest members of Parliament, and owns a magnificent Georgian manor house in the small village of Kirby Sigston, just outside Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
Mr Sunak has praised his father-in-law’s favourite saying: ‘In God we trust — but everyone else needs to bring data to the table.’ 
After the couple returned to Britain, Mr Sunak worked for a London hedge fund before setting up his own business, Theleme Partners, in 2010, with an initial fund of $700million. He was based in the UK and the United States before entering politics and winning Richmond in 2015.
Mr Sunak ran for the leadership in the summer and won the backing of MPs including Michael Gove (pictured with Ms Murty)
The UK’s first – and only other – minority prime minister was Benjamin Disraeli, who was Jewish, in 1874
The couple married in her home city of Bangalore in 2009 in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests
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Mr Sunak’s rise to the top took much of the country by surprise. 
A junior local government minister under Theresa May, he was elevated to chief secretary to the Treasury by Boris Johnson, serving under Sajid Javid.
But in February 2020 he was handed the top job of chancellor when Mr Javid sensationally quit amid bitter infighting between No 10 and No 11 involving Dominic Cummings. He was told to sack his chief aides and walked out after refusing.
Mr Sunak was a relative unknown, but was quickly thrust into the limelight when Covid struck the country weeks later. 
He oversaw a massive campaign of public spending, the largest ever known in peacetime, including the furlough scheme that prevented millions of people losing their jobs but took UK borrowing to eyewatering levels.
The end of his time as chancellor was as swift as his assent. After months of chaos under Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak followed Mr Javid out of the Cabinet, resigning over the behaviour of the prime minister.
Minutes after Mr Javid stepped down as health secretary he too walked out on the PM. Their decision sparked an exodus of ministers that forced Mr Johnson to finally call an end to his scandal-plagued premiership.
Mr Sunak was the clear favourite of Tory MPs during the summer leadership election. But he lost out after it became clear that Conservative Party members preferred Liz Truss.
His economic position during the campaign, that tackling soaring inflation was more important than the tax cuts promised by Ms Truss, went down badly.
It was a bad-tempered contest, with Mr Sunak lashing out at her ‘fairytale economics’ live on television. But in the end he appears to have been proved right, with her time in power lasting just weeks as the markets reacted badly to her attempts to stimulate growth with borrowing-funded tax cuts.
In one of the televised hustings Mr Sunak defended his record in No 11 against criticism that the UK had the highest tax burden in 70 years.
‘I don’t think the responsible thing to do right now is launch into some unfunded spree of borrowing and more debt, that will just make inflation worse, it will make the problem longer,’ he said.
Ms Truss pinned the blame on the Bank of England, saying ‘we have inflation because of our monetary policy, we haven’t been tough enough on the monetary supply, that’s the way that I would address that issue’.
But the former chancellor told her: ‘Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan, it’s a fairytale.’
Ms Truss responded: ‘I think it is wrong to put taxes up.’
Mr Sunak also faced anger from some Tory members who felt he was to blame for Mr Johnson quitting. But he also received support and defended himself, often robustly, in the face of critical audience questions.
Mr Sunak’s victory would come after questions about his and his wife’s tax affairs.
In April it was revealed he had held a US Green Card – which carries American residency and tax requirements – while in office.
But Lord Geidt, the adviser on ministerial standards, cleared Mr Sunak of wrongdoing after the chancellor referred himself for investigation. 
There was also uproar over Ms Murty’s tax status and her shareholding in her father’s tech firm while living in a grace-and-favour apartment in Downing Street
Ms Murty legally avoided a huge UK tax bill by paying £30,000 a year to register as being based in India.
This is the extraordinary web of homes and businesses with links to Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata, a heiress to a billion-dollar fortune

Rishi Sunak was hit by a political backlash over the news that his heiress wife Akshata Murty was domiciled in India for tax purposes
The India-born 42-year-old later said she would give up her right to pay only ‘international tax’ on her foreign fortune. 
The move, designed to save Mr Sunak’s political career, is likely to cost Ms Murty millions of pounds a year in extra tax. 
Mr Sunak insisted she hadn’t ‘done anything wrong’ while accusing his critics of ‘smearing her to get at him’. 
In his May 2021 annual statement the independent adviser on ministers’ interests said he had ‘gone through the individual returns’ of members of the Cabinet, including their tax affairs and the interests of their spouses.
He went on to say that ‘any issues have been resolved to my satisfaction’, suggesting he was happy with Ms Murty’s tax status, her shareholding in Infosys and the Green Card.
 
DOMINIC LAWSON: The Tory faithful may prefer Boris Johnson – but Rishi Sunak is the real Right-winger
So Rishi Sunak has won the contest of unfeasible comebacks. Boris Johnson has abandoned his own remarkable attempt to return to 10 Downing Street within months of being booted out by his own MPs.
But it is a scarcely less improbable —and in this case, successful — comeback for Rishi Sunak, now set to be Prime Minister. It was only last month that he was rejected by the Conservative Party‘s membership in favour of Liz Truss.
When I saw the former Chancellor at his small parliamentary office last Tuesday, he was trying to come to terms with the speed with which everything had fallen apart for the woman who beat him to the top job only last month. 
When it comes to the matter of lockdowns, it was Rishi Sunak who was, in the Cabinet, the most persistent in warning not to overdo it. His Eat Out To Help Out scheme was a manifestation of his desire to get the country back to normal life as soon as possible
And he still did not know whether he would fight afresh for an opportunity which he never imagined would come again, or at least definitely not this side of a General Election.
He certainly wasn’t taking an ‘I told you so’ attitude — even though he had predicted exactly what would happen if a Tory Government adopted what, during that leadership election, he denounced as ‘fairytale economics’.
He warned presciently that a policy of massive unfunded tax cuts would cause interest rates to spike upwards, to the great cost of mortgage holders.
Jibe
Truss and Sunak had competed for the accolade of the ‘true Thatcherite’ — always the key to the good opinion of Tory Party members. Misleadingly, Truss’s gender made her seem the more plausible candidate for that honour.
But as I reminded readers last week, my father Nigel Lawson, Thatcher’s tax-cutting Chancellor, warned in July how his 1988 Budget had done that only after the Government had eradicated the public sector borrowing requirement and insisted: ‘Sunak is the only candidate who understands Thatcherite economics.’
For his pains, Sunak was described by Jacob Rees-Mogg, during a Cabinet meeting after he had quit No 11, as ‘the late lamented socialist Chancellor’.
Yet the principal reason for Sunak’s resignation was that he could not support Boris Johnson’s determination to embark on a version of what later became Truss’s fiscally incontinent strategy. This was clear from his resignation statement: ‘Our people know that if something is too good to be true, then it’s not true.’
I discussed Rees-Mogg’s jibe with a Treasury official, who was incredulous: ‘Rishi is seriously Right-wing.’ And then he added: ‘More than Boris Johnson.’
Truss and Sunak had competed for the accolade of the ‘true Thatcherite’ — always the key to the good opinion of Tory Party members. Misleadingly, Truss’s gender made her seem the more plausible candidate for that honour
Yet it seems to be Conservative members on what might loosely be described as on the Right of the party who appear to regard Sunak as ‘unsound’ but see Boris Johnson as a man after their own hearts.
Doubtless there are many such members of the party now furious that Rishi Sunak has, in effect, been forced on them by the decision of the Parliamentary party, which overwhelmingly backed the ex-Chancellor.
When you look at the long-term records of the two men, this view among party members doesn’t make sense. While he was at Oxford University, Johnson dallied with the then fashionable SDP (the new Social Democratic Party of Roy Jenkins and Shirley Williams, who abandoned Labour partly in protest at its advocacy of quitting the European Community).
Sunak was a precocious Tory who, in the wake of Tony Blair’s triumph in the 1997 General Election, complained in The Wykehamist (the magazine of his public school, Winchester): ‘He revels in the label of patriot, but has plans for the possible break-up of the United Kingdom and membership of an eventual European Superstate.’
As I reminded readers last week, my father Nigel Lawson, Thatcher’s tax-cutting Chancellor, warned in July how his 1988 Budget had done that only after the Government had eradicated the public sector borrowing requirement and insisted: ‘Sunak is the only candidate who understands Thatcherite economics’
Sunak’s decision to campaign for Brexit as an MP was therefore entirely consistent with his long-held euroscepticism. And I noticed, while in his office last week, that prominent on one of its walls was a framed front page headline of a pro-Brexit newspaper from the first day of the referendum campaign: ‘Beleave in Britain’.
Sunak’s pioneering of the furlough scheme is one reason given by some in the party for regarding him as a socialist in Tory clothing.
Well, under Donald Trump the U.S. embarked on a far more costly scheme to protect the incomes of working people during the economic havoc caused by the first wave of Covid 19, and I don’t hear anyone describing The Donald as a leftie.
Lockdowns
When it comes to the matter of lockdowns, it was Rishi Sunak who was, in the Cabinet, the most persistent in warning not to overdo it. His Eat Out To Help Out scheme was a manifestation of his desire to get the country back to normal life as soon as possible. He declared that everyone ‘must learn to live with it and live without fear’.
And it was Sunak who broke off a long-delayed family holiday in December 2021, and flew 5,000 miles back from California, when he heard that Boris Johnson was set to impose a second Christmas lockdown.
This was after the outbreak of the Omicron variant, a much more transmissible form of the virus than any yet seen. The Government’s medical advisers were warning of the need to introduce another wave of mandatory restrictions on social life, and Johnson was leaning towards their view.
Sunak, as The Mail on Sunday reported a month later, ‘went straight [from the airport] to Number 10 to see the Prime Minister, who … was preparing to use a press conference that weekend to impose new restrictions on social interactions.
So, in the light of all these areas where Sunak appears to be more to the Right on the most pressing issues, why is it that many Tory Party members who would share his policy approach instead seem to think Boris Johnson more their sort of politician?
Sunak insisted that the data did not justify such draconian action. This was because he observed that the data from South Africa, where Omicron began, showed the mortality rate to be much lower than from previous variants.
This point hadn’t been taken in by Boris Johnson, whose many talents do not include a forensic attention to detail — the polar opposite of Sunak.
In this context, it is unsurprising that Lord (David) Frost, who supported the then Chancellor in that Cabinet debate on whether to reimpose Covid restrictions, last week backed Sunak and not Johnson.
Then there is the matter of net-zero carbon emissions and the speed with which the UK should ‘go Green’. While Boris Johnson was gung-ho for this — declaring that the UK would become ‘the Saudi Arabia of wind power’, Rishi Sunak was much less so. Indeed, after his last Tory Conference speech as Chancellor, as the Politico website observed: ‘He failed to mention climate once.’
Shameful
More recently, Sunak has advocated the removal of the moratorium on onshore gas exploration and production (‘fracking’). Whereas Johnson, in his final week as PM, before Liz Truss took over, pointedly criticised such a liberalisation: ‘Tell everyone who thinks … we should get fracking and all that: offshore wind is entirely Green and clean.’
So, in the light of all these areas where Sunak appears to be more to the Right on the most pressing issues, why is it that many Tory Party members who would share his policy approach instead seem to think Boris Johnson more their sort of politician?
Perhaps a clue came over the weekend on Sangita Myska’s LBC radio phone-in show. A man called Jerry, from Lowestoft, who claimed to be a Conservative Party member and the son of a former constituency party chairman, said he would ‘vote for Boris’ in any party ballot and added: ‘Rishi’s not going to win it. Rishi is not even British…He doesn’t love England like Boris does.’
Pressed by Ms Myska that Rishi Sunak was born and educated in this country, Jerry wasn’t having it: ‘Having a British passport doesn’t mean you are a true British patriot . . . 85 per cent of the English are white English people and they want a Prime Minister that reflects them.’
Your standard racist, in other words.
We don’t know if ‘Jerry’ from Lowestoft is, as he claimed, a Conservative Party member. But when I asked a friend who is a member and voted for Sunak in the last leadership election, he said he thought that ‘around 10 per cent’ of the membership might ‘be biased against Sunak’ on such grounds, even if they would never express it publicly.
The idea that Sunak may be Right enough, but not white enough, for some party members, is shameful.
Thank goodness it never came to that.
STEPHEN GLOVER: Britain is poised to get what it needs – a leader around whom warring Tory factions can settle and coalesce
So it has happened. After all the various claims from the Boris Johnson camp, their man has dropped out of the latest Tory leadership race. Rishi Sunak is effectively Prime Minister.
It is of course sad for Boris, but by a wide margin the best outcome for the country. The prospect of Rishi and Boris Johnson going down to the wire was a deeply alarming one.
Britain has got what it so sorely needs — a clear result, around which warring Tory factions can, with luck, settle and coalesce. A deal between the two candidates was never on the cards.
The danger was that Rishi would easily win the vote among Tory MPs but that the result would be reversed in the ballot of Conservative Party members. There could have been a stand-off in which some of Mr Sunak’s supporters refused to accept Mr Johnson as leader.
Now that Boris Johnson has dropped out of the latest Tory leadership race, Rishi Sunak is effectively Prime Minister
That would have led to chaos, and the inevitable fall of the Government — followed by a landslide Labour victory. The Tories might have been finished for a generation. Now there is some hope.
For all Boris’s qualities, the truth is that Rishi was the stronger of the two contestants. I discount Penny Mordaunt as being inexperienced, and very possibly (like Liz Truss) not up to the job.
In different, happier circumstances, Boris might have deserved another chance. He is a man of immense and unusual gifts — as well as considerable flaws — whom it is not easy to reject. Yet this turbulent and divisive man shouldn’t now be leader of our country.
Britain is in a mess. Putin has created an energy crisis. The pandemic has thrown the public finances into disarray. And for the past few weeks Liz Truss has taken us on a mad, and wholly unnecessary, white-knuckle ride on a big dipper that has further frayed our already jangled nerves.
What most of us long for, I submit, is calm, stability and competence — which is what Rishi Sunak offers. He understands numbers and economics — which Boris emphatically does not.
Somehow the sight on Saturday of the blond bombshell bounding off his aeroplane at Gatwick made me yearn for peace and quiet. So did that picture yesterday of the rather manic-looking ex-prime minister, with one thumb in the air and a pugnacious expression inviting us to join him on the next phase of his journey. Not for me, thank you. Not now.
The prospect of Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson going down to the wire was a deeply alarming one 
Whereas Rishi’s presence in No 10 will soothe the markets, the sight of the free-spending Boris back in his old job would have rattled them. Rishi offers us hope that this convulsive period in our national life — which has lasted pretty much since the 2016 EU Referendum — might not go on for ever.
To be specific: Mr Sunak has a chance of re-uniting the Tory Party, and healing some of its wounds, because, unlike Boris, he is not viscerally hated by a sizeable chunk of its MPs. This is a crucial point in his favour.
Moreover, although Rishi is often said, wrongly I think, to be on the Left of the party, he has attracted the support of several key figures on the Right, including rising star Kemi Badenoch, Steve Baker, Suella Braverman and Boris’s former chum, Lord Frost. All of them are solid Brexiteers.
Consider this point. If Rishi Sunak were the Establishment patsy that his detractors have alleged, I don’t believe he would have backed Brexit in 2016. As a young MP who had only been in Parliament a year, he had much to lose by offending the pro-Remain party hierarchy.
Naturally, I don’t think he’s perfect. As Chancellor during the pandemic, he was chiefly responsible for the furlough scheme, which covered 80 per cent of salaries up to a cap of £2,500 a month. It lasted too long and was too generous. Tens of billions were squandered on other ill-conceived Covid measures such as Test and Trace or lost to fraud.
Some of the £400 billion Covid debt that has been built up — in proportion to the size of Britain’s economy, one of the largest in the world — could have been avoided with more prudent management.
I discount Penny Mordaunt as being inexperienced, and very possibly (like Liz Truss) not up to the job
But as Prime Minister at the time, Boris Johnson should also accept responsibility for this extravagance. In fact, he was a more fervent evangeliser for lockdown than Mr Sunak, who resisted calls for a third misguided episode last December after the Omicron variant was detected.
Another error that can reasonably be laid at Rishi’s door is the rise earlier this year in National Insurance. Its recent reversal is virtually the only positive achievement of Liz Truss’s administration.
Britain was the only major economy to raise taxes in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic and with an energy crisis looming. That was Rishi’s decision, with Boris, despite some qualms, offering covering fire.
My argument is not that everything that Mr Sunak has touched has turned to gold. He was a competent rather than an outstanding Chancellor. But he has shown that he understands the markets, and correctly forecast their panicky reaction to Liz Truss’s unfunded tax cuts.
By the way, one argument sometimes deployed against Rishi — namely that he was Boris’s ruthless assassin — is overdone. Didn’t Margaret Thatcher connive in the removal of Ted Heath as PM, and indeed Boris Johnson in the defenestration of Theresa May?
It is admittedly true that Mr Sunak is an unknown quantity as the occupant of No 10, whereas Boris’s strengths and defects are known to all of us. The truth is that Rishi hasn’t been given the opportunity to show he can be an effective national leader. It is a risk we have to take, as we do with all new prime ministers.
For the past few weeks Liz Truss has taken us on a mad, and wholly unnecessary, white-knuckle ride on a big dipper
Ah, I hear some Boris supporters say, what about the polls over the weekend suggesting that Boris would do better than Rishi against Sir Keir Starmer? My answer is that no one can know. How well Mr Sunak does in two years’ time will be determined by how successfully he grapples with the daunting economic problems that face us.
It was far too early for Boris Johnson to return, though his time could conceivably come again. His failings are fresh in the electorate’s mind, and his achievements not yet sufficiently treasured. The admittedly biased Commons committee investigating whether he misled the House has barely begun its inquiries.
At a moment when the country craves stability, the return of Boris Johnson would have brought more tumult and discord. I don’t doubt he would have done some things right if given the chance, but he was too divisive a figure to run this country in its present disrupted condition.
If he and Rishi had been able to make a deal and unite the Tory Party, that would obviously have been splendid. But it wasn’t realistic. Rishi couldn’t contemplate being subservient to Boris, and Boris was unable to imagine being inferior to Rishi.
Now that Rishi Sunak is on track to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, there is a hope — I put it no more strongly — of measured, stable government. The Conservative Party has an infinitely better chance of holding together than it would have done if Boris Johnson had won.
This country has been crying out for calm and competence. Rishi Sunak is the only person who can bring our long national nervous breakdown to an end.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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