Rishi Sunak, the incoming prime minister of the United Kingdom, UK, has told member of parliaments, MPs that the Conservative party is facing an “existential threat”, and as such, should “unite or die”.
In his first address to parliamentarians after becoming party leader, he vowed he would return the party to the values of its 2019 manifesto, which helped win the party an 80-seat majority.
Ruling out an early general election, he said he would lead a government of serious Conservative values and make his first priority tackling the economic crisis.
Sunak will become prime minister without MPs or members having voted for him after Mordaunt pulled out of the race in an apparent acknowledgment that she had not reached the necessary 100 MP threshold to progress.
Two minutes before the nomination process closed at 2pm, Mordaunt tweeted that she had pulled out and that Sunak had her “full support”. Sunak’s other rival, Boris Johnson, pulled out on Sunday night, despite claiming he had the support of 102 MPs.
Five minutes after Mordaunt’s withdrawal, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, formally announced the result. “I can confirm that we have one valid nomination, and Rishi Sunak is elected as leader of the Conservative party,” he said.
Sunak will formally take over as prime minister from Liz Truss after meeting the King at Buckingham Palace, most likely on Tuesday, at which point Truss will have served 50 days in the job. It is understood the King was travelling back to London from his Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Monday afternoon.
Sunak, the former chancellor who came second in the leadership contest against Truss in the summer, had secured the backing of more than half the parliamentary party by Monday morning.