Speed Reads

historic rise

Rishi Sunak makes history as Britain's first prime minister of color

Rishi Sunak, 42, officially became prime minister of the U.K. on Tuesday after meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. He is the third prime minister in less than two months, the first person of color in the position, and the youngest British leader since 1812, CBS News reports. 

The 57th prime minister came in promising to fix the mistakes of his predecessor, Liz Truss. In his first speech, he vowed to "place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government's agenda." The failed policies of Truss left Britain's economy in turmoil and plummeted the value of the pound, which forced her to resign just 45 days after taking office. Sunak was always critical of Truss's tax-cut plan, CBS News continues.

Sunak also has the challenge of reunifying the Conservative Party. While he was the clear favorite, garnering 200 endorsements from Conservative MPs, there were still those vying for Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt, The Guardian reports. One MP even admitted, "My head is with Rishi, my heart is with Penny and my soul is with Boris." Meanwhile, much of the public and the opposition were vying for a general election

Despite the turbulent state of Britain's politics, many world leaders as well as members of the opposition congratulated Sunak, including President Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.

"So I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future," Sunak said. "Together we can achieve incredible things."