Rishi Sunak favourite to become new UK PM, as vote deadline nears
You know when sometimes during reality TV contests like the X Factor, someone flops but because they are fairly popular and it makes good TV, they are brought back later in the series?
The same has basically happened in British politics and after coming second to Liz Truss in the Tory leadership race over the summer, (the same Truss who then resigned after 44 Thick of It days in office) Rishi Sunak has become the only MP to secure more than 100 nominations from MPs needed to go to judges' houses (the Tory members), and it looks like he's our next prime minister.
Confirming his second roll of the dice yesterday he said: “The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.
“That's why I am standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and your next prime minister.”
\u201cThe United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.\n\nThat\u2019s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. \n\nI want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country.\u201d
But keep up we will, with a dig into Sunak's views and policies to get prepped for his premiership.
Here's what a Sunak Britain will look like:
The former chancellor vows to fight inflation and is against tax cuts while inflation is high, though he wants to implement them in the future when things are less choppy.
“I will never get taxes down in a way that just puts inflation up,” he said, promising to “always be honest about the challenges we face”.
He also saw the problems that could arise from Trussenomics early doors. "We cannot make it worse, inflation is the enemy that makes everybody poorer," Sunak said during the leadership debates. "We have to be honest. Borrowing your way out of inflation isn't a plan - it's a fairytale."
When Truss announced her economic policies the pound had a fit, so he had a point.
Sunak voted to leave the European Union and remains a committed Eurosceptic. In August, he posted a cringe video shredding EU laws while pledging to review every EU law still operating in the UK in the first 100 days of his premiership.
He is also committed to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
\u201cA new Brexit delivery unit.\n\nReviewing every EU law on our statute book.\n\nStarting in my first 100 days. \n\nLet\u2019s keep Brexit safe\ud83d\udc47 #Ready4Rishi https://t.co/3cXn1rFhca\u201d
Sunak has bought into the rabble-rousing nonsense many Tories spout about social issues
"I want to take on this lefty woke culture that seems to want to cancel our history, our values and our women," he said during one Tory leadership debate.
Meanwhile, an ally of Sunak’s was quoted in the Mail on Sunday promising he would reverse “recent trends to erase women via the use of clumsy, gender-neutral language”.
But he's also said some good things. “I don’t want anybody in Britain to have to hide who they are or who they love out of fear,” Sunak told an LGBT Conservatives group.
“I want this to be the safest and greatest country in the world to be LGBT+.”
When asked about the “rising problem of transphobia” within the party, Sunak said: “Prejudice against trans people is wrong. The Conservative Party is an open, welcoming family to everybody across society, no matter who they are and irrespective of their background.”
While Truss committed to increasing defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP, Sunak has spoken out against "arbitrary" targets.
He's said he will continue supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia.
In the summer, Sunak said that he would make the UK energy independent by 2045. “We need more offshore wind, more rooftop solar and more nuclear. We need to insulate millions of homes and ensure that people know about the steps that they can take, at no cost, to improve the efficiency of their homes," he said.
Sunak has a 10-point plan on immigration which includes tightening the definition of asylum and setting a cap on the annual number of refugees.
He is in favour of the Rwanda plan.
“All of you are forking out £5 million a day on hotels for people who are coming here illegally and that has to stop", he said during the previous leadership debates.
\u201cSpare us the \u201cat least Rishi Sunak is a grown up\u201d narrative. In the leadership contest, he bragged about shifting money from poor communities to the rich, vilified benefit claimants, and doubled-down on deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. Sunak is not a saviour - he\u2019s a Tory.\u201d
In the summer, Sunak pitched his plan to charge people £10 for missed GP appointments in an effort to get waiting list times down.
It was heavily criticised. The Royal College of GPs pointed out that the plan “would fundamentally change the principle that the NHS is free at the point of use”. It would also add “another layer of bureaucracy to a GP service already drowning in red tape”.
He's dished out other vague prescriptions on the campaign trail, saying: “I don’t think we can have an NHS which is underfunded and not able to deliver the care that it needs. I think you can be reassured the NHS is safe in my hands.”
Strap yourselves in for Sunak's Britain - it is going to be a bumpy ride.
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