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News / Opposing reactions as Sunak set to take over as PM

Rishi Sunak is set to be appointed prime minister later today (Tuesday).

THE SELECTION of former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak to replace Liz Truss as the leader of the Conservatives and UK prime minister has been welcomed by Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael was more reserved in his reaction, welcoming that the “madness of the Truss administration” was over but questioning whether Sunak had a mandate from the electorate.

Halcro Johnston said: “Rishi represents a rural constituency – one similar to so many of those across my region of the Highlands and Islands – and I know he understands the many challenges communities like ours face.

“He has been a frequent visitor to Scotland in his previous role as Chancellor, and I am sure that he will continue to engage directly and meaningfully with our communities as prime minister.

“Now we need to come together to focus on driving economic recovery, combatting the cost of living crisis and supporting Ukraine.”

Carmichael said: “After weeks of chaos amongst the Conservatives we finally have yet another prime minister – and all it cost was turmoil in the markets and soaring mortgage payments for struggling families.

“That the madness of the Truss administration has been curtailed is good, but we have to ask why the Conservatives have any mandate left to govern.

“We should, however, also reflect on what is a significant moment for the UK in seeing a first prime minister of South Asian heritage and of the Hindi faith. Even as political opponents we can respect and welcome what this demonstrates about the diversity of our country.

“What is less welcome is the lack of accountability for the economic mess the Conservatives have left us.

“If Sunak is to succeed as a prime minister leading a party riven by division and mistrust, he needs to show some political authority. He can only gain that by putting country over party, and calling a general election.”

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