Zelenskyy congratulates Sunak on taking office as UK prime minister

25 October 2022, 05:07 PM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Rishi Sunak on his appointment as UK prime minister on Oct. 25.

“Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on becoming the Prime Minister of Great Britain! I wish he successfully overcomes all the challenges that British society and the world are facing today,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.

He added that he is ready to further strengthen the cooperation and strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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Rishi Sunak officially took the post of UK prime minister on Oct. 25.

At 42 years old, he is the youngest ever UK prime ministers, and the first one of Asian origin.

Sunak was the only candidate for the post of prime minister after his rival, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, announced that she was withdrawing from the race. In order to run for office, a candidate has to receive 100 votes from Conservative MPs. According to media reports, Sunak had more than 200 votes, while Mordaunt had just under 100.

After the statement of former PM Boris Johnson that he would not participate in the race, some of his supporters switched to backing Sunak.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation after 45 days on Oct. 20. Her premiership was shortest in UK history, and was marked by a series of political blunders.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer, appointed by Truss, announced a new budget in September that included the biggest tax cuts in half a century, which was widely criticised, in particular by the IMF, and which briefly caused the UK currency the pound Sterling to fall to its lowest-ever level.

Truss fired Kvarteng on Oct. 14, and part of the economic package, including the reduction of the income tax for businesses, was cancelled in an embarrassing and damaging policy U-turn.

After that, Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned on Oct. 19, saying she had made an “honest mistake” by sharing an official document from her personal email address with a colleague in parliament, an action which breached the Ministerial Code.

Then, in a letter to the prime minister, she wrote about concerns about “the direction in which the government is moving” and said that they “broke key promises made to the electorate,” damaging Truss’s political position still further.

Truss announced her resignation following a chaotic vote in the House of Commons, in which it was alleged that MPs were physically forced to vote for the government.

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