Reaction to Sunak as PM

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Rishi Sunak will (not) be kissing the King’s hand this morning.

Here’s some of the Lib Dem reaction to Sunak’s elevation:

Daisy Cooper was out on the TV media yesterday, including an appearance on Sky News captured in this tweet:

And in non-Lib Dem circles, here’s the reaction from the Guardian’s Nesrine Malik:

And from Will Hutton of the Observer:

And finally this is from the former editor of The Sun, David Yelland:

Here’s my own take on this:

This morning feels like waking up from a bad dream – the Truss premiership. After Truss and Johnson, it will be welcome to have a PM who at least tries to be competent. Keeping up with the Tories farcical, and highly damaging, soap opera has been like being inside a washing machine going round at full pelt for several years. It shouldn’t be like this. Imagine, say, Canada being in the situation where the PM resigns and then saying “Well, let’s ask a tiny section of the population to decide the next PM”. We have a ridiculous constitution which needs urgent reform. Would it be entirely fantastical to suggest having an elected Head of State who has the mandate to call an election in these sorts of situations?

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Barry Lofty 25th Oct '22 - 9:56am

    I would suggest that not everyone from the ” country’s care home generation ” would be so blinkered and naive?

  • Helen Dudden 25th Oct '22 - 10:34am

    I’m 74 years old, also a wheelchair user. I think many older people have been though life experience.

  • Helen Dudden 25th Oct '22 - 11:07am

    Paul Walter. Thank you Paul, I know it was not meant to be offensive.

  • Thanks Paul!

  • Well done, Paul.

  • Richi Sunak was elected by the majority of Conservative MPs who were elected by their constituents who are a bit more representative than party members who only have to pay a subscription to get a vote in an election.

  • Peter Davies 25th Oct '22 - 11:42am

    It still remains a problem for him that last month the members were given a choice of Sunak or “None of the above” and voted for “None of the above”. They have not had an opportunity to indicate that they have changed their opinion of him.

  • Jason Connor 25th Oct '22 - 11:51am

    I would agree with David Yelland and Dennis above. I actually like Rishi Sunak, he comes across well, did well with the furlough scheme and the word I associate with him is aspiration. I don’t agree with many of his policies on brexit etc but it’s a huge achievement for the Conservative to elect an Asian/British PM and a step forward for diversity in politics. As for a tiny section of the population deciding the next PM would it not be exactly the same with Labour and the governing party did win a clear majority.

  • Jason Connor 25th Oct '22 - 11:58am

    A clear majority in the FPTP system I should add.

  • The Media will be anxious to know if Sunak gets a boost in the Polls but we will have to wait at least a Week to get any sense of that.

    The latest Polls suggest that Tory support is still falling. Its worth reminding ourselves that We got 24% in The 2010 Election, most of the current Polling puts the Conservatives between 19% & 23% – Third Party levels.

  • Steve Trevethan 25th Oct '22 - 1:09pm

    Attached is a list of what Mr. Sunak needs to address.
    Might our party present some approaches to these deadly serious matters as soon as possible?

  • George Thomas 25th Oct '22 - 1:48pm

    Guardian column this morning interviewing North London Hindus saw several mentions of breaking down barriers (a good thing) but also mentions of his financial experience which needs to be dismantled.

    – In 2007 he was a hedge fund manager campaigning against Dutch bank, ABM Amro, which was part of build-up to 2008 financial crash.
    – In 2016 he backed Brexit despite it being such a financial risk
    – He backed Boris Johnson to be PM despite the risk he posed
    – He backed Great Barrington Declaration group despite risk to economy (and greater risk to what was termed ethnic minorities) this posed
    – He delayed and delayed response to cost-of-living crisis

    The markets will appreciate it not being Truss or Boris and calm down, another good thing, but his economic experience doesn’t mean economic competence.

  • Peter Watson 25th Oct '22 - 1:51pm

    @Paul Barker “most of the current Polling puts the Conservatives between 19% & 23% – Third Party levels”
    Surely though, the problem for Lib Dems is that this level of polling is still very much “Second Party”. Apart from a temporary surge in the middle of 2019, they have polled pretty consistently around 10% for 12 years now.

    What will it take to break out of this?

    If nothing else, Johnson, Truss and Corbyn suggest that the party must do much more than rely on its opponents to drop the ball!

  • Barry Lofty 25th Oct '22 - 2:20pm

    I listened to Sunak,s speech up until he thanked Johnson for his contribution to our country! Mr Sunak has surely broken the boundaries by becoming Prime Minister of our country and hopefully will calm the markets for now, but at the end of the day he is still a Tory.

  • Nick Collins 25th Oct '22 - 5:13pm

    Did Suella Braverman resign as Home Secretary because she had broken the ministerial code? Has she now unbroken it?

  • Paul Barker 25th Oct '22 - 5:25pm

    The point we should be making is that This Tory Government has the support of one in five of the population – that is not any sort of Mandate.
    Looking at our recent performance – we spent most of 2020 & the first half of 2021 stuck around 7%, our present 10% is a massive improvement on that.
    I don’t believe there are any Silver Bullets that will transform our position, our recovery will be slow & it will be the End of The Decade before we get back to 2010 levels of support.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Oct '22 - 6:08pm

    Paul, glad to read your articles. How you think that an elected Head of State would help, is not really clear. The model we ought to have, a figure head as is, even though elected, might be in no sense able to do much. President Matarella, most recent example in Italy, refused Draghi’s resiognation initially. I do n ot want a Head of State mixed up with politics thanks!

    God Save The Just appointed Jolly good King!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Oct '22 - 6:11pm

    As well, I think we ought to hear at least a little joy at the fact we have an ethnic minority PM. I think it very commendable the Tory mps are judging on merit this election, at least, and excellent for our developing as a country.

    But that is the only positive in politics at present!

  • Mick Taylor 25th Oct '22 - 8:20pm

    I note that barely a quarter of Sunak’s cabinet are women. (7 out of 25) A retrograde step even for the Tories. Even with an ethnic minority PM there are only 3 obviously ethnic minority ministers out of 25. So we know not to expect any great moves from this reshuffled Tory pack.

  • Mick Taylor 26th Oct '22 - 6:39am

    Actually, it’s 5 from an ethnic minority background including Sunak himself. Somehow missed Cleverly and Zhadawi

  • Paul Walter………. it will be welcome to have a PM who at least tries to be competent……….

    Really? The ‘musical chairs’ of this government continues The same old failed faces have just shifted jobs and will, certainly, make as big a mess in their new jobs as they did in their old one’s..

  • David Goble 26th Oct '22 - 9:23am

    @ Barry Lofty: Johnson’s “contribution to our country”. Johnson’s only contribution to the country were to sow chaos and confusion, so I agree with you. People point to Brexit; we have still not sorted the Northern Ireland situation. As to the Covid vaccination programme, thank goodness for the scientists and the NHS as well as the person who organised the programme. Johnson’s contribution to the Covid situation was to ensure that we had an unnecessarily high number of deaths because of his dithering about what to do!

    @ Nick Collins: did not Suella Braverman resign (Braverman’s version) or was sacked (Truss’ version) because of a screaming argument between the two of them? I have also read of a security issue in that Braverman used her personal e-mail address for Ministerial business. If it was the security issue, she remains a risk. In any case, I find her “dream” of sending many planes full of “illegal immigrants” to Rwanda anathema anyway.

  • One of the Tory members was a tortoise by the way. Rishi has demonstrated a lack of competence by appointing this dreadful cabinet.

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