Some Mistakes Were Made: UK’s New PM Rishi Sunak Hints At Difficult Decisions

In his first speech as the PM of Britain, Rishi Sunak acknowledged the mistakes being made as he promised to fix those mistakes and help his country out of the profound economic crisis that led to political instability.

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By: TNI Team | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 October, 2022 7:43 pm IST
UK PM Rishi Sunak during his speech outside 10 Downing Street

After the historic moment of selecting a person of colour as its next Prime Minister, it is time for Britain to have a reality check.

In his first speech as the PM of Britain, Rishi Sunak acknowledged the mistakes being made as he promised to fix those mistakes and help his country out of the profound economic crisis that led to political instability.

While his predecessor, Liz Truss, defended her much-vilified economic policies in her farewell speech, Sunak in his speech, while paying a tribute to predecessors Boris Johnson and Truss, acknowledged that “some mistakes were made”.

“Not born of ill will or bad intentions, quite the opposite, in fact. But mistakes nonetheless,” Sunak said. “I have been elected as leader of the party and as prime minister in part to fix them. And that work begins immediately,” he added during his address in front of 10 Downing Street.

Sunak, who also became the first-ever non-Christian to become Britain’s PM, also promised to deliver the promises that helped Conservatives record a landslide win in the 2019 election.

Sunak, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer until July this year, also said that he would place economic recovery at the heart of his government. “I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda,” Sunak said.

But in the same breath, Sunak acknowledged that some hard decisions have to be made. “This will mean difficult decisions to come,” he pointed out.

Sunak, however, gave no details about the difficult decisions he was referring to. He also did not speak about two crucial components of the economic crisis in the country – how to fund support for energy bills and how to bring down government debt.

Reports suggest that Sunak is expected to cut public spending to plug an estimated £40 billion hole in the public spending.

Reminding people of some of the decisions he had taken as Chancellor of Exchequer during the tough COVID-19 pandemic, especially the furlough scheme, Sunak said, “But you saw me during COVID, doing everything I could, to protect people and businesses, with schemes like furlough.”

“There are always limits, more so now than ever, but I promise you this: I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today,” he said.

“The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves,” he promised.

Sunak’s speech holds a lot of symbolic significance too, as it was delivered with a solemn tone. He also appeared without his family, implying that he is on his own, as he attempted to unite a nation divided by Brexit and economic insecurity.

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