We're closing our live coverage of Rishi Sunak's appointment as Prime Minister. You can read more about Tuesday's developments here.
“Some mistakes were made.”
With that four-word missive in his first speech as Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak made very clear that he wants to distance himself as far as possible from his politically radioactive predecessor, Liz Truss.
It was an unusually blunt appraisal of his colleague, but it’s clear to see why Sunak wants to present himself as (yet another) fresh face for Britain. Truss’s tenure brought disaster for the UK’s economy, and Sunak has pitched himself as the man to balance the books and bring stability to the country.
He will begin that task later on Tuesday when he starts appointing his Cabinet. Some expect an olive branch to those on the right wing of the party, but Sunak must balance unity with harmony after another spell of chaos in Downing Street.
It also remains to be seen whether the economic debate within the Conservative Party has truly been settled.
In her own 416-word farewell speech — eight words for each day she served as leader — Liz Truss omitted any apologies for the impact of her fiscal plan.
Instead, Truss tried one last time to defend her vision. “We simply cannot afford to be a low-growth country where the government takes up an increasing share of our national wealth,” Truss said, calling for “lower taxes” and an emphasis on growth.
Truss could seek to parlay what remains of her political capital by becoming an outspoken backbencher. Sunak must also deal with the continued presence of his rival, Boris Johnson, and the considerable appeal he still holds in the party. And he must bat back calls for a general election from a Labour Party that is soaring in opinion polls after a year of crisis at the top of the ruling group.
With potential enemies on all sides and dire economic headwinds on the horizon, some might wonder why Sunak even wants the job.
But “when the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness,” Sunak said outside Downing Street.
That willingness may be tested in the months to come. For now, though, Sunak has clinched the job he coveted at the second attempt, on a historic day for Britain.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has congratulated Rishi Sunak on becoming Britain's Prime Minister, wishing him success in his effort to "overcome all the challenges facing British society and the whole world today."
He said he looks forward to building on Ukraine's relationship with the UK, which has been a global leader in its support for the country since Russia's invasion.
Sunak mentioned Ukraine only briefly in his speech outside Downing Street, referencing "a terrible war that must be seen successfully to its conclusions."
But he will be expected to maintain London's support for Kyiv. The UK has donated aid and weapons to Ukraine's military and has helped train Ukrainian troops on British soil.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Rishi Sunak on becoming the new leader of the United Kingdom on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Johnson announced he would not enter the contest for Conservative party leader, handing a boost to Sunak's candidacy.
The two men have a complicated history. Sunak served as Johnson's finance minister and stood by him during numerous scandals. But Sunak's decision to quit the government this summer helped trigger a wave of resignations from other lawmakers that made Johnson's position untenable.
Johnson has made no secret of the fact that he believes Sunak betrayed him by resigning from his government.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has repeated his calls for a general election after congratulating Rishi Sunak on becoming the first British-Asian Prime Minister.
"The Tories have crashed the economy, with low wages, high prices and a cost of living crisis. The public needs a fresh start and a say on Britain's future."
"I understand how difficult this moment is," Rishi Sunak said in his first speech as Prime Minister.
He made a brief reference to the conflict in Ukraine, saying he comes to power "in the midst of a terrible war that must be seen successfully to its conclusions."
"When the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness," he went on.
"So I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future. To put your needs above politics. To reach out and build a government that represents the very best traditions of my party," Sunak said.
"Together we can achieve incredible things."
Rishi Sunak has promised to place "integrity" and "accountability" at the heart of his premiership, but batted back calls for a general election in his first speech as Prime Minister.
"I will unite our country, not with words but with action," Sunak said. "This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level," he added, in an attempt to distance himself from the tenure of Boris Johnson which was brought down by repeated scandals over dishonesty.
"Trust is earned, and I will earn yours," Sunak said. "I understand too that I have work to do to restore trust after all that has happened," he later added.
"I always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as Prime Minister, and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit," he went on.
It was a warm nod to his rival, but perhaps a political necessary one given calls that Sunak pursue an early general election to seek his own mandate.
"I know he will agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual," Sunak said, a direct attempt to rebuff those calls.
Rishi Sunak has said he will be forced to make "difficult decisions" as Prime Minister, due to the country's economic situation.
"I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government's agenda. This will mean difficult decisions to come," Sunak said.
"But you saw me during Covid doing everything I could to protect people and bossiness with schemes like furlough."
"There are always limits. More so now than ever," Sunak said.
"But I promise you this -- I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today."
Rishi Sunak is officially Britain’s new prime minister after meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. Earlier, outgoing British Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke outside 10 Downing Street before officially resigning to the new monarch. Take a look at photos from all of today’s events in London.