Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister today: when will new PM hold press conference in Downing Street?

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The new Prime Minister will meet the King at the Palace before heading back to Downing Street to address the nation

After winning the support of Conservative MPs, Rishi Sunak is set to become Prime Minister later today (25 October).

The fast-track Conservative leadership election concluded in just a few days after Boris Johnson announced he had decided not to stand on Sunday, while Penny Mordaunt announced just moments before the 1pm cut-off yesterday (24 October) that she had not met the threshold of 100 MPs backing her.

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Having won the leadership contest this time around with relative ease, Sunak will be in a strong position within his party, though is expected to put together a cabinet made up of MPs from across different wings of the party in hopes of restoring unity.

When will Rishi Sunak become Prime Minister?

Liz Truss is set to chair a meeting of cabinet ministers this morning at around 9am, after which she will  make a statement before departing Downing Street and heading to the Palace to tender her resignation to the King.

Truss is expected to speak outside No 10, addressing the nation for the final time as Prime Minister, at around 10:15am.

After the King has accepted Truss’ resignation, Sunak will head to the Palace where he will be asked to form a government. Once this has taken place, the new Prime Minister will return to Downing Street and give a speech outside, expected at around 11:35am.

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When will Sunak pick a new cabinet?

Once the formalities are out of the way this morning, all eyes on Westminster will be trained on No 10, as Sunak’s Conservative colleagues meet with the new PM to find out whether they will have a role in his new cabinet.

There has been a significant amount of upheaval in government in recent months, with many of the most important roles in government changing hands more than once since the wave of resignations which prompted Boris Johnson to resign in July.

Sunak will be mindful of this when allocating jobs, but his primary concern will be balancing factional concerns within the party with the need to get what he sees as the most talented of his colleagues into the departments they are best suited to in order to tackle the issues awaiting the new ministry.

While Liz Truss and Boris Johnson opted to fill their cabinets with loyalist MPs, Sunak is expected to pick from a wider spread within the party, in acknowledgement of the need for unity.

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A number of senior figures currently on the backbenches could be set for a return to the cabinet, including Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, and Gavin Williamson. One of the biggest questions for Sunak will be whether Jeremy Hunt, who stepped in to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor less than two weeks ago, will retain the role.

What is he expected to say in the statement?

After accepting the King’s invitation to form a government, Sunak will head back to No 10 to deliver his first address to the nation as Prime Minister.

His first speech after winning the leadership election yesterday was particularly short, clocking in at a little over a minute, and described by some as stilited. Today’s speech will likely be longer, more polished and could lay out in slightly more details how he intends to handle the difficult situation he inherits from his predecessor.

His speech yesterday, in full, was: “I would like to pay tribute to Liz Truss for her dedicated public service to the country. She has led with dignity and grace through a time of great change and under exceptionally difficult circumstances both at home and a abroad.

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“I am humbled and honoured to have the support of my parliamentary colleagues and to be elected as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. It is the greatest privilege of my life to be able to serve the party I live and to give back to the country I owe so much to.

“The United Kingdom is a great country but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge. We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together.

“Because that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face and build a better, more prosperous future for our children and our grandchildren. I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility, and I will work day in day out for the British people.”

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