When did Rishi Sunak become prime minister? Date ex chancellor met King Charles III, who he succeeded as UK PM
Rishi Sunak became the UK’s third Prime Minister within 12 months when he took on the role in October 2022
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Rishi Sunak was named as the next leader of the Tory Party and became the new Prime Minister in a whirlwind 24 hours in 2022.
The day after he was named Tory leader, Sunak met with King Charles who invited him to form a government. Sunak said after becoming Tory leader that he was “humbled and honoured” and it was the “greatest privilege” of his life.
Here’s a look back at the day Sunak was appointed Prime Minister and what happened next. Here’s what you need to know.
When did Rishi Sunak become Prime Minister?
As head of state, it was King Charles’s duty to appoint the head of His Majesty’s Government. The Royal Encyclopaedia states that the appointment of a Prime Minister is “one of the few remaining personal prerogatives of the sovereign”.
This meeting took place the day after Sunak was named Tory leader, a contest he won on Monday 24 October. Downing Street said Liz Truss chaired her final Cabinet at 9am on Tuesday (25 October) before making a statement outside No 10 at 10.15am. She then went to Buckingham Palace to offer her resignation to the King.
The King then met new Conservative leader Sunak and invited him to form a government. Sunak then made a brief statement in Downing Street.
What happened when Sunak met with the King?
The monarch does not act on advice nor need to consult anyone before calling upon a politician to form a government.
But the overriding requirement is to appoint someone who can command the confidence of the House of Commons – which usually means the leader of the party with an overall majority of seats in the Commons.
During the Buckingham Palace audience – as is his constitutional duty – the King offered Sunak the opportunity to form a new government and become premier of the UK.
Before seeing the new premier, the King held an audience with Truss, who formally tendered her resignation.