At the Diwali reception at the White House on Monday, President Biden called Rishi Sunak becoming the UK’s first Hindu PM “astounding” and “a groundbreaking milestone” that matters.
Addressing the Indian-American guests in the East Room, Biden did not hide his surprise that it was Conservative and not the Democratic Party’s counterpart, the Labour Party, who made history in Britain.
“Diwali is a reminder that each of us has the power to dispel darkness and bring light to the world. It’s a choice. And we make that choice every day. It’s true in our lives and in the life of this nation, especially in the life of a democracy, whether here in America or for the families back in India marking 75 years of independence,” said Biden.
“Whether it’s the United Kingdom, where just today we’ve gotten news that Rishi — (applause) — Rishi Sunak is now the prime minister. As my brother would say, “Go figure.” (Laughter.) And the Conservative Party! Expected to become the next prime minister I think tomorrow, when he goes to see the King. Pretty astounding. A groundbreaking milestone. And it matters. It matters.”
Earlier at the White House press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre has confirmed that President Biden looks forward to speaking with UK’s new PM, Rishi Sunak.
“As you all know, it’s a protocol for the President to wait until after an incoming British prime minister has met with the monarch and been invited to form a new government to offer his congratulations,” explained Jean-Pierre.
“But President Biden looks forward to speaking with Mr. Sunak in the upcoming days and to our continued close cooperation with the United Kingdom.”
Rishi Sunak is the youngest British prime minister in more than a century.
“It is the greatest privilege of my life to be able to serve the party I love and give back to the country I owe so much. 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, ” said Sunak in his first televised address today.
“I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility, and I will work day in, day out to deliver for the British people,” said Sunak.
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