Rishi Sunak’s cabinet has been assembled. In his first speech as prime minister yesterday, Sunak promised a stronger NHS, a better economy, more good schools, and leveling up. The new prime minister pledged to work day in, day out to deliver for the country and earn the trust of the British people. He also talked to President Biden and President Zelenskyy on his first day at No 10.
Sunak brought back a lot of familiar faces into his Cabinet.
Dominic Raab has been reappointed Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister. Ben Wallace kept his job as Defence Secretary. Jeremy Hunt remains in the position of Chancellor, and James Cleverly, although Boris Johnson’s supporter was able to keep his job as the Foreign Secretary. Penny Mordaunt, who was Rishi Sunak’s rival to take over from Liz Truss stayed on as Leader of the Commons. Michael Gove made a return as Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Mel Stride joined as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Sunak’s re-appointment of Suella Braverman has drawn much criticism since she was forced out for breaching Ministerial Code.
Today, Rishi Sunak faced his first Prime Minister’s Questions. Kier Starmer opened with a warm and generous welcome to Sunak.
“May I welcome the prime minister. The first British-Asian prime minister is a significant moment in our national story. It is a reminder that for all the challenges we face as a country, Britain is a place where people of all races and all beliefs can fulfil their dreams. That’s not true in every country, and many didn’t manage didn’t think that they would live to see the day when it will be true here. It’s part of what makes us all so proud to be British,” said Starmer.
Then, he quickly moved to scrutinize Sunak’s controversial re-appointment of Suella Braverman.
“Was his Home Secretary right to resign last week for a breach of security?” asked Starmer.
Sunak quickly responded. “The Home Secretary made an error of judgment but she recognised that, she raised the matter and she accepted her mistake. And that is why I was delighted to welcome her back into a united Cabinet that brings experience and stability, to the heart of government,” said the new prime minister.
Throughout PMQs, Sunak defended his decision to reappoint Suella Braverman. His responses in the House of Commons were met with cheers from the Conservative benches.
The Chancellor, who has been on the job less than two weeks has already made one U-turn, announcing the budget due on Halloween will be delayed until November 17th. The Chancellor said it was “prudent” to allow more time to get the most up-to-date economic forecasts.
“The Prime Minister and I have decided that it is prudent to make that statement on November 17th, when it will be upgraded to a full autumn statement,” announced Jeremy Hunt.
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