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Rishi Sunak to assume office as UK PM today, calls for 'unity'

Sunak will meet King Charles, who will invite him to form a goverment

Rishi Sunak stands outside 11 Downing Street | AP Rishi Sunak stands outside 11 Downing Street | AP

Rishi Sunak, UK's first British Asian prime minister, will assume office on Tuesday after meeting King Charles. The 42-year-old was elected leader of the Conservative Party on Monday, after incumbent Liz Truss quit after 45 days in office following a backlash over her disastrous mini budget. 

Truss is expected to chair her final cabinet meeting at 09:00 BST (1:30 pm IST) on Tuesday, after which she will make a statement outside No 10, before travelling to Buckingham Palace for her final audience with the King. She will formally tender her resignation to the 73-year-old monarch.

Sunak will then have his first audience with King Charles, during which he will be invited to form a goverment, reported BBC. He will then travel to Downing Street to make a statement at about 11:35 BST (4:05 pm IST) before entering No 10. He is expected to be joined by wife Akshata Murty and daughters Krishna and Anoushka.

Meanwhile, in his first speech after being elected as UK's Prime Minister, Sunak called for "unity" in the party and country.

"The UK is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge," said Sunak in his first address as Prime Minister-elect on Monday.

"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," he said.

"I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility and I will work day in and day out to deliver for the British people," Sunak said. 

'Proud of Rishi'

Infosys co-founder and father-in-law of Rishi Sunak, N R Narayana Murthy, congratulated his son-in-law, stating they were "proud of him."

"Congratulations to Rishi. We are proud of him and we wish him success. We are confident he will do his best for the people of the United Kingdom," Murthy told reporters.

The election of Sunak, who describes himself as a proud Hindu, was hailed in India and among the Indian diaspora groups across the UK. Many described it as historic moment in British social history. 

"Rishi Sunak becoming the first British Indian Prime Minister is a historic moment. This simply would not have been possible even a decade or two ago," Sunder Katwala, Director of the British Future think tank, told PTI. 

"But we should not underestimate this important social change. When Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980, there had been no Asian or black MPs at all in the post-war era. There were still no black or Asian Conservative MPs when he graduated from university in 2001. That Rishi Sunak is set to be Prime Minister during the coronation of King Charles III next spring tells an important story about our society, where we have come from and where we are going in the future," he added.

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