Rishi Sunak’s speech in full: Prime Minister vows to unite UK as he speaks outside No 10 for the first time as PM

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak makes a statement after taking office outside Number 10 in Downing Street on October 25, 2022 in London, England. Rishi Sunak will take office as the UK's 57th Prime Minister today after he was appointed as Conservative leader yesterday. He was the only candidate to garner 100-plus votes from Conservative MPs in the contest for the top job. He said his aim was to unite his party and the country. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

RISHI Sunak has given his first speech as Prime Minister after a thumping victory in the Conservative leadership election.

His predecessor Liz Truss officially stepped down this morning, after announcing she would resign last week.

Mr Sunak became PM today after his leadership contest victory

Mr Sunak came directly from an audience with King Charles, where he was asked to form a government, to Downing Street to make his speech this morning.

The new PM said: “Good morning, I have just been to Buckingham Palace and accepted His Majesty The King’s invitation to form a government in his name.

“It is only right to explain why I am standing here as your new Prime Minister.

“Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis. 

“The aftermath of Covid still lingers. 

“Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilised energy markets and supply chains the world over.

“I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Liz Truss
she was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country
it is a noble aim. And I admired her restlessness to create change.

“But some mistakes were made. 

“Not borne of ill will or bad intentions. Quite the opposite, in fact. But mistakes nonetheless. 

“And I have been elected as leader of my party, and your Prime Minister, in part, to fix them.

“And that work begins immediately.

“I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. 

“This will mean difficult decisions to come. But you saw me during Covid, doing everything I could, to protect people and businesses, with schemes like furlough.

“There are always limits, more so now than ever, but I promise you this: I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.

“The government I lead will not leave the next generation
your children and grandchildren with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves. 

“I will unite our country, not with words, but with action.  I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.

“This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level. Trust is earned. And I will earn yours.

“I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as Prime Minister, and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

“And I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to, and unites, all of us. And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto.

“I will deliver on its promise: A stronger NHS, better schools, safer streets.

“Control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces, levelling up and building an economy that embraces the opportunities of Brexit, where businesses invest, innovate, and create jobs.

“I understand how difficult this moment is.

“After the billions of pounds it cost us to combat Covid
after all the dislocation that caused in the midst of a terrible war that must be seen successfully to its conclusions I fully appreciate how hard things are.

“And I understand too that I have work to do to restore trust after all that has happened.

“All I can say is that I am not daunted.  I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands. 

“But when the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness.

“So I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future.  To put your needs above politics. To reach out and build a government that represents the very best traditions of my party.
Together we can achieve incredible things.

“We will create a future worthy of the sacrifices so many have made
and fill tomorrow, and everyday thereafter
with hope.

“Thank you.”

He promised to ‘unite the country’

He arrived in Downing Street fresh from an audience with King Charles