Rishi Sunak has recognised that he “ has work to do to restore trust” in his first speech after becoming Prime Minister on Tuesday morning.
In a nod to the disastrous six-week tenure of predecessor Liz Truss, Sunak said “some mistakes were made” but not out of “ill will or bad intentions”.
Sunak, now the UK’s youngest ever Prime Minister, spoke after meeting King Charles III at Buckingham Palace to accept an invitation to form the next government.
He now faces the daunting task of building a new Cabinet with the aim of bringing together a fractured Tory party that has been damaged by factionalism and in-fighting.
An hour beforehand, Liz Truss departed No 10 for the last time and said that “brighter days lie ahead”.
“Our country continues to battle through a storm, but I belive in Britain. I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead,” Ms Truss said.
Sunak won the Tory leadership race after rivals Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out, with his victory coming mere weeks after he came second to Liz Truss in the summer’s leadership contest.
A new cabinet is yet to be revealed, but it is believed that incumbent chancellor Jeremy Hunt could retain his position, while there is expected to be positions for Sunak allies such as former Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and Commons Treasury Committee chair Mel Stride.
Truss resigned following a period of huge upheaval sparked by the mini-budget delivered by then chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. It resulted in a huge rise in mortgage rates and caused the pound to tank last month.
Truss also U-turned on plans to scrap the 45p tax rate for the highest earners because it had become a “distraction”.
Announcing her resignation last week, Truss said: “I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills, and on cutting National Insurance. And we set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.
“I recognise though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate of which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”