Rishi Sunak will be named the country’s next prime minister by the king and will seek to form a new cabinet that could unite a split conservative party.
He took the reins as leader of the Conservative Party without a vote after rivals Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson pulled out of the race for No 10, and will replace Liz Truss in the top job on Tuesday.
Allies hope he will stabilize the party after Mr Johnson’s dramatic downfall and his successor’s tumultuous tenure that lasted just six weeks.
Mr Truss held his final Cabinet meeting and was due to deliver a farewell speech in Downing Street before formally handing in his resignation to Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Once gone, it will be Mr. Sunak’s turn to see the King, who will ask him to form an administration.
The new Tory leader is expected to address the nation just before midday, before entering No 10 as the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, the first of Asian descent and the youngest in over 200 years at the age of 42.
The former chancellor will then focus on building a top-flight team which he hopes can bring some stability back to the Tories and the country.
In the fight for Camp Sunak on Tuesday, former minister Victoria Atkins said she believed the Tories had “turned a corner” and would now “settle down” under the new prime minister.
She insisted he would stick to the Conservative manifesto of 2019, meaning there would be a continued focus on upgrading, the NHS and safety.
Mr Sunak has been urged to avoid Ms Truss’ perceived mistake of appointing loyalists to key posts, with James Cleverly calling for the revamped Cabinet to field the best ministers.
The Foreign Secretary told Sky News: “We need to have the top 15 on the pitch. I know Rishi understands this.
Mr Sunak will seek to build an “all-talented” cabinet that will see the political return of “adults”, according to reports.
While his team remained tight-lipped on the possible composition of the Cabinet, longtime supporters Dominic Raab, former Justice Secretary, Commons Treasury Committee Chairman Mel Stride and former Chief Whip Mark Harper were considered to be part of it.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who has been brought in to stabilize Ms Truss’ ailing government and worked on a much-anticipated Halloween budget statement, is widely expected to keep the keys to No 11 to try to stabilize jittery markets.
Ms Mordaunt, who pulled out of the race to offer Mr Sunak a dramatic political comeback as she failed to secure all 100 Tory MP nominations, is set to get some sort of promotion – with some speculating she could replacing Mr. Cleverly as Foreign Secretary. .
Mr Sunak has ruled out a snap general election demanded by opposition parties as the Tories move on to their third prime minister over the term Mr Johnson won in 2019.
On Tuesday, Pat McFadden, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, acknowledged that the prospect of returning to the country now seemed “less likely”.
Ms Atkins suggested Mr Sunak would be in ‘reassuring’ mode as he sought to restore stability.
The former chancellor, whose resignation from Mr Johnson’s government in July precipitated a mass exodus that led to the then prime minister’s downfall, took the lead on Monday telling Tory MPs behind closed doors at the House of Commons that they were facing an “existential moment”. .
Three MPs in the room said his message to the party was that they must ‘unite or die’ as they focus on meeting the public’s priorities during a cost of living crisis.
Mr Sunak now has the daunting task of leading the nation through an economic crisis that has only been exacerbated by the chaotic legacy of Ms Truss.
A wave of industrial unrest, a warped health service and the risk of nuclear escalation by Russian President Vladimir Putin are just some of the challenges he faces.
Mr Sunak’s rise from MP to Prime Minister is the fastest in modern political history, having first won the constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire in 2015.
However, his journey to the top job has not been smooth, after being fined alongside Mr Johnson for breaking coronavirus rules and facing questions about the status of “non-dom” of his wife Akshata Murty for tax purposes.