I am delighted that Rishi Sunak has been appointed as our new Prime Minister. These have been challenging weeks for our economy, with my constituents concerned about interest rates and mortgages, and local businesses looking for stability to return. I believe that, first and foremost, Rishi can deliver that stability – he delivered as Chancellor during the pandemic despite quite unprecedented and difficult circumstances. These will continue to be very challenging times but there are already encouraging signs in the markets.
Having worked alongside the Prime Minister when he was Chancellor, there are two key strengths in particular that we saw in today’s speech. First, his preparedness to level with the public and be clear about the reality of the difficult choices that we face. I believe this is the best way forward because it is only through such honesty that we will carry the country with us when tough decisions have to be made. Secondly, his principled view that we should always remember the impact of our decisions on our children and grandchildren. As with the environment, he wants to leave the public finances in a better condition for future decisions, giving moral authority to the need for fiscal discipline.
Finally, it was so important that Rishi emphasised the compassion at the heart of his outlook. He cannot guarantee to protect everyone from every impact of economic turbulence, not least as we are facing global forces not entirely within our control, and public spending can never be limitless. But he was clear that, as with his pandemic interventions, he would do everything possible to try and prioritise supporting the most vulnerable.
I look forward to supporting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he seeks to restore stability and get back to delivering the 2019 manifesto on which we were elected.