Local politicians react to 'historic achievement' as Rishi Sunak wins Conservative Party leadership

Rishi Sunak is to replace Liz Truss as prime minister after rival Penny Mordaunt conceded in the party leadership contest. Credit: PA images

Politicians across Cumbria and Southern Scotland have begun reacting to the news of Rishi Sunak winning the Conservative Party leadership, after Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race.

Rishi Sunak will now become the next prime minister, taking over from Liz Truss who announced her resignation on Friday.

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, said: "I wholeheartedly congratulate Rishi Sunak on winning the Conservative Party Leadership and becoming our next Prime Minister.

"Obviously, I am disappointed that Penny Mordaunt was ultimately unsuccessful.

"She ran an incredibly positive and dignified campaign and I sincerely hope she plays a big part in the new Government.

"I was there when Rishi Sunak addressed the Conservative Parliamentary Party in the Commons today and it was a very thoughtful, magnanimous and considered speech.

"Our country faces huge challenges moving forward from economic uncertainty, the cost of living crisis to the war in Ukraine.

"Through all this, it is so important that the Government governs with compassion, supporting the most vulnerable in society.

"The Prime Minister and the Government have my full support as he moves to unite and lead the country moving forward to address these and other challenges.”

In a Twitter post, Carlisle MP John Stevenson, said: "Congratulations Rishi Sunak on a historic achievement.

"Time now to unite behind the Leader Conservatives and PM & get on supporting those more vulnerable in our communities & delivering on levelling up & the mandate given to us at the 2019 GE. The PM has my full support.”

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP, David Mundell, also tweeted: "Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on becoming the leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. 

"I look forward to working with him for the good of Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.”

Tim Farron, MP for South Lakeland, congratulated the new prime minister, but repeated calls for a general election, writing on Twitter: "I wish Rishi Sunak well as our country's new Prime Minister.

"But let's be honest, this is the third out of touch Conservative Prime Minister - just ask the 3 million excluded - in the space of just three months.

"The public must have their say - we need a General Election now.”

Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack MP, said: "Congratulations to Rishi Sunak, I wish him the very best in the job and offer him my wholehearted support.

"I urge the Conservative Party to come together behind our new Prime Minister.

"We are facing very significant challenges at home and abroad, and there is much to be done. We need to unite and focus on delivering for everyone in our country.”

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon also congratulated Mr Sunak, but repeated her demands for a General Election and for a Scottish independence referendum.

She said: "Congratulations to Rishi Sunak - I wish him well and, notwithstanding our political differences, will do my best to build a constructive working relationship with him in the interests of those we serve.

"That he becomes the first British Asian to become PM is a genuinely significant moment. It certainly makes this a special Diwali.

"As for the politics, I’d suggest one immediate decision he should take and one he certainly should not. He should call an early General Election.

"And he should not - must not - unleash another round of austerity. Our public services will not withstand that.

"For Scotland, of course, he becomes another PM we did not and, without doubt would not vote for even if given the chance.

"To escape the damage of Westminster governments with no mandate here, and take our future into our own hands, Scotland needs independence."

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