Rishi Sunak will on Tuesday take over as Britain’s third prime minister this year, replacing the humiliated Liz Truss after just seven weeks and inheriting a daunting array of problems.
Sunak became the ruling Conservatives’ new leader on Monday after rival contender Penny Mordaunt failed to secure enough nominations from Tory MPs, and Boris Johnson dramatically aborted a comeback bid.
The 42-year-old Hindu will be Britain’s first prime minister of colour and the youngest in more than two centuries.
Sunak will take power in a morning audience with King Charles III, who is anointing his first prime minister since ascending the throne just two days after his late mother Queen Elizabeth II appointed Truss.
The ceremony on September 6 was the last major public act of her record-breaking reign.
Truss will hold a final cabinet meeting before making a departing statement in Downing Street at around 10:15 am (0915 GMT), with Mr Sunak expected to speak just over an hour later.
She leaves office as the shortest-serving premier in history, after a calamitous tax-slashing budget sparked economic and political turmoil.
The 47-year-old announced her resignation last Thursday, admitting she could not deliver her “mandate” from Conservative members — who had chosen her over Mr Sunak in the summer.
He has now staged a stunning turnaround in political fortunes, and vows to do the same for Britain as it confronts decades-high inflation, surging borrowing costs and imminent recession.
Finance minister Jeremy Hunt, appointed by Truss just 11 days ago in an ultimately futile bid to salvage her premiership, could remain in the role after stabilising the markets.
He endorsed Sunak on Sunday, writing in the Telegraph that he was a leader “willing to make the choices necessary for our long-term prosperity”.