UK: will Rishi Sunak pick up the baton?

After the resignation of Liz Truss the UK needs a new prime minister, and things are looking good for Rishi Sunak. The former Chancellor of the Exchequer has gathered far more than the necessary 100 Conservative MP votes, Boris Johnson officially dropped out of the race on Sunday and Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt is still collecting votes. The press hopes for a return to stability.

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The Sunday Times (GB) /

Urgently needed economic nous

For the Sunday Times there is only one option now:

“Rishi Sunak is the only candidate with the credibility to take control of the Conservative Party. The former chancellor was quickly proved correct in his warning to Liz Truss over the summer that 'borrowing your way out of inflation isn't a plan, it's a fairytale'. His economic nous would help calm markets and buy Britain time. ... If the Tories are to have a future as a political force, they must take responsibility for returning Britain to something resembling an orderly state. They broke it, and they must fix it.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

A competent team for stability

The Irish Independent speculates on what the future government will look like:

“The former chancellor of the exchequer is a competent politician who vigorously warned against the foolhardy economic experiment pursued by Truss and her hapless chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng. ... The UK desperately needs a sustained period of political calm to get its house somewhat in order before the next scheduled election in two years' time. At this stage, it looks like Labour will comfortably win. ... The competent Sunak, with measured new chancellor Jeremy Hunt and with Mordaunt in the foreign office looks like the best hope for restoring stability - a scenario devoutly wished for by an incredulous watching world.”

Kauppalehti (FI) /

Responsible politics please!

Governments rely on the trust of citizens, Kauppalehti reminds us:

“The UK seems to have taken the same populist path as Italy and the US under Trump. It is typical of populism that it does not take advice from experts. To be seen and heard, politicians resort to irresponsible promises and extremes. The reaction of the markets to the excessive tax cuts promised by Truss shows that there are limits to debt and that responsible politics has its place. A government cannot govern if it does not have the trust of the people and its own supporters.”

Interia (PL) /

Luckily the alternative is not Corbyn

The news website Interia reflects on the state of the political party landscape:

“The Tories are now at an all-time low of 20 percent in the polls, a historic 30 percentage points behind Labour. Fortunately, today's Labour leader is the centrist, realist social democrat Keir Starmer who loyally defends the democratic West, and not the pro-Putin communist Jeremy Corbyn, whose only 'positive' idea was his hatred of America. If the populist rubbish heap into which Boris Johnson has turned the once conservative Tories were to lose its majority in the UK today, this would pose no additional threat to Ukraine, Poland or the West.”

Diena (LV) /

The times of triumphalist politicians are over

Diena hopes a "real" statesman or stateswoman will take over:

“It is also possible that the UK is facing early general elections, although it's not clear whether elections could end the chaos. Another question is: How is it that at a time when the country is in a difficult situation a politician who is clearly unsuited for the job ends up in the most position with the most responsibility? The example of Liz Truss also shows that the times of so-called triumphalist politicians are coming to an end, and real politicians are expected to replace them. If there are any left, that is, and not just in Britain.”

The Economist (GB) /

Tories no longer fit to govern

A new government is what the country needs now, writes The Economist:

“The Tories have become nigh-on ungovernable, due to the corrosion from Brexit and the sheer exhaustion of 12 years in power. Ms Truss is right to identify growth as Britain's biggest problem. Yet growth depends not on fantastical plans and big bangs, but on stable government, thoughtful policy and political unity. In their current incarnation the Tories cannot provide it.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Completely haphazard

Le Soir accuses Truss of incompetence and, ultimately, cowardice:

“Power exercised without experience, without reflection, without strategy, without memory, as if this were a game show. Just a 'brilliant' idea she imposed on an entire country without having the decency to stand by it, and she only resigned when she was completely backed into a corner.”

ABC (ES) /

Out-of-touch elites

ABC sees British democracy in a pitiful state:

“Truss's fall is also the result of a poorly resolved political crisis that began with the outcome of the Brexit referendum. ... Liz Truss is the sobering example of how a transitional prime minister elected only by party members cannot set a radical agenda without having secured the voters' approval. ... The Economist mocked Truss with its 'Welcome to Britaly' cover story. It is an exhibition of the superiority complex of a nation that considers itself the cradle of liberal democracy and the modern market economy but which in reality speaks volumes about how out of touch its ruling elites are today.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Lessons learned

El Periódico de Catalunya puts forward a list of lessons for the countries of Europe:

“However poorly the EU functions, life outside it is much worse. Blaming one's own shortcomings on a third party comes at a high price. There are no simple solutions to complex problems such as pandemics or war-related inflation. Discrediting people because their policies fail leads to the self-destruction of the political class. If you want to negotiate, you have to negotiate, not blackmail - this goes for coalition governments as well as trading partners. Putting whoever shouts the loudest at the head of projects does not ensure their viability.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Wanted: constructive vision for Brexit Britain

Not only the Tories face a huge task, writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“Even if all the sweet promises of the Brexit hardliners have not been fulfilled so far and disillusionment is spreading - the exit from the EU is a fact. What is needed now is politicians who can develop and implement a realistic and attractive vision for the UK. ... It is hardly likely that the new party leader, whoever he or she may be, will succeed in taking this step in the time remaining until the next general election. ... But he or she can take comfort in the fact that not only the Tories but also Labour and the smaller parties are struggling to come up with an honest, constructive and optimistic vision for Brexit Britain.”

Denik (CZ) /

Restore calm and carry on

Deník has nothing the British will put the crisis behind them, whatever it takes:

“Despite Brexit, Britain is in many ways a key country in Europe. It plays the most important role after the US in supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. It also remains an important economic and security partner for the EU. ... That's why we must cross our fingers for the British and hope they get through this political crisis as quickly as possible and finally find a good prime minister who can restore urgently-needed calm - both political and economic - in the country. Whether that happens after early elections or whether the Conservatives succeed on their third try is irrelevant.”