'A watershed moment': Advisers react to Sunak as PM

'A watershed moment': Advisers react to Sunak as PM
New Conservative Party leader and incoming prime minister Rishi Sunak (C) waves as he arrives at Conservative Party headquarters having won the leadership contest. (Daniel Leal/AFP)

Rishi Sunak’s success at becoming the UK’s next prime minister has been welcomed by advisers, with some labelling it as a “watershed moment for the UK”.

Sunak will be the first British prime minister of colour, and the youngest prime minister in modern political history after he became leader of the Conservative party yesterday (October 24).

Kusal Ariyawansa, chartered wealth manager at Appleton Gerrard Private Wealth Management, said: “I am delighted that we have finally been able to select competency above similarity and colour.

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“Some say that he has no mandate, meaning a general election is to be called for.”

Ariyawansa added that individuals here and throughout the world, “will look at the UK once again with admiration that we have such an esteemed individual as prime minister”.

Sunak's appointment follows the departure of Liz Truss last week, who resigned after 44 days in the role.

He previously went up against Truss for PM in September, but lost. 

Sunak had accused Truss of planning to borrow £50bn to fund her programme of tax cuts which were announced in a "mini" Budget before nearly all being reversed this month.

Tim Morris, IFA at Russell & Co Financial Advisers LLP, said: “It's a watershed moment for the UK. Rishi Sunak's appointment as PM shows we are still a diverse society that's accepting of other cultures. It should restore some much-needed national pride. 

“And I'm looking forward to Rishi lighting some Diwali candles outside number 10 tonight (October 24).”

From an economic perspective, Morris said it was “massively reassuring” to have a safe pair of hands to steady the ship. 

“We've already seen gilt yields breathe a sigh of relief. All being well, the stock market will soon follow.”

A safe bet

However, while most were positive, others remained a little more sceptical of what is to come given the past few months.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson did begin to canvas support in an effort to secure the role for a second time, but decided to pull out from the race at the weekend (October 23). 

Philip Milton, chartered wealth manager at Philip J Milton & Company, said: “I believe that Boris Johnson has been statesmanlike in not standing though that could prove to be to his personal benefit in the end.  

“Rishi is a safe pair of hands and I am sure will do a great job and I trust to pull the party together, let alone create a sound and stable government.”

Elsewhere, Martin Stewart, director at London Money, said: “As with most things in life, the proof will be in the pudding, so it may not be immediately clear as to how successful Sunk will be as PM.