Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sets Britain’s priorities and responds to criticism

LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will set out his priorities for 2023 on Wednesday, using his first speech of the year to try to reassure his restless Conservative Party that he has what it takes to lead them into the next national election.
After a failed bid to become prime minister last year, Sunak took the job after his predecessor and former rival, Liz Truss was ousted from power in October after just 44 days when markets rejected her unfunded tax cut plans.
Since then it has faced myriad problems – thousands of workers have gone on strike in protest over wages, the health service is in crisis, inflation is hovering around its highest level in 40 years and economists see Britain sinking into a long recession.
Wednesday’s speech will be as much a statement of intent as it is a response to critics who doubt the man, who failed to win against Truss in the Tory leadership race in September, has what it takes to help the party win the next election.
Presented by his Downing Street office as a speech to set out his priorities for the year ahead and his ambition for a better future for Britain, Sunak, 42, will set out his commitment to delivering on his long-term promises on issues such as low numeracy rates.
“It’s personal to me. Every opportunity I’ve had in life started with the education I’ve been blessed to receive,” he will say, setting out a new ambition to ensure that all pupils in schools in England study some form of mathematics by the age of 18.
“And that’s the most important reason I got into politics: to give every child the highest level of education possible…With the right plan – the right commitment to excellence – I can’t see no reason why we can’t compete with the best education systems in the world.”
In excerpts from the speech released on Tuesday evening, his office gave few details about his plans beyond introducing math to all students up to age 18 to improve poor numeracy, described by the OECD as affecting “particularly large proportions of adults in England”.
But Sunak, who has focused on his humble beginnings to battle those who criticize the former hedge fund partner’s wealth, is sure to go further to explain how he will achieve the goals he has set for himself. New Year’s Eve on Twitter.
Then he said he wanted people to be proud of their country, to be less anxious about inflation, energy bills and the National Health Service, and to have confidence in the equity, which he said could be achieved by tackling illegal migration.
The speech will not come too soon for members of his ruling Conservative party who see little chance of winning the next election, due in 2024.
With the opposition Labor party holding a strong lead in the opinion polls, some Tory lawmakers and ministers have for weeks called on their leader to act and outline his vision to try to pull Britain out of its tailspin. .


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