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British politics

How Rishi can redeem the Tories

“The most market-literate PM in history.” Ian Forsyth/Getty

If Rishi Sunak is indeed to be our next PM, says Clare Foges in The Times, how can he redeem the Conservative Party? After years of hearing “endless musings” about how the Tories can win and hold on to power, “and very little on what they will do with it”, Sunak must now put the “national interest” first. This means abandoning the “cabinet-of-cronies model” and recruiting those who run our country on ability; implementing whatever tax and spending cuts are necessary to stabilise the economy, “regardless of the electoral pain”; and ditching pointless culture war rhetoric. It also means addressing “the elephant rampaging around the room”: Brexit, which is responsible for “a significant portion of our economic malaise”. In 2016, the British economy was 90% the size of Germany’s; now it is less than 70%.

Our political masters are locked in a “conspiracy of silence”, for fear of seeming foolish to have backed Brexit or elitist to have opposed it. Sunak and Keir Starmer are no exception. But these “future prime ministers” must break the silence: the single most important boost for our country’s long-term fortunes would be to move closer to “the great trading bloc just over the water”, and eventually rejoin the EU’s single market and customs union. No one voted to leave those two groupings, after all, and “the farce of recent months” has left millions desperate for Britain’s reputation to be resurrected. “We want, to coin a phrase, our country back.”

🖥📈 Thanks to his time working in finance, Sunak would be “the most market-literate PM in history”, says Fraser Nelson in The Spectator – handy at a time when such skills are “at a premium”. Gordon Brown “was regarded as a details man” because he read academic papers. As chancellor, Sunak had a Bloomberg terminal on his desk “to follow the metrics from which such papers are drawn”. Treasury officials like to joke: “No matter how detailed the briefing, he’s more on top of the issue than they are.”