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'A Hospital Pass': Rishi Sunak Bemoans His Johnson And Truss Inheritance

Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.
Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.AP/Getty

Rishi Sunak has suggested he was given a “hospital pass” when he succeeded Liz Truss and Boris Johnson as prime minister.

Sunak said the UK has been through “a lot” over the past few years as he appeared to attempt to make excuses for his failing premiership.

Johnson resigned as prime minister in July 2022 amid a series of scandals, notably partygate, as the Tory party’s poll rating was tanking.

Truss, his successor, lasted 49 days after her unfunded mini-budget tanked the economy. When Sunak took over, inflation was spiking to record levels fuelled by the end of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an interview for The Times with Lord Hague, the former Conservative Party leader put it to Sunak that he had bene handed the keys to No.10 at a “very hard time”.

The prime minister replied: “I think someone described it as the worst hospital pass for any incoming prime minister in however many decades. There’s lots of frustrations, we’ve been through a lot as a country over the past few years, which people are understandably frustrated about.

“It makes the environment trickier but I am entirely confident that there are better times ahead.

“All the things that I have been working hard on for the last year I think you can start to see are making a difference, that change is starting to become more apparent in people’s lives and that is what gives me optimism about the future.”

His comments come as it was confirmed the UK is in recession.

Fresh data released by the Office for National Statistics showed the economy shrank in the final two quarters of 2023.

That is despite the prime minister promising voters that he would grow the economy shortly after he entered No.10.

Meanwhile, another Sunak pledge, to “stop the boats” carrying asylum seekers across the Channel, has flopped after the number making the perilous journey soared.

Some 1,115 have arrived in the UK in the past week alone, according to Home Office figures published this week.

That takes the total so far in 2024 to 4,644, which is a record for the first three months of a calendar year.

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