RISHI SUNAK’S promotion to chancellor of the exchequer marks another notable landmark in the rapid rise of the Richmond MP.

Mr Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for the first time as recently as 2015 and did not take up his first ministerial post until 2018. He was promoted to the role of chief secretary to the Treasury last July and now finds himself in one of the Great Offices of State.

We wish him good luck. He takes over as chancellor at a time of great opportunity, with the economy in a reasonably strong position, Boris Johnson keen to invest in infrastructural improvements and some of the world’s leading nations set to sign new trade deals with the UK.

However, it is also a time of great risk and uncertainty with this year’s Brexit negotiations expected to have an impact that could last for decades. Will Mr Sunak be able to protect North-East industry? Will he be able to stave off an economic slump?

He has taken on a massive challenge. Let us hope he makes a success of it.