As Rishi Sunak completes the fastest journey in modern political history from starting as an MP to becoming prime minister, business leaders have been reacting to our new Prime Minister being named.

John McCabe, Chief Executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “We would like to congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming the UK’s new Prime Minister.

“We now urgently need to see stability returned to government and markets.

Read more: Rishi Sunak becomes new UK Prime Minister

It is crucial that Mr Sunak and his ministerial team listen to business concerns in the North East, and that his appointment marks the start of real action to deal with the significant economic pressures facing businesses and households in the region.

“Investment in the North East remains vitally important and there must be a renewed emphasis on greater devolution for the region and Levelling Up.

“We invite Mr Sunak to work with us and our members on seizing the opportunities for growth and tackling the difficulties we face as a region.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, who had sided with Boris Johnson in the leadership battle, said he would be holding Rishi Sunak's 'feet to the fire'.

The Northern Echo: Rishi Sunak and Ben HouchenRishi Sunak and Ben Houchen
He said: "I'd like to congratulate Rishi on becoming Prime Minister. He's helped to deliver projects across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that will create long term opportunities that will transform our area.

"From the UK's first and largest Freeport in Redcar through to the new Treasury Campus in Darlington, he's been a huge ally and friend to our area and I will hold his feet to the fire to make sure progress continues now he's Prime Minister.

"I hope this is the end of the ridiculous saga that's occurred over recent months and that Rishi, leading the Government, can now concentrate on getting us through the difficult months ahead."

Karl Pemberton, managing director at Active Chartered Financial Planners, said: “The last few months have been turbulent for the market, so now we and our clients would like to see the government must focus on stability and getting the economy back on track.“Of the candidates we saw this time, Rishi Sunak was certainly the most qualified to deliver on this, and we hope that, as a local MP, he will continue to deliver on the previous promises and commitments made to the region. We wish him every success in his new role and look forward to seeing his cabinet’s first fiscal plan on Monday.”

The Northern Echo: Karl PembertonKarl Pemberton

David Horn, director at CyberWhite, said: “I think it’s great that we have a new prime minister who is familiar with the area and will continue to put the levelling up agenda front and centre when making decisions. As chancellor, Rishi Sunak brought the treasury to the Tees Valley, and that has created jobs and opportunities in the region already.

“I hope that now we have a prime minister that has the backing of the majority of the government, he can get on with the job in hand without any more drama.”

The Northern Echo: Rishi visits Rosedene Northallerton in 2020 with Alice (left)Rishi visits Rosedene Northallerton in 2020 with Alice (left) (Image: The Northern Echo)

Alice McCullagh, director at Rosedene Nurseries, said: “Rishi Sunak is a constituency MP for our nurseries in North Yorkshire. Rishi visited us at Rosedene Northallerton nursery during the pandemic and has always been very supportive of our work, so we’re delighted that he’s won the leadership race this time.

“Many people in the region will be impacted this winter by the cost-of-living crisis, so I hope that, now he’s in, he can quickly make decisions that will help working families to get through the winter and see a light at the end of the tunnel beyond that.”

Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek Group PLC, said: “Rishi Sunak is the 57th occupant of number 10 Downing Street and the first British-Asian person to take on the role of prime minister. It is testament to the openness, benevolence and the principle of meritocracy that has been the foundation of modern Britain that his heritage is only an addendum to his talent and record, rather than being the focus. 

The Northern Echo: Dr Arnab BasuDr Arnab Basu

“As a businessman of similar lineage, I have experienced the same welcome since I came to the UK as a student in 1996 and throughout my journey building Kromek, a technology business based in County Durham, with a mission to save lives and keep people safe. I wish the new prime minister the very best in his new role as he seeks to steady the ship and move Britain positively forward.”

Andrew Megson, CEO of Yorkshire-based My Pension Expert, said: “An incredible amount of chaos has ensued in the six weeks since Rishi Sunak’s failed first attempt to become Prime Minister. Now, he has the chance to prove himself – in the biggest way possible – by extinguishing the fires set alight during Truss’ 45-day reign of market crashes and embarrassing U-turns.

“Market stability will be a priority. Sunak’s first leadership campaign was led on a promise of fiscally conservative policies, which has already pleased the markets and given the pound a boost. However, it’s also crucial that the new PM focuses on immediate reassurances for Britons struggling to stay afloat amid a soaring cost-of-living crisis.”



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