GIBRALTAR officially welcomed Rishi Sunak as the new UK prime minister after his last remaining challenger pulled out of the race on Monday.
Penny Mordaunt dropped out of contention for the top job at the last minute to allow the 1922 Committee to name Sunak as the only contender for the job.
King Charles III will now appoint the first Asian leader of the UK just six weeks after his now deceased mother did the same for Lizz Truss.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo welcomed the quick appointment.
“I have today written to Rishi Sunak to congratulate him on his selection as Conservative Party Leader and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,” Picardo said in a statement.
“Mr Sunak has worked very closely with us in the past and was instrumental in the execution of the Sovereign Guarantee from the United Kingdom.”
Sunak, who lost out to Truss as the replacement for Boris Johnson over the summer, helped Gibraltar out in his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The HM Treasury sovereign guarantee allowed Gibraltar take out a loan for £500 million from Natwest bank to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Picardo reminded the newcomer to the position of the Rock’s main priority at this time.
“I look forward to working closely with Mr Sunak on all Gibraltar related issues, not least on the continued negotiations for a UK/EU Treaty on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the European Union,” the Chief Minister added.
He also thanked Lizz Truss ‘for her work as Trade Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister’ and wished her ‘the very best for the future’.
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