Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak

Appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer within just five years of becoming an MP.
Appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer within just five years of becoming an MP, Rishi Sunak's rise has been rapid. He was parachuted into a safe seat for the Conservative party during the 2015 election and his trajectory has been skywards ever since. However, he takes office under difficult circumstances, the post only became vacant as former Chancellor Sajid Javid rejected the prime minister's order to fire his team of aides, saying "no self-respecting minister" could accept such a condition. So can Rishi Sunak take the helm and will he stand up to the Prime Minister?
Smiles as Boris Johnson's new cabinet meets for the first time
Boris Johnson's new ministerial team meets for the first time, following Sajid Javid's shock departure.

Will Sunak open the spending taps?

BBC Radio 5 Live

rishi sunak
Getty Images

Following Rishi Sunak's appointment, questions are being asked as to how the UK's fiscal policy will change with a new chancellor at the helm.

“The relationship between PM and the chancellor is the core relationship in any government,” Iain Anderson, chairman of political consultancy Cicero/Amo, told Wake up to Money

"The really big debate going into this Budget is are the Tories going to be true to form and make sure the book balances? Or are they going to open the spending taps, as they suggested in the manifesto?

"Part of the alleged tension between Number 10 and Number 11 until yesterday was Sajid Javid wasn’t keen to open those spending taps. Now that Number 10’s got their man in Rishi Sunak will he do what he wants them to do, and what does that mean for the sustainability of the UK Budget?”

UK 'still vulnerable to economic shock'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Sajid Javid
GETTY IMAGES

More on the reshuffle that saw Sajid Javid resign as chancellor on Thursday.

The government has yet to confirm if incoming Chancellor Rishi Sunak will continue with existing plans to unveil a Budget on 11 March - or if he'll stick to his predecessor's rules on borrowing.

Karen Ward was a special advisor to former chancellor Philip Hammond during his time in Number 11 Downing Street.

She told the BBC's Today programme Mr Javid's resignation was a "surprising" decision.

She said: "It did seem as if Mr Javid was very much in line with broad thinking in Number 10, which was that there should be less concern about the level of debt."

However, she did advise some caution for Mr Sunak: "I think we have to remember why the period of austerity was in place, which was that the level of debt in the UK is still very large. We stabilised, if you like, how much we're adding to it on a year-to-year basis, but we still owe £1.8tn. That does leave us vulnerable to things like an economic shock, interest rates rising."