Keir Starmer will face off in opposition to his third Tory prime minister in as many months after Rishi Sunak enters No. 10 right this moment.

The previous chancellor brings a brand new set of challenges for his Labour rival as Starmer seeks to take care of his occasion’s hefty lead within the polls. And as Sunak prepares for his first Prime Minister’s Questions as Tory chief, he too might be conscious that “whereas he has received the keys to Downing Avenue”, his “subsequent opponent would be the Labour chief in a normal election”, mentioned Sky Information.

What did the papers say?

“Sunak is unhealthy information for Labour and the opposition events, and so they might as properly withstand it,” mentioned Sean O’Grady in The Unbiased. The Tories now haven’t solely “an honest new chief”, but additionally “a brand new ‘narrative’”.

Boris Johnson was accused of damaging the Tory occasion’s ethical and moral authority, whereas Liz Truss shredded the occasion’s long-fostered repute for financial competence. Against this, Sunak resigned from Johnson’s authorities over the Partygate scandal and foresaw the monetary disaster of Trussonomics.

As Sunak takes the helm, the Tories have lastly acquired “what they actually wanted above all” – an “goal and objective”, wrote O’Grady. “Fixing the economic system” will imply “powerful decisions now, higher instances forward. No extra chaos and confusion. Easy as that, and endlessly repeated.”

However different commentators identified that whereas Sunak focuses on the economic system, many citizens will stay targeted on his private wealth, because the cost-of-living disaster worsens. The brand new Tory chief is the wealthiest MP in Parliament, with a household fortune estimated to be better than that of the King.

Whereas Sunak did “enhance and sharpen up his message” throughout his first, failed bid for the Tory management, mentioned the i information website’s Paul Waugh, the lengthy summer time marketing campaign “additionally uncovered weaknesses that Labour is certain to take advantage of mercilessly”.

As Sunak’s “sharp swap from furlough hero to too-little-too-late power invoice helper confirmed, he’s already discovered it’s infinitely simpler for a wealthy man to play Santa than it’s to play Scrooge”, Waugh continued. And “his spouse’s non-dom standing” and “botched” plan to hike Nationwide Insurance coverage, together with “his job as a former Goldman Sachs analyst and his determination to ship his youngsters to elite public faculties”, all present “fertile assault areas for Labour which could be neatly summed up as “the ‘4 Ts’ – technocracy, tax, tycoonery and treachery”.

Sunak’s character has additionally come beneath assault by the opposition. “The most typical phrase that Labour figures use to explain the chancellor is ‘useless’,” mentioned Ailbhe Rea in The New Statesman earlier this yr. The opposition “consider he makes political miscalculations” as a result of he’s “self-regarding, inexperienced and delicate”, Rea wrote.

The Tories, flip, are prone to counterattack by pointing to Labour’s historical past of all-white, all-male management. The Conservatives “have left Labour within the mud on variety”, mentioned The Instances’s social affairs editor James Beal, by assembling “probably the most numerous senior staff in British political historical past” headed by the nation’s first ethic-minority PM

“A lot will rely upon how Labour select to deal with our new prime minister,” mentioned Tom Harris in The Telegraph. “It will solely take one undisciplined Labour MP to disparage Sunak’s ethnicity as ‘superficial’ or ‘pretend’ on account of his private wealth and political views to remind voters of how dedicated to the rabbit gap of id politics Labour is as of late.”

What subsequent?

With Britain engulfed in political and financial disaster, his occasion divided and strain rising to name a normal election, Sunak must hit the bottom operating (to paraphrase his predecessor) with a view to win again public assist.

All eyes might be on who Sunak appoints to his high staff in a re-shuffle that’s anticipated to convey collectively his personal supporters with backers of Johnson and defeated management contender Penny Mordaunt. Whether or not Jeremy Hunt stays as chancellor forward of subsequent Monday’s much-anticipated fiscal assertion might supply insights into how Sunak will attempt to revive the economic system and stabilise the markets.

Tomorrow’s PMQs must also present a flavour of how Sunak intends to deal with his major Labour rival.

“Contained in the opposition chief’s workplace, Sunak is extensively regarded as beatable,” mentioned Politico’s Esther Webber. One such insider reportedly identified that “that is the person who spent the summer time being embarrassed and outperformed” by Truss.

However Harris cautioned in The Telegraph that whereas Starmer could also be “tempted” to attempt to embarrass Sunak over his private wealth, the riches of the PM and his household are “land mines” that Labour “should be very cautious of stepping on”. As a substitute, “Labour must be seen as a celebration of aspiration, and never only for these on the backside of the financial pile”.

In keeping with Webber,  an unnamed “Labour MP instructed the occasion would now give attention to the Conservatives’ tarnished model and their 12-year document in energy relatively than on particular people within the subsequent election marketing campaign, hammering them on the autumn in many individuals’s residing requirements and on struggling transport and well being companies.”

As the 2 leaders ready to go head-to-head within the Commons, Webber concluded that “Sunak might have to up his recreation once more for the challenges forward”.