TRUSS OR SUNAK? Which Tory for PM?


A strange yet familiar political story is being played out in the UK yet again. A new Prime Minister of a proud democracy is being elected by members of their own Party without facing the general public in a democratic vote.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak; two candidates from the same party. On 5th September, one of them will be announced as the winner and new Prime Minister. Whoever wins will have no personal public mandate. It’s only Tory members who will vote, but the general public can pray.

One of the questions being raised by UK Christians is to do with Sunak’s religious background. There has never been a PM with a Hindu or Muslim background. Should Christians be praying against Sunak’s success?

The purpose of these notes is limited. They are merely here as prompts to help those who are concerned by the question to think clearly.

  • Recent history has demonstrated how important it is to have a PM who has sound character and principles. One does not have to be a Christian in order to possess those qualities. There are Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and atheists who are outstanding individuals who demonstrate both.
  • At what point does a person’s religious background intrude on their capacity to be PM?
  • Only several years ago, the leader of the Liberal Party was hounded out because he is a Christian. Was that OK?

When is it right to pray against a political figure who exhibits principles and character, based solely on their religious background? Isn’t that close to cursing them – something that Jesus warns against?

  • In the past God has not only used, but has chosen, political leaders in his purposes who are not believers. It was a shock to discover God choosing Cyrus, King of Persia, for instance, on behalf of his chosen people. (2 Chron 36:22)
  • There have been Christian leaders who have made a hash of things, and atheists who have done well.

Being Prime Minister is a political office. They are not becoming head of the church.

The successful candidate will become the leader of a cabinet with collective responsibility, subject to rules, and accountable to the public. It might be helpful to remember that they will have a very limited run, possibly two years, before they will face a General Election – and the people’s verdict.

The Really Big Question: Who will best protect the poor?

The UK population is facing a massive financial crisis at this time due to rising energy prices, fuelled partly by Russia’s tactics, and soaring inflation. Massive home heating bills will impact millions. Prices are rising but income is static. As always, it will be the poor who will lose out most. The only question for them is: by how much? To eat food or stay warm?

Truss and Sunak have each based their campaigns around their respective, and contrasting, economic policy of helping householders if they were in charge. That has necessitated the rubbishing of their rival’s strategy. It has been a nasty and unedifying spectacle to see.

From a biblical point of view, it is the treatment of the poor that distinguishes the character of a society. The poor includes pensioners because the average pensioner is unable to increase their income to match inflation.

On that basis, we can seek to evaluate the candidates’ suitability by their prospective strategies.

  • Do they restrain unfair profits for investors and big business in order to support the poor?
  • Or do they favour a potential increase in profits potential for investors and big business at the expense of the poor?

Obviously, there is the importance of fiscal prudence to take into account. Few people would want to dump the cost of poorly costed plans for today onto the future generations.

Above all, let’s remember that leaders rise and leaders fall. Governments rule and governments fall.



Now it’s your turn to let us know what you think. Did you find these notes helpful?

Do you have another perspective to share? Drop us a line:

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