The soon to be new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken for the first time since becoming the new leader of the Conservative Party.

Mr Sunak, who failed to become Prime Minister after losing the last leadership contest to Liz Truss seven weeks ago, was the only Tory MP to receive the backing of more than 100 of his parliamentary colleagues.

The former Chancellor was initially opposed by Boris Johnson, who backed out of the leadership race over the weekend despite claiming to have received sufficient support from MPs to continue, and Penny Mordaunt, who was unable to gather the 100 backers needed to proceed in the contest.

Rishi Sunak in profile

Speaking publicly for the first time since being announced as the next Prime Minister, Mr Sunak said: “I am humbled and honoured to have the support of my parliamentary colleagues.

“It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve the party I love and give back to the country I owe so much to.

“We now need stability and unity, and I will make it my upmost priority to bring out party and country together, that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face.

“I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility and I will work day in day out to deliver for the British people.”

Victory for Mr Sunak means the Tories are on to their third prime minister since they won the 2019 general election under Mr Johnson’s leadership.

Veteran Tory Sir Christopher Hope joined Labour in demanding a fresh general election, arguing it is the only solution for the next leader now the Conservative Party is “ungovernable”.

The MP for Christchurch in Dorset, which he held last time with a near-25,000 vote majority, told Today: “The best way they can get that respect is by winning a mandate with the people, and that’s why I think a general election is essentially the only answer, otherwise we’re just going to go from bad to worse.

“The party is ungovernable in the House of Commons and so we’re going to have continuing rebellions as we try to change policies and so on, and so I must say I’m very pessimistic, I’m very angry, and I feel that Boris has been let down once again and undermined by our parliamentary colleagues.”