Prime minister Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak struck a downbeat tone in his new year message by warning that 2023 will have its “challenges”.
In a message, to be broadcast on Saturday, Sunak says Vladimir Putin’s invasion had a “profound economic impact” around the world which the UK is “not immune to”.
“Now, I’m not going to pretend that all our problems will go away in the new year,” the prime minister said.
“But 2023 will give us an opportunity to showcase the very best of Britain on the world stage, continuing to stand with our Ukrainian friends against Putin’s brutality, and defending freedom and democracy wherever we find it under threat.”
He added: “Yes, 2023 will have its challenges, but the government I lead is putting your priorities first.”
His message was in stark contrast to Labour leader Keir Starmer who struck a more optimistic tone by promising to set out the “case for change” and a “new Britain”.
It follows a recent poll that showed Labour is heading into the new year on a 26-point lead over the Tories.
2022 was a tumultuous year for the Conservative Party which saw the country rattle through three prime ministers.