New UK Prime Minister: Academy President's response

In response to the announcement that Rishi Sunak will be the UK's new Prime Minister, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“I would like to congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming Prime Minister. As Mr Sunak has emphasised, economic stability and confidence are central to the UK’s ability to rise to the substantial international and domestic challenges that we currently face.

“Health research plays a vital role in addressing some of these challenges, and I urge Mr Sunak to continue to place investment in scientific research and development at the heart of his economic vision for the country, as he did when Chancellor, and as was set out in the 2019 Conservative party manifesto.

“This Government will be making difficult fiscal decisions, but R&D is not a luxury. It is an essential tool to secure our long-term economic and health security. Mr Sunak was Chancellor during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he saw first-hand the crucial contribution UK science made globally through the development of vaccines and life-saving treatments.

“As well as delivering health benefits, R&D secures investment and innovation, and creates high-skilled jobs in high-growth industries. Medical research is responsible for economic returns to the country to the tune of 25p per pound investment, each year, forever.

“To reap these rewards, biomedical and health research requires a coherent, long-term approach, backed by investment. I encourage Mr Sunak to stand by his commitment in the spending review to increase R&D investment to £20 billion by 2024/25. I look forward to working alongside Mr Sunak and his Government to achieve these goals for the benefit of the health and wealth of this country.”

- Ends -

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