11 things you need to know about Rishi Sunak, the new British prime minister
Rishi Sunak is the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. Here's a quick look at all the must-know things about the man who in-charge of the world's sixth largest economy.
Rishi Sunak meets King Charles as the new prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Rishi Sunak is all set to become United Kingdom’s first British Asian (of Indian origin) Prime Minister, the youngest ever to achieve the highest elective position. He is 42.
2. Sunak was born in Southampton, his grand-parents had immigrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s and are of Punjabi Indian origin. Sunak attended Winchester College for his undergraduate studies, Lincoln College in Oxford (where he studied PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics) and pursued his MBA degree as a Fullbright Scholar at Stanford University. PPE is often called the degree for future prime ministers considering the number of past prime ministers of the United Kingdom who studied it.
3. Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy, is the daughter of Infosys Ltd. founder and Indian billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy. The combined net worth of Rishi and Akshata is over £730 million (nearly USD 820 million). Sunak is one of the wealthiest politicians and will be the richest persons to ever hold the office of prime minister.
4. Rishi Sunak was an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs. He then worked at the Children’s Investment Fund Management, a hedge fund management company, where he was made a partner but later resigned to work with his former colleagues at Theleme Partners, a hedge fund company in California.
5. Since 2015, he has served as the Member of Parliament for Richmond Yorkshire and since October 2022, Rishi has been the Conservative Party's Leader. From 2020 to 2022, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer - a position that ranks third among ministers and is equivalent to a finance minister in many other countries, just behind the deputy prime minister and the prime minister, and from 2019 to 2020, he was chief secretary to the Treasury.
6. Boris Johnson appointed him chancellor in February 2020, making him the government's chief financial officer, the second-highest-ranking official behind the prime minister. He resigned as a chancellor in July 2022, followed by Johnson's resignation after a government crisis. To succeed Johnson, Sunak ran for party leadership of the Conservatives but Liz Truss won the members' vote. Sunak was then elected as the Conservative Party's Leader without opposition after Truss resigned amid yet another government crisis.
7. When the coronavirus pandemic raged all over the world and lockdowns were implemented in the UK, the newly elected chancellor, Sunak, was confronted with the difficult task of managing the economy. He announced a financial rescue package after pledging to 'do everything it takes" for UK citizens, which led to his popularity. He received praise for both this initiative and his job retention program, which prevented widespread unemployment.
8. Sunak will take over during one of the most chaotic periods in British political history with a major economic and energy crisis. Sunak will be expected to show that he knows how to fix this crisis, in part brought about by the UK's split with the European Union (Brexit).
9. Sunak's wife's tax practices caused a controversy in the past for which Rishi was bitterly criticised. Akshata avoided up to £20 million in UK taxes. However later Akshata has stated that as a non-domiciled citizen, she was free from paying taxes on foreign income in the UK.
10. Sunak was an early supporter of Brexit, and Boris Johnson’s 'Leave' (the EU) campaign.
11. His constituency is Richmond, North Yorkshire, where he owns 12 acre estate. He has been dubbed the Maharaja of Yorkshire Dales.