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Who is Rishi Sunak? UK’s millionaire, youngest and first non-white prime minister



Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s next prime minister, prevailing in a chaotic Conservative Party leadership race on Monday after his remaining rival for the position, Penny Mordaunt, withdrew.

He will be Britain’s third leader in seven weeks and the first prime minister of color in its history.

The 42-year-old former chancellor of the Exchequer who is the son of Indian immigrants, Mr. Sunak won the contest to replace the ousted Liz Truss, who resigned under pressure last Thursday after her economic agenda caused turmoil.

Rishi Sunak was born 12 May 1980 and he is a British politician who has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 24 October 2022.

He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.

Born in Southampton to parents of Punjabi Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s, Sunak was educated at Winchester College. He subsequently read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and later gained an MBA from Stanford University in California as a Fulbright Scholar. While studying at Stanford, he met his future wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of N. R. Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire businessman who founded Infosys. Sunak and Murty are the 222nd richest people in Britain, with a combined fortune of £730m as of 2022. After graduating, he worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firms the Children’s Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners.

Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for Richmond in North Yorkshire at the 2015 general election, succeeding William Hague. Sunak supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership. He was appointed to Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 reshuffle. He voted three times in favour of May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. After May resigned, Sunak supported Boris Johnson‘s campaign to become Conservative leader. After Johnson was elected and appointed Prime Minister, he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Sunak replaced Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer after his resignation in the February 2020 cabinet reshuffle.

As Chancellor, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemicand its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He resigned as chancellor on 5 July 2022, citing his economic policy differences with Johnson in his resignation letter.

Sunak’s resignation, along with the resignation of Javid as Health Secretary, led to Johnson’s resignation amid a government crisis.

In July 2022, he stood in the Conservative party leadership election to replace Johnson,[7] and lost the members’ vote to Liz Truss.

Following Truss’s resignation amid a government crisis, Sunak won the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election. He is set to become the first Prime Minister of colour in the United Kingdom, as well as the youngest since 1812.

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