By Ed Malik, A | October 25, 2022
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to replace Liz Truss as leader of the Conservative Party, making him Britain’s third prime minister in seven weeks.
Truss, the outgoing PM offered her support and tweeted: “Congratulations on being appointed as Leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minister. You have my full support”
The son of Indian immigrants, Sunak, who was born in Southampton on May 12, 1980, will also make history as the U.K.’s first prime minister of color and the youngest person to take the office in modern history.
Sunak was first elected as an MP in 2015 and spent two years on the backbenches, during which Brexit dominated the political agenda. Sunak supported leaving the EU during the 2016 referendum.
He subsequently became a junior minister in Theresa May’s government. It was Boris Johnson who gave Sunak his first major government role when he first appointed him as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2019, and as the Chancellor in 2020.
Sunak was thrust into positive limelight during the early weeks of the pandemic when he unveiled an comprehensive support plan for those unable to work during lockdown.
But the “Partygate” scandal that took down Boris Johnson also tarnished his reputation, and he became archrivals with Johnson after quitting his government earlier this year.
Sunak has remained tight-lipped on his policy plan in the last few days, but he was widely seen as the more moderate of the two candidates in the last leadership contest over the summer. Compared to Liz Truss, he took a softer line on matters like Brexit and the economy. (CNN)
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been considering a bid to return to Downing Street but abandoned that idea on Sunday. That left Sunak to face off against House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, who dropped out Monday after failing to get the support of at least 100 Conservative Members of Parliament needed to advance.
Before Sunak can officially take over, Truss must tender her resignation to King Charles, who then will appoint Sunak.
Quick checklist about Rishi Sunak:
- Rishi Sunak was Born in Southampton on May 12, 1980
- He is of Indian descent and a proud Hindu by Faith.
- His Indian parents migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s.
- He is a member of the Conservative Party and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.
- He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020.
- Sunak attended 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 wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of N. R. Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire businessman who founded Infosys.
- Sunak and his wife are the 222nd richest people in Britain with a combined fortune of £730m as of 2022.
- 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.
- 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