Rishi Sunak emerges youngest UK’s Prime Minister

by Amos Kalu
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Rishi Sunak has emerged as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Recall that Liz Truss, former Prime minister, had resigned, saying she could no longer deliver the mandate on which she was elected by the conservative Party.

According to an announcement made by Sir Graham Brady, only one nomination was received by the 1922 Committee for the new leader of the party and backed by 100 MPs.

Sir Brady, therefore, declared Sunak to be the next party leader, and consequently the new Prime Minister.

Age

Sunak was born on May 12, 1980; he is currently 42 years old. Sunak is the youngest Prime Minister of the UK in modern times.

Origins

Sunak was born to Hindu parents of Punjabi descent. His father is Yashvir and his mother, is Usha.

Sunak’s father, Yashvir was born and raised in Kenya and worked as a general practitioner in the NHS, while his mum was born in Tanzania and worked as a pharmacist, running a pharmacy.

Sunak is the eldest of three siblings.

However, Sunak is originally from Southampton.

Education

Sunak attended the prestigious Winchester College; and subsequently Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

He then proceeded to Ivy League college, Stanford University in California, where he earned an MBA as a Fulbright Scholar.

Political career

Sunak was selected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks) in October 2014, defeating Wendy Morton. The seat was previously held by William Hague, a former leader of the party, Foreign Secretary, and First Secretary of State.

In the same year, Sunak was head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit of the center-right think tank Policy Exchange, for which he co-wrote a report on BME communities in the UK.

He was elected as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 19,550 (36.2%).

He has been a member of parliament since 2015 when he was an MP for Richmond and has served in roles including Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Chancellor of Exchequer while Boris Johnson was PM.

Sunak was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019, serving under Chancellor Sajid Javid. He became a member of the Privy Council the next day.

Sunak was re-elected in the 2019 general election with an increased majority of 27,210 (47.2%).

On February 13, 2020, Sunak was promoted to Chancellor of the Ex-Chequer as part of a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of Javid. He held the position until 2022.Related News

On July 5, 2022, Sunak resigned as chancellor moments after Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary.

On July 8, 2022, Sunak stood in the Conservative party leadership election to replace Johnson, after Johnson’s resignation on July 7.

Sunak launched his campaign in a video posted to social media, writing that he would “restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country”, adding that his values were “patriotism, fairness, hard work.”

Sunak and the then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss emerged as the final two candidates in the contest on July 20 to be put forward to the membership for the final leadership vote; he had received the most votes in each of the series of MP votes with Sunak receiving 137 to Truss’s 113 in the final round. In the membership vote, Truss received 57.4% of the vote, making her the new leader and Prime Minister over Sunak.

Following the resignation of Liz Truss on Thursday, Sunak was thought to be a possible contender for the abridged leadership contest, along with Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson, who had resigned as Prime Minister before Liz Truss’ appointment.

On October 22, it was reported that Sunak had the required number of supporters—100 members of the House of Commons—to run on the ballot on October 24.

On October 23, Sunak declared that he would stand for election. After Johnson ruled himself out of the race and Mordaunt withdrew, Sunak was announced as the new Leader of the Conservative Party and subsequently as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

He will be officially made the Prime Minister of the UK after meeting with King Charles III.

His family

Sunak got married to Akshata Murthy in 2009 and they had a two-day wedding ceremony in Bangalore.

His wife runs her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, and is also a director of a venture capital firm founded by her billionaire dad, N.R. Narayana Murty, a co-founder of IT company Infosys.

Together they hold an estimated net worth of £730 million, making them among the richest people in the UK and earning Sunak the unofficial title of “the richest MP”.

The couple has two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.

Policies

Sunak put immigration and the NHS at the top of his agenda when he was running against Liz Truss.

He spoke of linking migration with foreign policy – countries who collaborate with the UK on the return of migrants would be rewarded with aid, trade, and visas.

He also proposed to charge the public £10 for missed GP appointments in order to help the huge NHS backlog following the pandemic.

However, he now has more of a financial crisis on his hands.

(Credits: The PUNCH, Wikipedia, LBC)

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