Rishi Sunak - UK's First Prime Minister of Color

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After taking office in October 2022, Rishi Sunak became the United Kingdom's first prime minister of color.

 

Who Is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak was elected as a Conservative MP from Richmond in 2015 after a successful early career in finance. Only five years later, he was named Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he received praise for devising a massive bailout package to assist struggling businesses and individuals in the face of the spread of Covid-19. Sunak was unsuccessful in his initial bid for the Conservative Party leadership, but he became the United Kingdom's first prime minister of color when Liz Truss abruptly resigned in October 2022.

 

Rishi Sunak's Age

Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton, England on May 12, 1980.

 

Rishi Sunak's Parents and Nationality

Sunak's parents were born in East Africa to Indian-origin families before moving to England in the 1960s. His father, Yashvir, joined the National Health Service as a general practitioner, and his mother, Usha, ran a pharmacy.

 

Rishi Sunak's Early Years and Education

Sunak, the oldest of three children, developed an early interest in cricket and a knack for business while working at the family pharmacy.

Despite the fact that an anticipated scholarship to Winchester College did not materialize, Yashvir and Usha accepted the financial burden of sending their son to the prestigious boarding school, with Sunak contributing by working as a waiter during the holidays. He went on to become Winchester's first "head boy" from an Indian background, editing the school newspaper, The Wykehamist.

Sunak then enrolled at the University of Oxford's Lincoln College, where he pursued a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He was not active in the school's political circles, but instead became president of the Oxford University Investment Society before graduating with honors in 2001.

Sunak later earned his MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business on a Fulbright scholarship.

 

Rishi Sunak's Financial Career

Sunak began his professional career as a junior analyst in Goldman Sachs' London branch, where he specialized in American stocks in the media and transportation sectors. Following his time at Stanford, he returned to England to work as a partner at The Children's Investment Fund in the thriving hedge fund industry (TCI).

Sunak returned to California in 2010 to work for a former boss at the hedge fund Thélème Partners after TCI splintered. From 2013 to 2015, he served as a director for his father-in-investment law's firm, Catamaran Ventures.

Sunak previously worked as a board member for a Boys & Girls Club in California, as a governor of the East London Science School, and as the director of the Policy Exchange's Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit.

 

Rishi Sunak as a Member of Parliament

Sunak began his political career in 2015, when he ran against long-serving Conservative MP William Hague in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Despite concerns about how he would fare in the rural, mostly white region, the newcomer won over residents and received more than half of the vote.

Sunak rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a parliamentary private secretary at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in June 2017 and then under secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government in January 2018. Along the way, the inexperienced MP made a name for himself by opposing Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to back Brexit.

Sunak was appointed chief secretary to the Treasury in July 2019 after supporting former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's leadership campaign. He also stood in for Prime Minister Johnson during general election debates later that year.

 

Rishi Sunak as a Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sunak became the second-youngest chancellor of the Exchequer in February 2020, just seven months after joining the Treasury.

Sunak was initially tasked with meeting a tight budget deadline, but quickly shifted his focus to emergency measures to support the British economy amid the rapid spread of Covid-19. On March 17, he announced a £350 billion business rescue package, which was quickly followed by pledges to assist both furloughed workers and the self-employed.

While other initiatives, such as his "eat out to help out" campaign, were largely ineffective, the chancellor's popularity skyrocketed as a result of his demonstration of capable leadership and willingness to defy Conservative convictions in order to continue financially supporting struggling businesses and individuals.

Aside from pandemic management, Sunak will host the G7 Summit in June 2021 and will preside over the western powers' agreement to establish a landmark global corporation tax. The following spring, he announced that he had asked the Treasury to design a non-fungible token to support the emerging cryptocurrency market (NFT).

Despite public embarrassment for violating lockdown rules, Sunak used resentment over Johnson's scandal-plagued premiership to resign as chancellor on July 5, 2022, triggering a wave of government resignations that forced the prime minister to resign two days later.

 

Rishi Sunak as a Prime Minister

Sunak, one of 11 candidates who declared their intention to succeed Johnson, slammed his opponents' "fairy tale" tax cuts. Sunak emerged as an early favorite for the Conservative Party leadership as Conservative MPs narrowed the field down to two, but he ultimately lost the final round of voting to incumbent Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on September 6, 2022.

Truss's premiership, however, crumbled beneath the financial turmoil caused by her plan to cut taxes and freeze household energy bills. Truss announced the end of her historically brief tenure as prime minister on October 20, 2022, after most of her economic proposals were overturned due to rising inflation.

Sunak became the only candidate to receive the necessary support of 100 fellow MPs, allowing him to become the United Kingdom's first prime minister of color on October 24, 2022.

In his acceptance speech, he stated, "When the opportunity to serve presents itself, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness." "So, I stand before you ready to lead our country into the future, to prioritize your needs over politics, and to reach out and build a government that embodies my party's best traditions. We can accomplish incredible things if we work together."

 

Rishi Sunak's Wife and Family

Sunak met Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys founder N. R. Narayana Murthy, while studying at Stanford. The couple had daughters Krishna and Anoushka after their high-profile wedding in August 2009.

In April 2022, it was revealed that Akshata did not pay UK taxes on her foreign earnings due to her "non-domicile" status. She later renounced that position in order to avoid being a "distraction" to her husband's political ambitions.

 

Rishi Sunak's Personal

Sunak, a devout Hindu, is well-known for taking his oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita and publicly commemorating the Diwali festival.

Sunak became the richest prime minister in British history, thanks in large part to his wife's family fortune, with a reported net worth of £730 million as of May 2022. At the time, he owned a mansion in Kirby Sigston, Yorkshire, two homes in west London, and a beach penthouse in Santa Monica, California.

Sunak, in addition to his stated interests in cricket, football, and overall fitness, frequently mentions his love for Star Wars on social media and reportedly owns a collection of lightsabers.

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