Former British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was elected as the leader of the Conservative Party on Monday, making him the new prime minister of the United Kingdom , a post that became vacant on Thursday after the election, after only 44 days in power.
“Rishi Sunak has been elected leader of the Conservative Party,” the head of the parliamentary group Graham Brady announced on Monday.
Sunak, a billionaire businessman, becomes the first member of an ethnic minority to serve as head of the British government.
It is a remarkable revival for Sunak, who had lost a Conservative leadership bid to Liz Truss less than two months ago, when he was accused by some in the Conservative Party of bringing down then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Here’s what we know about Rishi Sunak, who will arrive at 10 Downing Street in a few hours.
Where does Rishi Sunak come from?
Sunak’s grandparents emigrated from North India to the UK in the 1950s.
Born in Southampton in 1980 to parents of Punjabi Indian descent, Sunak spoke repeatedly during the last campaign of helping his mother’s pharmacy with the books, doing the payroll and keeping the accounts.
“I grew up watching my parents serve our local community with dedication. My father was part of a family of the NHS (British National Health Service) and my mother had her own local pharmacy, ”says Sunak on his official page.
The former minister studied Politics at Winchester College and Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford. He studied his MBA at Stanford University, in California, United States.
During the last campaign for the leadership he supported the creation of more selective schools, after the opposition Labor Party banned the creation of new ones, but has repeatedly said that “a world-class education” should be a birthright. .
Sunak was an analyst at Goldman Sachs bank and an employee of a hedge fund.
“He co-founded an investment firm dealing with companies in multiple geographies. So, he used that experience to help British small businesses and startups grow,” Sunak’s profile on the British government website indicates. At this firm, Sunak was able to amass a personal fortune.
Sunak is married to the daughter of an Indian tycoon, whom he met in California, and they have two children.
This has raised concerns in the party that it is too far removed from the concerns of voters, some of whom are forced by inflation to decide whether to spend on food or heating.
Rishi was elected Conservative MP for Richmond, York in May 2015 and served as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from June 2017 until his ministerial appointment.
The 42-year-old Brexiteer was appointed finance minister in 2020 but has been criticized for doing too little to stem the rising cost of living.
Head of economics, Sunak put Britain on track for its biggest tax burden since the 1950s, and other prime ministerial hopefuls have criticized him on taxes, most saying they would lead cuts immediately.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Britain, Sunak abandoned the Conservative instinct and took out massive loans to stave off the risk of an economic depression. Sunak said he didn’t want to distance himself from the tax decisions he made at the time.
“While that may be politically inconvenient for me, it’s also the truth. As is the fact that once we’ve got inflation under control, I’ll lower the tax burden,” he said. “It’s a question of when, not if.”
To Fortune by Rishi Sunak
Sunak had lost ground in a series of scandals surrounding the advantageous tax status of his Indian billionaire wife. The newspaper The Independent revealed in April that Sunak’s wife benefits from the status of “non-domiciled” (“non dom”, in English), a figure that would have allowed Akshata Murthy to be exempt from taxes on her foreign income and thus avoid paying several million pounds in the UK.
Rishi Sunak and his wife have a joint fortune of 730 million pounds, according to the list of the richest people in the United Kingdom compiled by This is more than double the estimated fortune of King Charles II and Queen Camilla, which amounts to to a figure between 300 and 350 million pounds.
How is your relationship with Boris Johnson?
Sunak was the first top contender to launch his candidacy on July 8, just a day after Johnson resigned in a video that fueled suspicions of a long-planned candidacy.
In the video, which was viewed 7 million times on Saturday, July 9 alone, Sunak promises to “restore confidence”, “rebuild the economy and reunify the country”.
Boris Johnson is convinced that Sunak waited for the right moment for months before announcing his resignation on July 4, precipitating the row that eventually forced the prime minister to resign.
This version has been denied by supporters of Sunak.
But according to The Times newspaper, Johnson would be urging the eliminated candidates to give their support to “anyone except Rishi”, whom he accuses of treason for having precipitated with his resignation that of 60 other members of the government and ultimately the fall of the conservative leader.
With information from AFP, EFE and Reuters