On Tuesday, October 25th 2022, Rishi Sunak succeeded Liz Truss as the UK’s 57th prime minister with a vow to unite the country and stabilise the economy. He is the UK’s first British Asian prime minister and the youngest Prime Minister in over 200 years.
Rishi Sunak was born on May 12th 1980, in Southampton, Hampshire, to Yashvir and Usha Sunak. His parents are African-born Hindus of Indian Punjabi descent who immigrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s. Sunak attended Stroud school, a preparatory school in Romsey and Winchester College, a private school where he held the position of the head boy. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and graduated in 2001 with first-class honours. In 2006 he completed his MBA at Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.
Early in his business career, he worked as an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs before moving into hedge fund management. He worked at the Children’s Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners hedge fund firms and was also a director of the investment firm Catamaran Ventures.
Sunak was first elected as an MP in 2015 for Richmond in North Yorkshire from the Conservative Party and was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee in the parliament until 2017. An avid supporter of Brexit, he has also advocated establishing free ports and creating a retail bond market for small and medium-sized enterprises. From 2018 to 2019, Sunak served as parliamentary under-secretary of state for local government during Theresa May’s tenure.
In 2019 under Boris Johnson’s government, he was appointed the chief secretary to the Treasury and subsequently the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020. Sunak guided the UK through the Covid-19 pandemic and positioned himself as a ‘sound finance’ candidate with experience in economic crisis-fighting. During the pandemic, he executed several schemes to boost the economy, which included a generous furlough scheme, business loans and discounts on eating in restaurants.
In July 2022, due to a number of political scandals surrounding the Conservative Party, Sunak resigned as Chancellor and stood for the leadership election to replace Johnson. However, Liz Truss won the election with a majority in the membership election. Following her resignation in October, Sunak became the leader of the Conservative Party and emerged as the Prime Minister of the UK. Considered to be one of the Richest MPs in the UK, Sunak has experienced a meteoric rise to the pinnacle of British politics.
In a time when discrimination and hatred are spreading like wildfire around the globe, it’s encouraging to see that some countries have succeeded to elect a member of a relatively ethnic minority to their highest elected positions. We believe that Rishi Sunak lives up to the high expectations of all Britons by leading the country out of disarray and establishing a democratic and equitable society.