On 25th October 2022, Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, born in the UK to Indian-descent parents, was appointed Prime Minister of UK. He thus became the first Hindu Prime Minister in the UK.
Rishi Sunak was born in 1980 in Southampton to Indian-born parents. His parents are of Indian descent, who migrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s. He was educated at Winchester College, studied philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and earned an MBA from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar. After graduating, Sunak worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firms The Children’s Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners.
In the field of politics, Sunak joined the Conservative Party of UK. He became a member of the Parliament in 2015, elected from Richmond to the House of Commons. He was appointed to Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 reshuffle.
After May resigned, Sunak supported Boris Johnson’s campaign to become Conservative leader. After Johnson became Prime Minister, Sunak was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Sunak replaced Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer after Javid’s resignation in the February 2020 cabinet reshuffle.
Rishi Sunak’s race to the top position came suddenly and quickly. In July 2022, Boris Johnson resigned after a Government crisis in the country. Boris Johnson’s resignation was due to the fact that 62 out of 179 MPs resigned. Their resignation was due to various scandals made by Boris Johnson, with the Chris Pincher scandal, the immediate cause of resignation.
Sunak though had to contest against Liz Truss for the Conservative party leadership. In the party election, he narrowly lost to Liz Truss, and Liz Truss became the Prime Minister of the UK. But in October 2022, another Government crisis followed, and Liz Truss also announced her resignation. Thus the field was open for Rishi Sunak, who was unanimously elected as the leader of the Conservative Party as well as the Prime Minister of UK.
Sunak is known for voicing protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brexit and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also stressed the need for environment protection, energy conservation, and making Britain independent on energy production. He supported that the UK should ultimately become a net zero in energy consumption.
Written by – Himadri Paul