Rishi Sunak, the former finance minister, is one of the favourites to replace Boris Johnson as the next British prime minister. Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned reportedly because of Johnson’s handling of ethics scandals, including the case of a senior official accused of sexual misconduct.
Rishi Sunak, 42, could become the first Indian-origin UK prime minister.
WHO IS RISHI SUNAK?
Sunak, the son of a pharmacist mother and a National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner (GP) father, was born in UK. He is an Oxford University and Stanford graduate.
He is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, and the couple has two young daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.
Rishi Sunak first became an MP in 2015. He was elected from Richmond, Yorkshire. Sunak quickly rose through the Conservative party ranks and backed calls for ‘Brexit’. He was one of the supporters of Boris Johnson during his ‘leave EU’ campaign.
Sunak made history in February 2020 when he was appointed to the most important UK Cabinet post — The Chancellor of the Exchequer. He gained popularity during the pandemic for his economic package to aid businesses and employees.
The package included a jobs retention programme, which reportedly prevented mass unemployment in UK.
However, his popularity took a hit following the ‘partygate’ scandal — breaching Covid rules and organising lockdown parties at government offices — and he was one of the officials fined by the London Police.
Sunak also faced criticism for his wealthy wife’s non-domiciled tax status. The tax status allows a person who was born in another country, or if their parent is from another country, to pay tax in the UK only on their UK income. The system allows foreign immigrants to enjoy all the benefits of living in the UK, while paying very little in UK taxes because they make the bulk, if not all, of their income abroad.
Ever since he took charge as Chancellor, there has been speculation within the UK media about Sunak eyeing the top job. Come what may, UK will have a new prime minister in office from October and Sunak could become the first Indian-origin man to lead the country and the party.