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Rishi Sunak: What You Didn’t Know About the New British Prime Minister

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

Britain officially welcomes her new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. The new leader is Britain’s fifth Prime Minister in the past six years. Sunak is replacing the outgoing Liz Truss, who resigned from the apex office after 45 days following an uncommon economic agenda heavily opposed by the cabinet and the general public.

Today, Sunak meets England's monarch Prince Charles III at Buckingham Palace for his formal appointment. His meeting with the King will serve as an official acceptance to the highest tier of British governance as he sets to form a government in the next few months.

Rishi Sunak and King Charles III

Who is Rishi Sunak?

The new British PM is a super-wealthy ex-bank and the first person of color to lead the UK.

With Indian origin, Sunak is the first British-Asian and the first Hindu politician to head the parliament. He succeeds Liz Truss, who is said to have led an administration of ‘disastrous economic consequences.’ 

Sunak’s parents were Indian immigrants who came to the United Kingdom from East Africa. His parents were interesting British residents as his father was a general practitioner and his mother a pharmacist. Sunak was born on the 12th of May 1980 in Southampton. 

He studied Philosophy, Economics, and Politics at Lincoln College at the prestigious University of Oxford. He eventually clinched a Master’s in Business Administration at Stanford University in 2006. 

Mr. Sunak was first elected in 2015 as an MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire. His rise to political prominence was meteoric as he was quickly made Finance Minister under the Boris Johnson administration in February 2020. As the Finance Chancellor, Sunak was responsible for financial aid to British residents during the pandemic, modeling several schemes, including the “Eat Out to Help Out” program for restaurants.

Interestingly, Rishi has taken to the polls against Liz Truss before in September, but he lost. At his second attempt, he could quickly engineer the support of other MPs, crossing over 100 nominations in the process — a move that cleared Boris Johnson out of the race.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Mr. Sunak was clearly not a fan of Liz Truss. He predicted heavy financial collapse under her administration. He claims that her plan to borrow would plunge the UK into terrible financial crises, especially amid inflation. The new PM is also popular for championing Brexit and supporting deregulation.

Will Rishi Sunak’s Leadership Be Good for Britain’s Economy?

With a new PM taking over the reins of the parliament, speculations are rising about the potential capabilities of the new man. Because Sunak was a vital member of the Boris Johnson administration, many people do not think his leadership would bring in the economic transformation the UK desperately needs. Even Tories see the new PM as a traitor who engineered the exit of Johnson due to the unfunded tax cuts policies that sank the UK’s economy.

The main opposition leader, Keir Starner, told Twitter that the incoming Sunak administration would be ‘chaos.’ 

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos,” he tweeted.

Other analysts are skeptical of the new administration, which they perceive to lack a clear mandate to produce positive results. 

Tom Caygill, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said, “The financial markets are looking for stability and confidence. They are also expecting some fiscal restraint too. The latter might be the harder of two things that the markets want as it will likely require spending cuts or tax rises, neither of which will be popular.”

On Monday, the news of the Sunak takeover turned positive for global stocks as the Pound rose. European gas prices were recorded at a four-month low, and Wall Street opened in green.