LONDON-Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s third prime minister of the year after winning a hastily arranged leadership contest on Monday after Liz Truss’ lightning strikes. After losing to Truss in the summer, Sunak was on his way to Downing Street after his leading competitor, Penny Mordaunt, pulled out of the competition at the last minute.
Sunak rose to the top after he successfully stopped Boris Johnson for the second time. As Johnson’s finance minister, Sunak resigns next July Johnson handles co-worker’s sex scandal triggered the ministerial evacuation that ultimately frustrated Johnson. When Liz Truss’s administration fell after just 44 days, many Tory lawmakers thought Johnson’s inevitable return was just what the UK needed.
Over the weekend, Johnson held talks with Sunak and Mordaunt to secure a deal in which they would stand behind him to unify the Conservatives. Both rejected Johnson. What role — if any — Johnson will play in British politics remains to be seen.
Sunak will now move into a Downing Street besieged by a huge pile of problems. Britain’s rampant inflation and soaring food and energy prices have thrown the economy into chaos, a threat made worse by Truss’ disaster handling public finances have damaged the country’s fiscal credibility and urgently need repair. Sunak will also likely be forced to preside over unpopular spending cuts at a time when workers in key sectors including transportation and healthcare have already exceeded wages.
He will also have to find a way to reverse the record collapse of his deeply divided party in the polls ahead of the next general election, due no later than January 2025. Even if the As Sunak’s policies proved popular, aspects of his personal history before and during his time at Westminster may well come back to haunt him.
The 42-year-old’s ascent was amazingly quick. The son of a family who immigrated to Britain in the 1960s, Sunak studied at Oxford and Stanford before entering investment banking at Goldman Sachs before making millions in hedge funds. It was at Stanford that he met his future wife Akshata Murty, daughter of Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy.
Between them, the couple is said to have built a combined fortune of around $820 million – about twice the fortune of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, Theo Guardians. The Sunday Times Earlier this year, they were the 222nd richest people in the UK, the first time a front-line politician appeared on the list. The couple owns four homes worth about $17 million, including a penthouse in Santa Monica worth $7.2 million.
Sunak was first elected a Conservative MP in 2015 and was appointed finance minister by Johnson just five years later, aged 39. He was running the UK Treasury when COVID The pandemic hit, and for the first time his leadership credentials came under extreme pressure.
Among his key decisions was the establishment of an unprecedented large-scale plan to avoid mass redundancies during the lockdown, followed by a subsidized dining plan to support the guest sector. The hotel is gone. His August 2020 “Eat All to Help” plan was later blamed for the dramatic increase in COVID cases.
But Sunak’s popularity really began to plummet earlier this year amid a woeful coalition of controversial policy decisions and a series of concurrent scandals. His fiscal plans in the spring pushed the UK’s tax burden to a 70-year high, a move scorned by traditional Conservative voters.
Around the same time, Sunak’s wife took advantage of her special legal status to avoid paying British tax on her earnings from dividends from the IT business founded by her father, in which she holds an estimated $835 million in shares. The leader of the opposition Labor Party accused Sunak of “spectacular hypocrisy” for raising taxes on others because his family appeared to have eased their own responsibilities.
Worse still, Sunak got a US green card while serving as the UK’s finance minister. It basically means he has declared himself a permanent resident of the US for tax reasons while also overseeing tax increases in his home country.
And also in April, Sunak became the first incumbent UK finance minister to be criminally sanctioned. Along with Boris Johnson, Sunak was fined for breaking Downing Street lockdown rules.”party“The scandal shocked the British public, who in some cases missed the last hours of their loved ones diligently following government pandemic regulations.
Coupled with his perceived betrayal of Boris Johnson, Tory party members chose Truss over Sunak in the final confrontation of this summer’s leadership race. Defeated, Suank didn’t have to wait long before getting a second chance. On Monday, he became the first British Prime Minister of Indian descent – and the first Hindu Prime Minister; appointed on the first day of Diwali.
Exactly what he plans to do with his newfound powers remains to be seen. But taking the reins after Truss, Sunak would be seen as an improvement if he remains in power at Christmas.