Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak is set to become the UK’s first Indian-origin PM as Penny Mordaunt drops out of the race. Here are the facts about Rishi’s Sunak journey.
Rishi Sunak is set to become the United Kingdom’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister. (Photo: AFP)
By India Today Web Desk: Rishi Sunak is set to become the United Kingdom’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister after Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race on Monday. He will be the 5th UK prime minister in the last six years.
Sunak, born on 12 May 1980 in England’s Southampton, is a conservative party leader and has been active in politics since 2010. Sunak won the UK’s 2015 general election from Richmond (Yorks).
The 42-year-old served as the Parliament Under-Secretary in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s second term.
Rishi Sunak was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for two years, from 2015 to 2017.
Later, he served as Treasury Chief Secretary under the Boris Johnson government in 2019.
Sunak was promoted to Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020, considered Britain’s second most important position.
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. Following the scandal, Sunak had to resign from the post.
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.
Sunak did his schooling at Winchester College, which has interestingly given nearly six chancellors of the Exchequer. He later pursued philosophy, politics, and economics degrees at Lincoln College, affiliated to the University of Oxford.
Sunak’s grandparents, who belonged to Punjab, had migrated to East Africa, and his parents emigrated from Africa to Southampton in southern England. His father worked as a general practitioner for the National Health Service, and his mother worked as a pharmacist.