Who is Rishi Sunak? What to know about the new prime minister of the UK.

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OCTOBER 25, 2022

Rishi Sunak meets supporters as he arrives to attend a Conservative Party leadership election event in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.Rui Vieira, AP

Just a few days after Liz Truss resigned as prime minister, the UK has a new prime minister. Truss, who lasted a mere 45 days in office, will be replaced by Rishi Sunak, a veteran of Bristish politics and a fellow member of the conservative party.

Sunak, the former finance minister, was chosen by fellow members of Britain’s Conservative Party, which currently controls parliament. The British people elect a party to power, not an individual, making it possible for the party in power to choose a new prime minister without a popular election. Sunak took office Tuesday, after meeting with Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Sunak’s newly assumed role marks a number of firsts. He is the first prime minister of color, the first of South Asian descent, and the first of the Hindu faith. Here’s what else to know about Sunak, from his political views and previous wealth to his age and height.

Who is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak is the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He was selected by fellow members of Britain’s Conservative Party after the previous prime minister, Liz Truss resigned.

Sunak previously served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) under Boris Johnson and spent many years prior in the banking sector, working for Goldman Sachs and managing a hedge fund. He attended Oxford University and Winchester College, before traveling to the U.S. to get his MBA at Stanford.

Sunak notably resigning as finance minister this past July over what he deemed “fundamentally different” ideas about how to approach the economic crises at hand. His election as prime minister represents a triumphant return to Bristish politics.

What is Rishi Sunak’s net worth? 

Sunak and his family boast significant independent wealth. He and his wife have a combined estimated net worth of $1 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

He is married to Akshata Murty, a tech heiress whose father, Narayana Murthy, founded Infosys, an Indian tech firm.

Does Rishi Sunak have kids?

Yes. Sunak and Murty share two daughters: Krishna and Anoushka.

What religion is Rishi Sunak?

Sunak is of the Hindu faith, the first practicing member of the religion to serve as prime minister.

He has spoken publicly about his faith and was sworn in on a sacred Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, according to the Washington Post.

How old is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak is 42 years old, making him the youngest person to hold the office of prime minister in modern times.

How tall is Rishi Sunak?

Sunak is 5 feet 6 inches tall, according to Bristish GQ, which published an opinion article recently claiming Sunak’s election was ushering in the end of the “short king” era.

Is Rishi Sunak right wing?

Yes. Sunak is a member of Britain’s Conservative Party which is considered the right-wing arm of the parliament, with Labour Party forming the left-wing arm.

However, British politics are not a perfect mirror image of American politics. While there are parallels, the Conservative Party is not identical to the Republican Party, and ‘right wing’ can take on a different meaning in the context of the United Kingdom’s political environment.

Sunak has not yet released the specifics of his plan to combat what he called a ”profound economic crisis,” details are expected Oct. 31, when the newly appointed government will lay out its medium-term fiscal plan. He is expected by many to be a pragmatic leader, saying in his inaugural address, “We now need stability and unity.”

Sunak is expected to be a more moderate in his economic approach than his predecessor, steadying a volatile economy which saw the pound plummet over major tax cuts proposed by Truss, ultimately leading to her resignation. He remains a conservative political thinker though, likely to favor pro-business policies.

Did Rishi Sunak vote for Brexit? 

Yes.

Sunak was one of the earliest vocal supporters of Brexit, though he distinguished himself from more right-wing members of his party by supporting a more moderate approach, the New York Times reported.

Why did Liz Truss resign? 

Liz Truss beat out Sunak in a contest earlier in the Summer to assume the post of prime minister, replacing Boris Johnson, who resigned himself over a scandal involving violation of his own COVID-19 lockdown protocols.

Truss served a mere 45 days though, entering office with a widely criticized economic plan which involved large tax cuts meant to stimulate an already suffering economy. The cuts had an opposite effect, prompting an intervention from the central bank.

In response to plummeting poll numbers and an economy in crisis, Truss resigned her post, saying in a speech, “I recognize, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate to which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”


Courtesy/Source: This article originally appeared on USA TODAY

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