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Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton, England, on May 12, 1980. He was a British politician and financier. In October 2022, he was elected as the Conservative Party’s leader, UK’s current prime minister. Before this, he held the position of chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022. After British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his scandal-driven resignation in July, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss contested the position of party leader. It seems the British Conservatives were prepared for Sunak, or at least any prospect of a break from the instability at 10 Downing Street, now that his opponent Liz Truss has withdrawn.
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Sunak was conceived into an immigrant family. His mother and father were born in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively, after his grandparents moved to East Africa from Punjab in northwest India. The Father of Sunak joined the National Health Service as a general physician. The oldest of their three children, Sunak, eventually kept the records for his mother’s modest pharmacy, which she owned and ran. Later, during his political career, Sunak would compare her ideals to those of Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party’s icon and a grocer’s daughter, and his experiences working in the family business.
Rishi Sunak’s Political Path
Sunak started working for the Conservative Party in 2010. During that time, he also got associated with Policy Exchange, a major conservative party, and in 2014 he was appointed head of the BME Research Unit (HAMBLETON & Rees, 2020). In addition, the Conservative Party chose Sunak in 2014 to contest the Richmond, North Yorkshire, position in the House of Commons, a marginal seat long held by previous party leader William Hague from 1997 to 2001.
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Sunak was elected with a resounding majority in May 2015. He entered office as a staunch supporter of Brexit and a Euroskeptic (Mumford & Lahey, 2021). He claimed that Brexit would make the UK “freer, fairer, and more prosperous.” He returned to office in 2017 and 2019 and supported Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans three times. Sunak worked as a parliamentary secretary for various business and industrial strategy departments from 2015 to 2017 while also serving on the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee (Pierson, 2021). Moreover, Sunak became an outspoken advocate for Boris Johnson’s bid for the party’s top job. Sunak received a promotion in July 2019 after the previous Prime minister named him chief secretary to the Treasury following his election as leader and prime minister.
The numerous difficulties posed by the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic’s arrival in Britain immediately hit Sunak (Jim et al., 2022). Tensions between Sunak’s superior, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, and Johnson were growing throughout Sunak’s time serving as second-in-command at the Treasury ministry. Johnson took over for Javid in February 2020, and Sunak, who had just turned 39, took his place. Sunak was the fourth-youngest individual ever to hold that office. Sunak used the authority granted to him by his position to try to mitigate the harm done to the economy and people due to the government-imposed closures to stop the spread of the COVID-19-causing coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Farris et al., 2021).
Early in July this year, Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister of the United Kingdom; thereafter, Rishi Sunak declared his intention to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party. To save jobs and lessen the lockdown burden for individuals and businesses, he established a comprehensive economic support package that allocated over £330 billion in emergency financing for enterprises and wage subsidies for workers. These rescue initiatives were well-liked, and Sunak, who exudes composure and polish, was welcomed to represent the government in regular press briefings where the prime minister appeared less composed.
What to Expect From Rishi Sunak’s Cadence
Britain’s first leader of color will be Rishi Sunak, one of the wealthiest MPs in Westminster. After winning the contest to lead the Conservative Party, Rishi Sunak is poised to take office as Britain’s next prime minister. He is now responsible for guiding a divided nation through an economic crisis that will make millions of people impoverished. King Charles will formally ask him to form a government, succeeding outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss, who held the post for just 44 days before resigning. Mr. Sunak has already emphasized the value of “integrity” and “humility,” which sounds like he is contrasting his strategy with how many people saw, respectively, his two immediate predecessors (Killick, 2023). Mr. Sunak would create a government in his image while attempting to appease the criticism leveled at Ms. Truss for creating an administration that effectively froze out almost all of Mr. Sunak’s supporters.
In conclusion, it is admirable that Sunak aspired to rule Britain as the country’s first Hindu and person of color. Sunak’s background required him to overcome the worries of other Conservatives who were offended by the tax increases he had levied on businesses and national insurance to help pay for the costs of the government’s pandemic grants–in–aid. Moreover, he needed to overcome the perception among some Conservatives that he was too financially secure to understand the needs of the average British citizen at a time of devastating rising prices. It is commendable to see that he rose above all the challenges in his path and emerged victorious. On September 5, when the election results were made public, Sunak came in last, receiving only 42.6% of the vote to Truss’ 57.4%, who was elected party leader. He is now the current United Kingdom’s Prime Minister.
- Farris, S., Yuval-Davis, N., & Rottenberg, C. (2021). The frontline as performative frame: An analysis of the UK covid crisis. State Crime Journal, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.13169/statecrime.10.2.0284
- Hambleton, R. (2020). Cities and Communities Beyond COVID-19: How Local Leadership Can Change Our Future for the Better (1st ed.). Bristol University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv179h1ph
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- Killick, A. (2023). Politicians and Economic Experts: The Limits of Technocracy. Agenda Publishing. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv309h1hz
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- Pierson, C. (2021). Welfare in an age of austerity. In The Next Welfare State? UK Welfare after COVID-19 (1st ed., pp. 11–38). Bristol University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1zjg12m.7