Rishi Sunak: A Quick Guide to the UK’s Next Prime Minister


Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be the Prime Minister. Here’s what you need to know about him.

He won after running for the second time this year

He lost to Liz Truss in September, but resigned six weeks later. In the last leadership contest, Mr. Sunak received the support of his fellow MPs early and quickly. He passed the 100 nominations he needed long before the deadline, including MPs who had previously supported Truss or Boris Johnson.

He “predicted” Truss’s financial problems

He clashed with Liz Truss in the previous leadership contest, saying the plan to borrow money during an inflationary crisis was a “fairy tale” that would plunge the economy into chaos.

He is the son of immigrants

His parents came to the UK from East Africa and are both of Indian descent. Mr Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980, his father was a doctor and his mother ran a pharmacy. He will now be the British Prime Minister of Asia.

He has only been a member of Parliament for seven years

Mr Sunak was first elected in 2015 as an MP – for Richmond in North Yorkshire – but quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in February 2020 under Boris Johnson.

He was in charge of the covid aid box

As chancellor to Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak was behind financial support during the lockdowns – including leave payments and the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme for restaurants.

It is believed that he is one of the richest MPs

His wife is Akshata Murthy, daughter of Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy. Mr. Sunak himself has worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs and two hedge funds. The Sunday Times Rich List estimates the couple’s fortune at around £730 million.

He faced a dispute over his wife’s tax arrangements

In the summer, it emerged that Akshata Murthy had not paid UK tax on her huge overseas earnings, which is legal. Mr Sunak defended his wife, saying it was “horrendous” to go after her because of her political status, but she eventually agreed to start paying extra taxes. We also learned that Suna had a temporary US green card, allowing her to live in America permanently while she was UK Chancellor.

He campaigned for Brexit and deregulation

One of his long-held favorite ideas is “free ports”: areas near ports or airports where goods can be imported and exported duty-free to promote trade.

He really wanted to be…a Jedi

In 2016, he told a group of school children that he originally wanted to be a Jedi Knight when he grew up. His favorite Star Wars movie is The Empire Strikes Back.