Who is Rishi Sunak? Everything you need to know about the next British prime minister

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The man who will become the UK’s 57th prime minister on Tuesday is richer than the king and, at 42, younger than all his predecessors except William Pitt the Younger.

Rishi Sunak will also be the UK’s first black person to lead the country and the first Hindu prime minister.

On Saturday, this newspaper asked him if he was too rich to be Prime Minister. 195 Conservative MPs responded on Monday. So how did it get here?


Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980 to Indian parents who had moved to the UK from East Africa. His father was a family doctor and his mother ran her own pharmacy. The eldest of three children, Sunak was educated in a private boarding school, Winchester College, which costs £ 43,335 a year to attend. He was the head of the school and in recent years he has made multiple donations to the school of over £ 100,000.

Sunak went on to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University, so, so, so many before him. He was awarded a first-rate diploma. He later earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Stanford University, where he met Akshata Murty, his future wife, but where few others remember him.


Murty, 42, is the daughter of Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, often described as the Bill Gates of India, who founded the software company Infosys. According to her reports, her daughter has a 0.91% stake in the company, worth approximately £ 700 million.

The couple got married in their hometown of Bengaluru in a two-day ceremony in 2009 that was attended by 1,000 guests. They have two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka. In April of this year it emerged that Murty was not a UK resident, meaning she avoided UK taxes on her international earnings in exchange for paying an annual tax of £ 30,000.

Without that non-dom status it could have been responsible for over £ 20 million in UK tax on these windfall gains, it was reported. After a public outcry, her spokesperson announced that she would start paying UK taxes on her earnings overseas to ease the political pressure on her husband.

However, Sunak and Murty’s combined fortune is estimated at £ 730 million, double the estimated wealth of £ 300 to £ 350 million of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla. They own four properties around the world and worth over £ 15 million.

Climb to the top

Sunak went from deputy to prime minister in just seven years, faster than any other prime minister of the modern era. David Cameron achieved the same result in nine years, but again, Pitt the Younger holds the all-time record with just two years.

Sunak’s path to the top was not entirely smooth. After losing to Liz Truss in a Tory membership vote on September 5, she was expected to disappear from politics – and she did so quickly, speaking for the last time in the House of Commons the day after Truss became prime minister. But when Truss’s disastrous and unfunded tax cuts brought it to her down in flamesSunak was ready with the support of the supporters he had gathered during the summer campaign.

Related: Almost a man to the next PM: Rishi Sunak’s rapid change of political fortune

After gaining the leadership, Sunak, whose career has been defined by fiscal conservatism, told MPs that his ambition was to have a “highly productive British economy” and that he advocated low taxation, but that it had to be affordable. and achievable.

Friends and hobbies

Sunak “collects Coca-Cola things”, as he said to two school pupils, before saying “I’m a coke addict, I’m a total coke addict”, then, while the pupils giggled, clarifying “Coca-Cola addicted, just to the disc”.

He tried once pay for a Coke at a gas stationbut got confused by the contactless credit card system.

Speaking in Tunbridge Wells, Sunak once boasted that he had changed Labor Party policies “which pushed all funding into disadvantaged urban areas” so that funding could go to affluent cities instead.

As a student, he told documentary filmmakers that he had friends who are aristocrats, friends of the upper class and friends of the working class before remembering, “Well, not the working class.”

What’s next?

Sunak will meet the king on Tuesday and will be officially appointed prime minister. So he should be giving a speech on Downing Street.

More generally, multiple crises are found in Sunak’s tray. As the Guardian wrote in its editorial after winning the leadership, “Sunak seems intent on deactivating household support for energy bills next April. He clearly thinks that achieving an arbitrary goal of national debt relief is more important than saving people from misery. Without fiscal expansion and the energy price guarantee, inflation will be higher and the recession will be deeper. Interest rates are likely to rise. Morgan Stanley analysts say home loan costs could reach 6%, which, coupled with higher bills, would see up to 40% of households struggling to pay the mortgage. “

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