Rishi Sunak, Who Took Oath On Gita, Bids To Be Britain’s 1st PM Of Colour

Rishi Sunak, who took the oath of Gita, offers to become Britain's first suit

Rishi Sunak represents Richmond’s constituency in Yorkshire


Before his spectacular feud with Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak experienced rapid growth that could still end up with him installed as Britain’s first prime minister of color.

It would be a historic milestone for the Hindu descendant of immigrants from India and East Africa to take command of the world’s fifth largest economy.

But after making the final round after a series of votes by Conservative MPs, Sunak must first convince party members when the ballots go out on Monday — and he is far behind Liz Truss.

Polls show she has so far outflanked him with policies targeting the Tory right, who also distrust Sunak’s role in a cabinet uprising that toppled Johnson after months of scandal.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was fabulously wealthy after his pre-political career in finance, has also been mocked as being out of touch as Britons struggle with rising inflation.

During the campaign this month, he wore expensive Prada loafers while visiting a construction site, and was accused of “mansplaining” against Truss during a bad-tempered TV debate when he wrecked her tax-cutting plans.

Instead, Sunak argues, Britain needs a Thatcherite dose of “healthy money” to quell inflation and get growth back on track.

Video footage has also surfaced of a 21-year-old Sunak describing his mix of friends after attending Winchester College, one of Britain’s most exclusive private schools, and the University of Oxford.

“I have friends who are aristocrats, I have friends from the upper class, I have friends who are, you know, the working class,” he said, before adding, “Well, not a working class.”

dish rishi

A detail-oriented policy nerd, Sunak, 42, was an early proponent of Brexit and took over as chancellor in February 2020.

It was a baptism of fire for the rising star of the Tory when the Covid pandemic broke out.

He had to put together a huge economic support package at breakneck speed, which he says must now be paid off.

In India, Sunak is better known for his wife Akshata Murty. She is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of Infosys.

The Sunaks met while studying in California and they have two young daughters — along with a photogenic dog.

The ex-minister’s Instagram-friendly profile earned him the media nickname “Dishy Rishi”.

Party gate fine

Until last year, Sunak had a US Green Card, which critics say suggested a lack of long-term loyalty to Britain.

And he was faced with tough questions about Murty’s inability until recently to pay UK taxes on her Infosys returns, which was viewed with great dismay by voters, according to polls.

Sunak is already scarred by the scandals of Johnson’s tumultuous premiership.

In November 2020, he marked Diwali by lighting oil lamps on the front step of the Chancellor’s official residence at 11 Downing Street – while urging others to abide by the UK’s Covid lockdown.

Johnson was less compliant and fined a police officer for one lockdown violation as part of an investigation into the “Partygate” affair.

But Sunak was also fined by police after attending a birthday celebration for Johnson when he arrived early for a meeting in Downing Street.

Along with the controversy over his family fortune, the Partygate scandal tarnished the reputation of teetotaler Sunak, who admits only to having a fondness for Coca-Cola and sweets.

Waiter to riches

Sunak represents the Richmond constituency in Yorkshire, northern England – a secure Conservative seat he took over in 2015 from former party leader and Foreign Secretary William Hague, who described him as “exceptional”.

Sunak swears his allegiance as a Member of Parliament on the Bhagavad Gita. Theresa May gave him his first government job in January 2018, making him deputy minister for local government, parks and troubled families.

Sunak’s grandparents were from Punjab and immigrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s.

They came with “very few,” Sunak told MPs in his maiden speech in 2015.

His father was a general practitioner in Southampton on the southern English coast and his mother ran a local pharmacy.

Sunak waited for tables at a local Indian restaurant, before moving on to Oxford and then to Stanford University in California.

Sunak insists that both his own family’s and his wife’s experience is a “very conservative” story of hard work and striving. He will soon learn whether the party members agree.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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