Rishi Sunak: ‘N355 Billion Networth…Never Wanted PM Job’ — 5 Facts About UK’s New Prime Minister
Rishi Sunak, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has emerged as the new leader of the Conservative Party and will serve as Prime Minister after the resignation of recently elected UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
Sunak’s emergence put an end to the race to find a new candidate to lead the Conservative Party on Monday.
The 42-year-old became the sole candidate for the office following the withdrawal of former PM, Boris Johnson and another contender, Penny Mordaunt.
Here are five things to know about him.
- First Person of Colour To Serve As the UK’s PM
Though born and raised in Southampton, Sunak’s parents are African-born of Indian descent. His father was born in Kenya, while his mother was born in Tanzania. They both migrated to Britain in the 1960s where they had Sunak and his two siblings. As such, he will be the first British Asian Prime Minister and the first person of colour to serve as Prime Minister.
- Sunak And His Wife Are One Of The Richest Families In Britain
Sunak, who was a successful businessman before entering into politics, is married to Akshata Murthy who is the daughter of N. R. Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire founder of technology company, Infosys. Sunak’s wife owns a 0.91 stake in her father’s company which is valued at about £746 million.
Sunak and his wife are the 222nd richest people in Britain with a combined net worth of £730 million (N355 billion) as of 2022.
- He Served As Chancellor Of The Exchequer (Finance Minister)
Sunak served as the UK’s Chancellor of The Exchequer from February 2020 till July 2022. During his time in office, he was prominent in the UK government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well, spearheading schemes like the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
- Had No Interest In Becoming Prime Minister
Sunak once said he did not want to be Prime Minister after seeing what the job entails. In an interview with LadBible in 2020, when asked if he had his sights set on the PM job, he said, “Definitely not. Seeing what the prime minister has to deal with.
“I have enough of a struggle just trying to do the job that I have and keep my head above water, quite frankly”, he said.
- Doesn’t Consider Strict Border Control Racist
During his campaign, while running against Truss before her eventual victory, Sunak doubled down on his intention to implement stricter border control laws to prevent illegal migration. When he received some backlash from Britons who deemed his plan racist and a violation of human rights, Sunak insisted that there is, “absolutely nothing racist about wanting Britain to have secure borders that work.
“We have always been a compassionate, tolerant and welcoming country. Indeed, I am the product of that and my family emigrated here, but it’s absolutely right that the system works fairly for all”, he said.