Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain’s next prime minister after Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the leadership race on Monday. On Sunday evening, his rival Boris Johnson dropped out of the race, citing an inability to unite the Conservative Party.
Sunak, a Hindu descendant of immigrants from Britain’s old empire in India and East Africa, will become the world’s fifth-largest economy’s new leader.
And he is likely to face new questions about Murty’s failure to pay UK taxes on her Infosys returns until recently, which polls show was widely disliked by voters. Sunak has already been marked by the scandals that characterised Johnson’s turbulent premiership.
In 2020, he celebrated the Hindu festival of Diwali by lighting oil lamps on the front steps of the chancellor’s official residence, 11 Downing Street, while urging other Hindus to observe England’s Covid lockdown.
After only five years in Conservative politics, Sunak was barely known to the British public when Johnson appointed him chancellor.
He was the first person born in the 1980s to hold one of the so-called “four great offices of state,” which included prime minister, chancellor, foreign secretary, and home secretary.
Sunak’s grandparents were from Punjab in northern India and came to the United Kingdom from eastern Africa in the 1960s.
Sunak told MPs in his inaugural speech in 2015 that they arrived with “very little.”
His father was a family doctor in Southampton, England, and his mother ran a local pharmacy.
Sunak worked as a waiter at a local Indian restaurant before attending Oxford and then Stanford University in California.
Sunak described his family’s and his wife’s experiences as “very Conservative” stories of hard work and aspiration during a heated candidates’ debate last week.
The coming weeks will determine whether that resonates with the majority of Tory voters.