London: Less than two months after losing the race to become the Conservative party leader and that of the UK, Rishi Sunak was on Monday set to take over the top post, becoming the first Asian Prime Minister.
Sunak, who had thrown his hat in the ring again after Liz Truss’s sudden resignation – barely a month and a half after she had pipped him in the contest to succeed Boris Johnson, was Monday the only contestant to replace her after rival Penny Mordaunt dropped out, due to lack of necessary support.
Prominent Pakistani origin Conservative MPs were backing Sunak for the prime ministership of the UK. Whereas prominent Indian origin MPs were supporting Boris Johnson.
Among those who had lined up behind Sunak were Sajid Javid, who has served as home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer in the British government in the past, and Rehman Chishti, who has been a junior minister before.
Born in the UK’s Southhampton area to an Indian family, Rishi Sunak is the son of a pharmacist mother and a National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner (GP) father. His grandparents are from Punjab.
Sunak is an Oxford University and Stanford graduate. He is married to Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s daughter Akshata Murty. The couple who tied the knot in 2009 has two daughters, Anoushka and Krishna.
Sunak first became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 2015 after he got elected from Richmond, Yorkshire. He swiftly rose through the ranks of the Conservative party and supported calls for ‘Brexit’. Sunak was among Johnson’s supporters during his ‘leave EU’ campaign.
He created history in February 2020 when he was designated as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is the most important UK Cabinet post.
Sunak became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic for his economic package to support employees and businesses comprising a jobs retention programme, which reportedly averted mass unemployment in the UK.
(with inputs from IANS)