First elected to parliament in 2015, Rishi Sunak became Britain’s youngest prime minister in more than 200 years on Monday, tasked with guiding the country through an economic crisis and growing anger among some voters.
One of the richest politicians in Westminster, he arrives at Downing Street in the face of the need to make deep cuts in public spending to stem a fiscal crisis, in addition to tackling the cost of living crisis, a winter of strikes and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
His backers say the former finance minister is a safe pair of hands who can restore Britain’s credibility with investors who sold off the country’s bonds and sterling after Truss’s mini-budget offered little-informed tax cuts.
But the former Goldman Sachs analyst and hedge fund partner also faces challenges within the ruling Conservative Party, where some lawmakers blame him for his role in ousting Johnson and fear he may not have what it takes to win the election.
Rishi Sunak Planning to cut funding
Reacting to news that the former chancellor had been appointed this afternoon as the new Conservative leader and prime minister, following Penny Mordaunt’s withdrawal from this year’s second Tory leadership contest, Rayner said “we need a general election so that The public can have a say in the future of Britain.”
“The Tories have crowned Rishi Sunak Prime Minister without him saying a single word about how he would run the country and without anyone having a chance to vote,” said the Labor deputy leader.
“This is the same Rishi Sunak who, as chancellor, failed to grow the economy, failed to control inflation, and failed to help families with the Conservative cost-of-living crisis.”
“Rishi Sunak has no mandate and no idea what working people need. We need a general election so that the public can have a say in the future of Britain and the chance for a fresh start with the Labour Party.”
Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana has also harshly criticized the UK’s new Prime Minister on social media. She wrote: “So Rishi Sunak – the richest MP in history – is going to become Prime Minister, with plans to cut funding for public services and slash workers’ wages. This Tory class war will be waged with no mandate, without a single vote being cast. General election now! #EnoughIsEnough”
Hundreds of users left comments on her tweet, with some siding the Labour politician. One user wrote: “Exactly. A multi-millionaire PM making decisions about people on minimum wages’ life chances and lack there of. This should never have been allowed to happen.
“This is a failing of our country’s democratic processes. A PM with no connection to the reality of most people in the UK.”
Another said: “Power to the people!” One added: “Well said Zarah.”
What is Rishi Sunak’s net worth?
Rishi Sunak is widely regarded as one of the richest MPs in the House of Commons, if not the richest. While specific details about his personal wealth have not been made public, according to the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List, he has a shared fortune with his wife worth £730 million.
Sunak worked as a banker at Goldman Sachs before moving into hedge fund management and founding Theleme Partners in 2010.
Following his appointment as Chief Secretary of the Treasury in July 2019, his investments were placed in a blind trust. Blind trusts are intended to hide the origin of the money earned from investments, allowing investors to avoid conflicts of interest.
Who is Rishi Sunak?
Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980 to a GP father and a mother who ran a local pharmacy, going on to attend the specialized private school Winchester College.
In 2001, he graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford with degrees in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He then joined Goldman Sachs, later joining the hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund Management. Then he co-founded an investment firm.
He also served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Local Government in Theresa May’s second government. Sunak voted three times in favor of May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. After May’s resignation, he supported Boris Johnson’s campaign to become Conservative leader. After Johnson was elected and became prime minister, he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He replaced Sajid Javid after his resignation in February 2020.
As chancellor, Sunak has played a key role in the government’s economic response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country.
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