UK PM Race: Rishi Sunak on Monday made history after being elected unopposed as the new leader of the governing Conservative Party and subsequently the next prime minister of the United Kingdom, following Penny Mordaunt's withdrawal from the race.
The 42-year-old former chancellor was comfortably in the lead, having secured the public backing of over half the 357 Tory MPs – way above the 100 minimum required to make the shortlist.
In time for the 1400 local time Monday deadline, Sir Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, announced in the Parliament complex that he had received only one nomination and therefore Sunak is the winner of the leadership contest.
This means Sunak is poised to walk through the door of 10 Downing Street in London after an audience with King Charles III in Buckingham Palace, the timeframe of which will become known soon.
Who is Rishi Sunak, new UK PM
1. Rishi Sunak was, until recently, widely regarded as the party’s brightest rising star, the best-known of potential leadership contenders — and the bookies’ favorite to succeed Johnson.
2. Rishi Sunak is married to British-Indian fashion designer Akshata Murthy, daughter of founder of the Indian multi-national IT company Infosys.
3. Sunak, 42, was thrust into the spotlight when he became treasury chief in 2020, tasked with the unenviable job of steering the economy through its worst economic slump on record because of the pandemic.
4. He dished out billions of pounds in emergency spending to help businesses and workers, and his policies have generally been seen in a positive light.
5. But “partygate” changed those fortunes. Like Johnson, he was issued a police fine for attending a lockdown-flouting birthday party at Downing Street in June 2020.
6. Rishi Sunak has also come under heavy criticism for being slow to respond to Britain’s severe cost-of-living crisis.
7. Born to Indian parents who moved to the UK from East Africa, Sunak attended the exclusive Winchester College private school and studied at Oxford.
8. Some see his elite education and past work for the investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund as a deficit because he seems out of touch with ordinary voters.
9. Sunak also faced pressure following revelations that his wife, Akshata Murthy, avoided paying U.K. taxes on her overseas income, and that the former investment banker held on to his U.S. green card while serving in government.
10. The 42-year-old British Indian minister posted his resignation letter on Twitter soon after another senior Cabinet colleague, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid, resigned.
(With Agency input)