Rishi Sunak

Facts about Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak is 44 years old
Born: May 12, 1980
Birthplace: Southampton, England
Best known as: The prime minister of the United Kingdom, 2022-2024


Rishi Sunak Biography

Rishi Sunak is the former Chancellor of the Exchequer who became the UK’s prime minister on October 25, 2022.

Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton, the port city on England’s south coast, in 1980. His parents were immigrants from Africa, both with family roots in the Punjab region of India. Sunak went to boarding school at Winchester College, then studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first in 2001.

After college, Sunak worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs (2001-04). He went to Stanford University in the United States as a Fulbright scholar in 2004, earning an MBA in 2006. Sunak then went to work for a hedge fund, the Children’s Investment Fund Management, from 2006-09. (The hedge fund originally gave a portion of its profits to a children’s charity, hence the unusual name.) He moved to California to help create the hedge fund Theleme Partners in 2010.

In 2015, Rishi Sunak was elected as the Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks), a district in the north of England often described as one of the safest Conservative seats in the United Kingdom. An admirer of Margaret Thatcher and free market politics, Sunak supported Brexit in 2016 and has said he supports a “return to traditional Conservative economic values.”

Sunak was named Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in January 2018, and was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019. He was then made Chancellor of the Exchequer — that is, the head of the Treasury — by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February 2020. Sunak held that position until he resigned in July 2022, two days before Boris Johnson resigned in shame.

Sunak was then a candidate to succeed Johnson as prime minister, but Conservative leaders selected Liz Truss for the job instead. Truss’s rocky term as prime minister ended with her resignation after just six weeks, and Sunak emerged as the winning candidate for leadership of the Conservative party, which made him the new prime minister. Upon taking office on October 25, 2022, Rishi Sunak became the United Kingdom’s first person of color, first person of Indian descent, and first Hindu to be prime minister.

After a rocky tenure as PM, Sunak called for surprise Parliamentary elections in the summer of 2024. The Conservative party lost in a landslide to the Labour Party, Labour taking 412 seats to the Conservatives’ 121. Sunak was replaced by Labour’s leader, Kier Starmer, on July 5, 2024.

Extra credit

While studying for his MBA at Stanford University, Rishi Sunak met Akshata Murty, who was also in the MBA program. She is the daughter of the wealthy businessman Narayana Murthy, co-founder of the tech giant Infosys. (Akshata dropped the ‘h’ from her name.) Sunak and Murty were married in August of 2009. They have two daughters: Krishna and Anoushka… Akshata Murty owns a stake in Infosys that, early in 2022, was worth over £700 million, or nearly a billion dollars in US currency… According to The Guardian, Rishi Sunak “is not the first minority ethnic PM – Benjamin Disraeli, who held the office twice between 1868 and 1880, was of Jewish heritage”… Rishi Sunak is 5’6” tall (170 cm), according to a 2022 article in GQ magazine… In the British system, prime ministers are chosen by political parties, but they are formally “invited” by the reigning monarch to form a government. Rishi Sunak was the first prime minister to be so invited by King Charles III. Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, was the last of 15 prime minister to take office under Charles’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II.


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