Discover Rishi Sunak’s inspiring journey from Southampton to Prime Minister. Learn about his impact on the UK’s economy during COVID-19!
Rishi Sunak, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has had a remarkable journey from his birthplace in Southampton to the prestigious address of 10 Downing Street. His life story is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and a deep-seated belief in one’s abilities. This article aims to provide a comprehensive biography of Sunak, tracing his journey from his early life to his current role as the leader of the United Kingdom.
The Rise Of Rishi Sunak: The First Indian-Origin & Hindu British PM | Rishi Sunak Biography
Early Life and Education
Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in Southampton, Hampshire, to parents of Indian descent who immigrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. His parents, Yashvir and Usha Sunak, were both professionals in the healthcare sector. His father was a general practitioner in the National Health Service, and his mother was a pharmacist who owned the Sunak Pharmacy in Southampton.
Sunak’s early education took place at Stroud School, a preparatory school in Romsey. He later attended Winchester College, where he served as the head boy. During his summer holidays, he worked as a waiter in a curry house in Southampton, demonstrating his work ethic from an early age.
Sunak’s academic journey continued at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, graduating with a first in 2001. During his time at Oxford, he undertook an internship at Conservative Central Office and joined the Conservative Party. His academic pursuits did not stop there. In 2006, Sunak earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar. It was at Stanford that he met his future wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of Indian billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys.
After graduating from Stanford, Sunak embarked on a career in finance. He worked as an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004. He then joined the hedge fund management firm The Children’s Investment Fund Management, becoming a partner in 2006. He left in 2009 to join a new hedge fund firm, Theleme Partners, in California. Sunak was also a director of the investment firm Catamaran Ventures, owned by his father-in-law, between 2013 and 2015.
Sunak’s political career began in earnest in 2010 when he joined the Conservative Party. He was selected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks) in 2014, a seat previously held by William Hague, a former leader of the party. Sunak was elected as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 19,550 (36.2%).
As a backbencher, Sunak supported the successful campaign for Brexit in the 2016 European Union membership referendum. Following the 2017 general election, Sunak was appointed to a junior ministerial position in Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government. He voted three times in favour of May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, which was rejected by Parliament three times, leading to May announcing her resignation.
During the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, Sunak supported Boris Johnson’s successful bid to succeed May as Conservative leader and prime minister. Johnson appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Following the 2019 general election, Johnson promoted Sunak to Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle after the resignation of Sajid Javid. During his time in the position, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He was also involved in the government’s response to the cost of living crisis, UK energy supply crisis, and global energy crisis. Sunak resigned as chancellor in July 2022 amid a government crisis that culminated in Johnson’s resignation.
Journey to 10 Downing Street
Sunak stood in the July–September Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Johnson. He had received the most votes in each of the series of MP votes, but lost the members’ vote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. After spending the duration of Truss’s premiership on the backbenches, Sunak stood in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Truss, who resigned amid another government crisis. He was elected unopposed as Conservative leader and appointed prime minister. Sunak took office amid the cost of living crisis and energy supply crisis that began during his chancellorship, as well as amid industrial disputes and strikes. He has authorised foreign aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion of that country.
Rishi Sunak’s journey from Southampton to 10 Downing Street is a story of relentless ambition, hard work, and a commitment to public service. From his early life as the son of immigrants to his current role as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sunak’s life story is a testament to the power of determination and a belief in one’s abilities. As he continues to navigate the challenges of leading a nation, his journey serves as an inspiration to many.
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