In his first Cabinet reshuffle after returning to power in December, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday named Indian-origin politician Rishi Sunak as the country’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister). The announcement came after the shocking resignation of Sajid Javid, who is believed to have had a showdown with his boss at 10 Downing Street. Reports said Johnson wanted Javid to sack five of his senior aides, a demand the latter refused to meet.
Sunak, a 39-year old Conservative member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond Yorkshire since 2015, lives in Kirby Singston, just outside the town of Northallerton in the UK. He has a business background and so far served as chief secretary to the Treasury in the British government.
Here are five things to know about Sunak:
Family: Sunak is married to Akshata Murthy, daughter of Indian billionaire and IT services giant Infosys Ltd co-founder Narayan Murthy. The couple has two daughters. Sunak’s father was a doctor and his mother was a pharmacist.
Education: He attended the prestigious Winchester College before going on to Oxford University to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also has an MBA from Stanford University in the US.
Career: Before entering politics he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund, following which he co-founded an investment firm.
Politics: Sunak campaigned for Brexit and voted for former PM Theresa May's deal on all three occasions. He was an early supporter of Boris Johnson, making a number of media appearances in his support.
Before being appointed as chief secretary to the Treasury, Sunak was the parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019.
Hobbies: Sunak is fitness conscious, plays cricket and football and watches films.