Indian-origin Conservative leader Rishi Sunak was appointed as Britain’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer, on February 13, in an unexpected turn of events. Sunak, who is considered as a close ally of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury before the latest appointment. British politics has witnessed an exponential rise of the former Goldman Sachs banker within the Conservative Party, especially after Boris Johnson took up the mantle from Theresa May.
Sunak has been a pro-Brexit voice in contrast with the former Finance Minister Sajid Javid, who had campaigned to remain in the bloc in 2016. Sunak has repeatedly advocated for Brexit through his opinion pieces and highlighting the benefits of leaving the European bloc. "It's time to shout about that idealistic and hopeful vision for post-Brexit Britain," he wrote in an article in 2017.
The 39-year-old parliamentarian, who has served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is married to Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys co-founder and billionaire Narayana Murthy. Sunak studied at Winchester College, Oxford, and Stanford University and was later elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) from Richmond, North Yorkshire. He became a housing minister in 2018 and was promoted as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury last July.
Sunak co-founded a global investment firm and specialised in investing in small British businesses before his entry into politics. He strongly believes that small businesses in the UK would flourish as a result of Brexit as the vast majority of British businesses don't have anything to do with the EU but they are still subject to all EU law.
The British cabinet has now three lawmakers of Indian-origin including Alok Sharma and Priti Patel. Sharma has been elevated to the role of secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy while Patel has been serving as Home Secretary. Sharma will also be the president of the COP26, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled for November in Glasgow.