After visiting King Charles III on Tuesday, Rishi Sunak assumed office as the country’s first prime minister of Indian descent. A day after winning the historic election for Conservative Party leader, Sunak became the country’s youngest prime minister in more than 200 years. After departing Prime Minister Liz Truss presided over her final Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, the 42-year-old made his way to Buckingham Palace for his appointment with the King. The 73-year-old monarch was then presented with her letter of retirement.
Sunak, who identifies as a “proud Hindu,” is the first South Asian-born prime minister of the United Kingdom. The Indian diaspora communities in the UK have embraced his triumph on Diwali and praised it as a “historic moment” in British social history.
Following economic turbulence and the resignations of two important ministers, Liz Truss left her position as British Prime Minister within 45 days of gaining office, naming Sunak as her replacement. Less than 50 days made Truss the British Prime Minister with the shortest tenure ever. Liz Truss said she took office “at a moment of considerable economic and international volatility” in a statement made outside Downing Street. She claimed that Britain has been held back for far too long by its slow economic progress.
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak is an Oxford and Stanford University alumnus who formerly worked for the financial giant Goldman Sachs. On May 12, 1980, Sunak was born in Southampton to an immigrant family. His parents, Yashvir and Usha, who are both pharmacists and have roots in Punjab, immigrated to the UK from East Africa. Sunak’s paternal grandfather originated from Gujranwala, which is presently located in Pakistan. However, due to racial unrest and carnage in the 1930s, they were compelled to flee and cross the border. He is wed to Akshata Murty, NR Narayana Murthy’s daughter and the co-founder of Infosys, an IT business. Anoushka and Krishna, the couple’s two kids, were born after their 2009 wedding.