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On October 25th, 2022, Rishi Sunak replaced Lizz Truss as Britain's Prime Minister (PM). The country's third leader in less than two months is a man of many firsts. He is the first non-white and first Indian-origin PM. At 42, Sunak is also the youngest British leader in over 200 years. With an estimated family net worth of £730 million ($840 million), Sunak is the richest-ever British PM.
Sunak was born in Southampton, UK in 1980. His parents, of Indian descent, migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Oxford University and a Master's in Business from Stanford University. Sunak's early career years were spent honing his business and finance skills at various investment banks and hedge funds.
His parents' contribution to the local community inspired Sunak to run for government office. He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond, North Yorkshire in 2015. In 2019, Sunak was appointed Chief Secretary of the Treasury and a year later, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunak's skillful handling of the economic turmoil during the COVID-19 shutdown has made him very popular with the British public.
But Sunak's path as a PM is filled with challenges. Among the biggest is navigating Britain through its worst economic crisis. Residents are paying record prices for food and energy with no increase in incomes. Sunak will have to find a way to tame the soaring inflation without causing a recession. The new leader seems to be up for the task. However, he knows it will not be easy for him or the public.
"I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government's agenda," Sunak promised Britons. "This will mean difficult decisions to come."
Resources: CNN.com, Reuters.com, news.sky.com, Guardian.com