Former Finance Minister of UK Rishi Sunak on Friday launched his campaign to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister after Boris Johnson resigned yesterday.
Releasing a short video where he starts with speaking about his family's journey from India to UK, Sunak said: "Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country" while using the hashtag #Ready4Rishi.
Sunak quit as finance minister on Tuesday, one of two unexpected resignations that set in motion a chain of events that led to Johnson's decision to step down.
The rules and timetable for the contest to replace Johnson are due to be set out next week by a party committee.
Apart from Sunak, there have been multiple contenders vying to fill in Johnson’s shoes and get into 10 Downing Street. These include Liz Truss, Jeremy Hunt, Ben Wallace, Penny Mordaunt and Nadhim Zahawi. Sunak, who resigned as the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Tuesday, has been in the news for not only his policies during the pandemic but also the infamous “Partygate” scandal that eventually led to a crisis in the Johnson government.
Who is Rishi Sunak?
Sunak, the son-in-law of N.R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of the Bengaluru-based IT bellwether Infosys, was thrust under the spotlight when he became the treasury chief of the UK in 2020. In this post, he was responsible for steering away the British economy through its worst economic crisis due to the pandemic.
Sunak also formulated policies to help businesses and workers tide over the impact of the pandemic, the news agency Associated Press reported. He also announced a programme aimed at job retention worth 410 billion pounds.
Despite his policies aimed at helping Britons tide through the pandemic, he could not avoid controversies. The British Police imposed a fine on him and Johnson for attending a birthday party at Downing Street in the middle of the lockdown.
He was also widely criticised for the tax-and-spend budget in 2021 and not giving enough cost-of-living support to households. Besides, he also faced scrutiny after reports surfaced that Akshata Murthy, his wife and Narayana Murthy’s daughter, avoided payment of taxes on her overseas income and that Sunak did not surrender his US green card while serving in the British government.
Sunak had quit the Boris Johnson government along with the former UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid and had said: “The public rightly expect the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.”
He also reportedly clashed with Prime Minister Johnson about spending. Sunak stated in his resignation letter: “For me to step down as Chancellor while the world is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly.”
Sunak was born to Indian parents who moved to the UK from East Africa. He attended the Winchester College private school and studied in Oxford.
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