LONDON ( Associated Press) – Rishi Sunak competed to rule Britain and lost. Now you have another chance, and a chance to say “I told you so”.
The former British Treasury chief has overtaken Liz Truss in the race to replace scandal-ridden Boris Johnson as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party. But Truss resigned after a rough 45-day term and Johnson dropped his return bid, leaving Sunak the heavy favorite to take over the job he had failed to win just two months earlier.
A victory in the vote among party leaders would be retaliation for Sunak, who warned the previous campaign that Truss’s tax cut plans were unwise and would wreak havoc. So this was the matter.
The truce last week shook financial markets after its tax-cut package plunged the value of sterling and vaporized its authority.
If he wins, Sunak will be the first non-white British leader and the first Hindu to hold office. He is 42 years old, so he will also be the youngest prime minister in more than 200 years, a political prodigy whose youthful looks, smart suits and self-confident, one-minded demeanor have earned him the “Dishi Rishi” (“beautiful sage”). Nicknamed.”) in the British media.
To win, he must overcome accusations from his opponents, who describe him as a traitor to leaving the Johnson government after it was set in the midst of morality scandals. The nearly simultaneous resignation of Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on 5 July triggered a chain reaction. Within 48 hours, some 50 members of the government had resigned, and Johnson was forced to step down.
Sunak called it a matter of principle and said he wanted to repair “lost faith” in politics. He also accused Truss of offering “fairy tales” with his promise of immediate tax cuts, when he believed runaway inflation was a high priority.
“I would prefer to give up after fighting for what I believe is right for our country, and true to my values, rather than giving up on false promises,” Sunak said in an interview to the BBC.
Sunak was born in 1980 in Southampton, on the south coast of England, to East Africa-born parents of Indian descent. He grew up in a middle-class family – his father was a family physician and his mother a pharmacist – and says he inherited his hard-working ethic.
During the campaign, he said, “I grew up working in a shop, distributing medicine.” “I worked as a waiter in a neighborhood Indian restaurant.”
He describes how his parents saved him to send him to Winchester College, one of the most luxurious and expensive boarding schools in Britain.
There he mixed with the aristocracy. His rivals recently released the video of a 2001 TV documentary about the class system in which 21-year-old Sunak said that he had “friends who are elite, I have friends from the upper class, I have friends, you know. , working class. Well, not working class.
After high school, Sunak studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University – a career chosen by other future prime ministers – and then an MBA at Stanford University.
He worked as an account manager for the investment bank Goldman Sachs and lived in the United States, where he met his wife, Akshata Murthy. The couple has two daughters.
Upon his return to Britain, Sunak was elected to parliament in 2015 from the traditionally conservative Richmond constituency in Yorkshire. He was in favor of leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, a risky career decision as it went against the conservative’s position. government.
When the pro-breakout side unexpectedly won, Sunak’s career took off. He had held mid-ministerial positions before being named Treasury chief by Johnson in February 2020, just before the pandemic.
He is an advocate of reducing the role of state and taxes, praising former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but pouring billions of government dollars into keeping citizens and businesses afloat during the pandemic. His layoff program, which paid the wages of millions of temporarily unemployed workers, made him the most popular member of the government, a position he cemented with clever social media posts that rivals and critics reinforced. His personal prestige rather than that of the government. ,
But Sunak has had his setbacks. Critics pointed out that the campaign to bring people to eat in restaurants contributed to another wave of COVID-19 after restrictions were lifted in the summer of 2020.
Others have said that Sunak’s family fortune and his Silicon Valley past separate him from the plight of ordinary people.
He has also faced questions regarding the financial condition of himself and his wife. According to the Sunday Times Fortune List, Murthy is the daughter of the billionaire founder of Indian tech giant Infosys, and the couple is worth 730 million pounds ($877 million).
In April 2022 it emerged that Murthy had not paid British tax on his income abroad. The practice is legal, but unpopular at a time when Sunak was raising taxes on millions of Britons. Sunak was also criticized for holding an American green card, which suggested his intention to immigrate to the US for two years after becoming head of British finance.
Sunak was acquitted of any wrongdoing, but the revelations damaged his image. Like Johnson and dozens of others, he was fined in 2020 for attending a party at the prime minister’s office that violated coronavirus lockdown rules. Outrage at those parties contributed to Johnson’s downfall at a time when Britons were forced to stay home. Sunak has said that he parted briefly and involuntarily.
In his first campaign, he described himself as a candidate for adult decisions and financial discipline, criticizing the truss’s plans to reduce taxes and increase debt, as well as promising that he would control inflation.
That task is now more difficult than ever.