New Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak

Tanya Ganesh, Sports Director

On October 25, 2022, Rishi Sunak was appointed the new prime minister of the United Kingdom by King Charles III, making him the fifth prime minister in only six years. Sunak is not new to navigating politics. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020, and he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015. The prime minister oversees the policies and decisions of the government as the leader of King Charles’s Government. Sunak was elected over Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt, Kemi Badenoch, and Tom Tugendhat, making a number of “firsts” in the history of UK politics.

Sunak is of  Indian descent and the son of immigrants that emigrated from East Africa, he made history as the first UK prime minister of color. At the age of 42, he is also the youngest prime minister of the UK in two centuries. Additionally, Sunak is the first practicing Hindu to hold office. Ackim Mpofu, the AP Government teacher, explained how “It’s monumental to have a man of color in a position considering its history,” referring to Britain’s reign over India from 1858 to 1947, with this year also marking the 75th year anniversary of Indian independence. Mpofu went on to say that “I think of me when I see people that look like me in a position of power…I can be that one day.” The impact of this event on younger generations is significant as it “shows that there are more options than [those] under the umbrella of what people think people like us can do to be successful.” 

Sunak also comes from an rich-educational background, majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Oxford University, with his MBA as a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University. Sunake spent his professional career in international businesses and finance before going into politics. He co-founded an investment firm working with companies in multiple geographies and used that experience to help small and entrepreneurial British companies grow. Sunak was elected Conservative MP for Richmond in May 2015 and served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. He was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 24th July 2019 to 13th February 2020 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from  January 9th  to July 24th in 2018.

Sunak’s campaign recently released a statement saying Sunak wanted to “fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country.” He said that he would push legislation to unilaterally overrule the Brexit deal – an agreement that rules the partnership between UK and the European Union [EU] which is also heavily criticized by the EU –  while trying to negotiate with the EU. He promised to “keep Brexit safe” and to set up a governmental unit to review EU regulations that apply in British law.