The extraordinary rise of Rishi Sunak: modern Britain’s youngest, richest and first Hindu PM

    “Britain’s sexiest MP”. “The acceptable face of the Conservatives”. “The richest person in parliament.”

    These are just some of the accolades that have been attributed to Rishi Sunak, Britain’s new prime minister, during his meteoric rise to Downing Street over recent years.

    Once the former chancellor – nicknamed “goldenballs” and “Dishy Rishi” – has taken over as Liz Truss’s replacement on Tuesday, he will become modern Britain’s first ever non-white, Hindu PM; its youngest leader post-war (William Pitt the Younger was famously just 24 when he became PM in 1783) – and the first ever occupant of of No 10 to be richer than the monarch in Buckingham Palace (his estimated £730m fortune is double that of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s estimated £300m-£350m wealth). Given the UK is experiencing its worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, no wonder not all voters are delighted by the prospect of him becoming the country’s new leader.

    The extraordinary rise of Rishi Sunak - modern Britain's youngest, richest and first Hindu PM

    The extraordinary rise of Rishi Sunak - modern Britain's youngest, richest and first Hindu PM

    Sunak, 42, might be “insanely rich”, but his supporters have shut down criticisms that this means he’s “out of touch”, saying he’s the steady pair of hands our country needs at a time of economic turmoil. While Truss has been largely criticised for her “disastrous” mini-budget and subsequent financial U-turns, Sunak – a mostly highly regarded former chancellor – is widely considered a voice of calm and reason, and economic competence. As an ardent critic of Truss’s unsustainable decision to cut taxes, he can at the very least claim to have spent the 45 days of Truss’s premiership being quietly proven right. “I want to fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country,” he said in a statement last weekend.

    Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, his closest rival in the leadership campaign rerun (PA Wire)
    Rishi Sunak has become the youngest UK prime minister in modern political history (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
    Rishi Sunak has said he will act to support families through the winter (Jeff J Mitchell/JPA Wire)
    Rishi and his wife Akshata Murty. They met when they were 24 (Twitter)
    Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme raised his profile with the public (BBC News)
    Boris Johnson with Mr Sunak in happier times (Dan Kitwood/PA Archive)
    Rishi Sunak refused to turn on his former boss Boris Johnson after the latter was forced to resign (Alamy Stock Photo)
    Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak increasingly fell out over tax and spend issues (Leon Neal/PA)
    Rishi Sunak with his wife, Akshata Murthy (Ian West/PA Wire)
    Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty (Zac Goodwin/PA Archive)
    Michael Gove and Akshata Murthy cheer Rishi Sunak (PA Wire)
    The Sunaks have a property portfolio worth an estimated £15 million (Jeremy Selwyn/Selwyn Pics)
    Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss fundamentally disagreed about economic policy during the summer Tory leadership campaign (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
    Scottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie backed Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)


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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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