On Oct. 25. Rishi Sunak was appointed to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. He is the first person of color in the role and the youngest since the 1900s at the age of 42.
When former prime minister Boris Johnson was forced out of office due to a long history of scandals, the UK Conservative Party was forced to find a replacement. The two frontrunners were Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. The AP News says “Truss was the second choice of party lawmakers,” however “she won 57% of votes among party members, making her party leader and prime minister.”
But Liz Truss was not prime minister for long, since after 44 days she was forced to resign because her financial policies caused an economic disaster, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history. Truss and her former Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), Kwasi Kwarteng proposed a series of tax cuts aimed at reducing inflation and revitalizing the economy.
However, Truss did not provide any budget cuts to fund these tax cuts. In fact, she promoted more government spending. This included subsidizing household energy bills in fear of a spike in energy prices due to the Ukraine conflict. Because of this, global investors were panicked by what they saw as a reckless unfunded policy and pulled their money out of British stocks, causing a collapse in the pound.
While running against Truss, Sunak warned the public that her policies were unreasonable and could cause a financial meltdown, calling them “fairytale economics,” reports The Guardian. He was proven correct, and after Liz Truss’s resignation, he was appointed prime minister.
Sunak was elected to become a Member of Parliament in 2014, and in 2019 he was appointed chief secretary of the Treasury. During the recession, Sunak created a popular government relief program to support businesses and workers.
Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, have an estimated net worth of $844 million, which is almost double that of King Charles III, reports CNBC News. Sunak has had to fight claims that he will not be able to relate to the British public due to his fortune.