Rishi Sunak- Biography of First Indian-origin Prime Minister of Britain


Rishi Sunak is consistently making headlines as he recently became the UK Prime Minister (2022). Let me tell you that he is the first leader of color in Britain, a Hindu and the youngest British to have made it to the top position. If you are curious to know about the life of Rishi Sunak, we welcome you onboard as this article will trace the biography of the First Indian-origin PM of Britain – Rishi Sunak. We will be discussing his familial life, professional or political career, his role during the pandemic, and the mild controversies surrounding him. You can also find the entire list of UK Prime Ministers in this article.

So, without much ado, let us get to know about the man in detail!

Rishi Sunak’s Early Life

Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in a Hindu family and is currently 42 years old. He hails from Southampton, Hampshire in South East England. His father is Yashvir Sunak, who worked as a general practitioner and his mother Usha Sunak was a pharmacist who ran a local pharmacy. Yashvir Sunak was born and raised in Kenya and Usha Sunak was born in Tanganyika, Tanzania.

Rishi Sunak’s Family

As already described, Rishi Sunak’s parents are Yashvir Sunak and Usha Sunak.

Sunak is the eldest out of three siblings. His brother, Sanjay (aged 40) is a psychologist and his sister Rakhi (aged 37) works as Chief of Strategy and Planning at the UN global fund for education in emergencies.

Rishi Sunak’s wife is Akshata Murthy whom he met while pursuing his MBA degree at Stanford University. They got married in the year 2009 in Bangalore, South India. The couple have two daughters, Anoushka and Krishna. Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law is the Indian billionaire and founder of Infosys, Narayana Murthy and his mother-in-law is Sudha Murthy. Akshata runs her own label, Akshata Designs after having worked in finance and marketing. She is also one of the wealthiest women in the UK.

Rishi Sunak’s grandparents hailed from Punjab province in pre-independence India and migrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s. Although not much is known about his grandparents, we know that his maternal grandmother Sraksha wed his maternal grandfather Raghubir at the age of 16. Raghubir was originally a Punjab resident and Sraksha hailed from Tanzania, Africa.

Rishi Sunak’s Education

  • Rishi Sunak and his brother, Sanjay Sunak attended Stroud School.
  • He attended Winchester College where he was the head boy.
  • He also attended Lincoln College at Oxford where he took up philosophy, politics, and economics.
  • Following that, he pursued MBA at Stanford University where he was a Fulbright scholar.

Rishi Sunak’s Career Before His Political Journey

  • Rishi Sunak worked as a waiter at a curry house in Southampton during summer breaks.
  • He has also sold medicines to support his pharmacist mother.
  • While pursuing his studies at the University, he enrolled for an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.
  • Rishi Sunak worked as an investment banker or analyst at Goldman Sachs (2001-2004).
  • Next, he joined The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) and became a partner within the hedge fund. In 2009, he became a part of another hedge fund firm Theleme Partners.
  • He was also a businessman, appointed as the director of the investment firm, Catamaran Ventures, which is owned by Sunak’s father-in-law Narayana Murthy.

Timeline of Rishi Sunak’s Political Career

2014: Rishi Sunak was a member of the Conservative Party for Richmond (Yorks). He was preceded by William Hague. The Conservative Party occupied the seat for a century.

Rishi Sunak served as the leader of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit of Policy Exchange and also co-wrote a report on BME communities in the UK.

2015: He became the Member of the Parliament for the Richmond (Yorks) constituency.

2015-2017: Sunak was a member of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

2016: Rishi Sunak supported the European Union referendum.

He wrote a report for the Centre for Policy Studies backing the establishment of free ports after Brexit.

2017: Rishi Sunak wrote a report supporting the establishment of a retail bond market for SMEs. He was re-elected as a Member of Parliament from the same seat in the General Elections.

2018-2019: Sunak served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary during this period.

2019:He backed UK PM Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party leadership election.

He co-wrote an article in the British National Daily to show support for campaigner Boris Johnson.

Rishi Sunak was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, appointed by then-UK PM, Boris Johnson. He worked under British Chancellor Sajid Javid.

Rishi became a member of the Privy Council on July 25 of the same year.

2020-2022: Rishi Sunak served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer after promotion.

Rishi Sunak: The Youngest Incumbent PM of the UK (2022- Present)

After the resignation of ex-PM Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak started his campaign for the prime ministerial position. He was endorsed by Deputy PM of the UK Dominic Raab and transport minister Grant Shapps.

Rishi Sunak came to power after replacing Liz Truss who served as the PM only for 44 days. The ex-Prime Minister resigned on before Rishi Sunak assumed the prime ministerial position.

Rishi Sunak became the leader of the Conservative Party on 24 October 2022 and the  Prime Minister of Britain on 25 October 2022.

Rishi Sunak’s Aid During the Pandemic

During the COVID-19 outbreak, when Britain was in financial crisis, Rishi Sunak decided to present his first budget by allocating additional spending of £30 billion, out of which £12 billion would be used to cover up the negative economic impacts of COVID-19.

He further decided to allocate funds in emergency support for businesses by providing £330 billion. Rishi Sunak also introduced a wage subsidy scheme that provided 80% of the current salary of hours not worked to the employees. One could receive such a subsidy up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The scheme was extended up to September 30, 2021. It received significant backlash as the majority of the people couldn’t suffice its eligibility.

To provide further assistance in mitigating economic setbacks during the pandemic, Rishi Sunak started an endeavor to support and provide employment for the hospitality sector. He unveiled the £30 billion “Eat Out to Help Out” Scheme that would provide 50% subsidized food and soft beverages at cafes, pubs, and restaurants, up to £10 per buyer. This government-backed measure was valid from 3-31 August 2020 and available from Monday to Wednesday. Although the scheme is reported to subsidize £849 million in meals, a study by Warwick University revealed that there was a rise in Covid cases between the 8% and 17% because of the implementation of the scheme.

He also increased the corporation tax from 19% to 25% in 2023. A new tax reform agreement was brought in place on multinationals and online technology companies.

In October 2021, Rishi Sunak presented his third budget where he allocated £5 billion for health research and innovation and £3 billion for skills education.

Rishi Sunak’s Net Worth

Rishi Sunak is one of the wealthiest ministers in the UK. His net worth is estimated at £3.1 billion. Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murthy made to the Sunday Times Rich List 2022 with their combined fortune of £730 million. Rishi Sunak is the first politician to have appeared on the list since 1989.

Rishi Sunak Controversies

  • Akshata Murthy has a non-domiciled status which means she will have no taxes applied on the income that she earned while residing in the UK. She pays 30,000 pounds based on her status and avoids paying nearly 20 million pounds. However, she has clarified that she will be paying UK taxes on her global income.
  • Rishi Sunak has all high-class and aristocratic pals. He has not a friend from the working class.
  • Sunak faked a lower income to declare a dip in the price of petrol. It was part of a publicity hoax. He recalls having paid for the petrol in a car that was not his and dubs it as the “most embarrassing thing”.
  • Through a leaked video of Rishi Sunak, it is discovered that Sunak took money from deprived urban places to benefit wealthy towns and even bragged about it.
  • He scanned his bank card with a barcode reader to pay for Coca-Cola. He later declares it as “an amazing modern marvel”.

Rishi Sunak is a Coke addict.

UK Prime Minister list

The entire UK Prime Minister list is given below:

  • Robert Walpole(1721–42)
  • Spencer Compton (1742–43)
  • Henry Pelham (1743–54)
  • Thomas Pelham-Holles (1754–56; 1st time)
  • William Cavendish (1756–57)
  • Thomas Pelham-Holles (1757–62; 2nd time)
  • John Stuart (1762–63)
  • George Grenville (1763–65)
  • Charles Watson Wentworth (1765–66; 1st time)
  • William Pitt, the Elder (1766–68)
  • Augustus Henry Fitzroy (1768–70)
  • Frederick North (1770–82)
  • Charles Watson Wentworth (1782; 2nd time)
  • William Petty-Fitzmaurice (1782–83)
  • William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (1783; 1st time)
  • William Pitt, the Younger (1783–1801; 1st time)
  • Henry Addington (1801–04)
  • William Pitt, the Younger (1804–06; 2nd time)
  • William Wyndham Grenville (1806–07)
  • William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (1807–09; 2nd time)
  • Spencer Perceval (1809–12)
  • Robert Banks Jenkinson (1812–27)
  • George Canning (1827)
  • Frederick John Robinson (1827–28)
  • Arthur Wellesley (1828–30; 1st time)
  • Charles Grey (1830–34)
  • William Lamb (1834; 1st time)
  • Arthur Wellesley (1834; 2nd time)
  • Robert Peel (1834–35; 1st time)
  • William Lamb (1835–41; 2nd time)
  • Robert Peel (1841–46; 2nd time)
  • John Russell (1846–52; 1st time)
  • Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1852; 1st time)
  • George Hamilton-Gordon (1852–55)
  • Henry John Temple (1855–58; 1st time)
  • Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1858–59; 2nd time)
  • Henry John Temple (1859–65; 2nd time)
  • John Russell (1865–66; 2nd time)
  • Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1866–68; 3rd time)
  • Benjamin Disraeli (1868; 1st time)
  • William Ewart Gladstone (1868–74; 1st time)
  • Benjamin Disraeli (1874–80; 2nd time)
  • William Ewart Gladstone (1880–85; 2nd time)
  • Robert Cecil (1885–86; 1st time)
  • William Ewart Gladstone (1886; 3rd time)
  • Robert Cecil (1886–92; 2nd time)
  • William Ewart Gladstone (1892–94; 4th time)
  • Archibald Philip Primrose (1894–95)
  • Robert Cecil (1895–1902; 3rd time)
  • Arthur James Balfour (1902–05)
  • Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1905–08)
  • H. Asquith (1908–16)
  • David Lloyd George (1916–22)
  • Bonar Law (1922–23)
  • Stanley Baldwin (1923–24; 1st time)
  • Ramsay Macdonald (1924; 1st time)
  • Stanley Baldwin (1924–29; 2nd time)
  • Ramsay Macdonald (1929–35; 2nd time)
  • Stanley Baldwin (1935–37; 3rd time)
  • Neville Chamberlain (1937–40)
  • Winston Churchill (1940–45; 1st time)
  • Clement Attlee (1945–51)
  • Winston Churchill (1951–55; 2nd time)
  • Anthony Eden (1955–57)
  • Harold Macmillan (1957–63)
  • Alec Douglas-Home (1963–64)
  • Harold Wilson (1964–70; 1st time)
  • Edward Heath (1970–74)
  • Harold Wilson (1974–76; 2nd time)
  • James Callaghan (1976–79)
  • Margaret Thatcher (1979–90)
  • John Major (1990–97)
  • Tony Blair (1997–2007)
  • Gordon Brown (2007–10)
  • David Cameron (2010–16)
  • Theresa May (2016–19)
  • Boris Johnson (2019–22)
  • Liz Truss (2022)
  • Rishi Sunak (2022– )

Final Thought!

Although Rishi Sunak is more Brit than more Britons, it is a proud moment for most Hindus to see a member of the same community become the Prime Minister of Britain, to rise to a superior rank in a different country. His emergence is said to be the emergence of the global Hindu citizen. Keeping aside our religious mutuality and identity, it is time for Rishi to kick-start his responsibility, to maintain the integrity of his leadership. Its high time to prove everyone that they have elected the right representative, whether Hindu or not.

What do you think is the most interesting thing about Rishi Sunak’s biography? What hopes do you have set on Britain’s new PM? Do you think he has the potential to keep his promises and probably outperform all past UK’s PMs?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak is the incumbent PM of Britain (2022).

Where does Rishi Sunak come from?

Rishi Sunak is a British who hails from Southampton, Hampshire in South East England. He is of Indian origin being born in a Hindu family.

What religion is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak follows Hinduism.

Who is the Rishi Sunak’s family?

Rishi Sunak’s parents are Yashvir Sunak and Usha Sunak. He has one brother Sanjay Sunak and one sister Rakhi Sunak. He is married to Akshata Murthy and has two daughters, Anoushka and Krishna.

How old is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak is 42 years old (as of 2022).

When was Rishi Sunak born?

Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980.

Who is Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law?

Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law is Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire businessman and founder of Infosys.

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