THE NEXT PRIME MINISTER OF THE U.K. WILL BE RISHI SUNAK
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Rui Vieira for AP
ENGLAND — After both of the front-runners in the contest to succeed Liz Truss withdrew before any votes were cast among Conservative party members, Rishi Sunak is now all but certain to become the next prime minister of Britain.
Liz Truss’ policy suggestions surrounding tax cuts and expenditure damaged the government’s credibility and alarmed markets, thus he emerged in the most recent leadership contest as a safe set of hands to lead the U.K. He is regarded as a centrist and pragmatic politician.
Sunak has experienced nothing less than a stratospheric climb in British politics. Five years after he entered Parliament in 2015 following a career in banking, Boris Johnson selected him as finance minister, which is the title used for the position of chancellor of the Exchequer, the U.K. Treasury.
Sunak will be both the first non-white and British Asian to hold the position of prime minister. He will serve as the youngest prime minister in more than 200 years at the age of 42.
However, it has only recently been general knowledge that a major political figure in Britain has a non-white familial heritage, with both of his parents being of Indian descent.
Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, a think tank that studies topics related to immigration, integration, race, and identity, asserts that this is a very recent trend.
Since David Cameron became prime minister, he claims, the Conservative Party has prioritized increasing the representation of ethnic minorities in high-ranking posts in the executive branch of government.
According to Katwala, “ethnic diversity has changed the norm at the top of British politics.” We have witnessed a surprising number of ethnic minority home secretaries, foreign secretaries, and chancellors of the Exchequer over the past five years. Everyone feels you shouldn’t make too much of that because they are accustomed to it.
Only seven weeks have passed when Sunak lost the top position to Liz Truss in the first Tory leadership election of the year, which was held in response to Boris Johnson’s departure amid a scandalous whirlwind in July.
Sunak, as well as the entire United Kingdom, now faces significant economic difficulties as a result of the Truss administration collapsing after a failed implementation of unfunded tax and expenditure plans.
Supporters assert that guys like Sunak will be looked up to by the South Asian population in the U.K., particularly by those who want to enter politics.
Although Sunak himself comes from a very rich family, his wife, an Indian-born IT heiress, was not paying the top rate of British tax as a fully domiciled U.K. resident until recently. As a result, Sunak is also expected to face intensive scrutiny.
One bright spot in the recent chaos, according to Bronwen Maddox, chief executive of the London-based think tank Chatham House, is that it “has forced someone with economic competence to the top of the Conservative field, and it has also forced Labour, the main opposition party, to put together a platform based on a claim to financial coherence, competence, things Labor hasn’t always been associated with in the past.”