Rishi Sunak made history this Diwali as the first Indian-born British Prime Minister after being elected unopposed as the new leader of the ruling Conservative Party, following Penny Mordaunt’s withdrawal from the race.
Sunak was comfortably in the lead, having won widespread approval from more than half of the 357 Conservative MPs, well above the 100 needed.
As the UK’s first Indian-born prime minister, the former chancellor will now be tasked with restoring stability to a country reeling from years of political and economic turmoil.
Sunak, 42, had lost the British presidential race to Liz Truss last month after Boris Johnson resigned, with many questioning whether it was the end of his political career. Truss lasted just 45 days before resigning over economic policy that destroyed the country’s economic credibility.
The former Goldman Sachs analyst was given a second chance to become Britain’s next prime minister when his competitor Boris Johnson stepped down, admitting he could not unify his party after one of the most tumultuous periods in British political history.
Sunak rose to national fame when, at the age of 39, he was appointed finance minister under Johnson, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping Britain, and developed the effective furlough scheme.
His victory came after prominent former Home Secretary Priti Patel, as well as cabinet ministers James Cleverly and Nadhim Zahawi, switched their support from Johnson to Sunak.
Sunak will walk through the door of 10 Downing Street in London after an audience with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, the timetable for which will be announced soon.