London: Rishi Sunak took charge as Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister after meeting King Charles III. Sunak, the youngest Prime Minister of the UK in over two centuries, took the charge a day after he was elected the new leader of the Conservative Party in a historic leadership run.
The 42-year-old arrived at Buckingham Palace for his meeting with the King after outgoing PM Liz Truss chaired her final Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. She then tendered her resignation to the 73 year-old monarch.
Sunak, who describes himself as a “proud Hindu”, is the UK’s first Prime Minister of South Asian heritage. His victory on Diwali has resonated among the Indian diaspora groups across the UK, who have hailed it as a “historic moment” in British social history.
Sunak became the British PM after Liz Truss resigned from the post within 45 days of taking charge following economic turmoil and resignation of two key ministers. Truss became the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history — less than 50 days.
In a statement outside Downing Street, Liz Truss said she came into office “at a time of great economic and international instability”. “Britain has been held back for too long by low economic growth,” she said.
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak is a graduate of the University of Oxford Stanford University who had a stint at Goldman Sachs investment bank.
Sunak was born in Southampton on May 12, 1980, into a family with immigrant roots. His parents Yashvir and Usha, both pharmacists, migrated to the UK from East Africa and have roots in Punjab.
Sunak’s paternal grandparents came from a place called Gujranwala, now in Pakistan. However, they were forced to leave and cross the border due to communal riots and bloodshed in the 1930s.
He is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of the IT company Infosys. The couple, who tied the knot in 2009, has two daughters, Anoushka and Krishna.