October 24, 2022
New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak,
24 October 2022
Rishi Sunak was previously appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer from 13 February 2020 to 5 July 2022. He was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 9 January 2018 to 24 July 2019.
Sunak was born in 1980 in Southampton, England, to a Hindu Indian mother and a Jewish father. He was educated at Winchester College before going on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University (USA), where he studied for his MBA. After graduation, he worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs in London before leaving in 2002 to co-found a private equity firm.
In 2015, Sunak was elected as MP for Richmond (Yorks), succeeding William Hague. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Prime Minister. In 2018 he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. On 13 February 2020, Sunak delivered his first Budget.
In March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunak announced a package of measures totalling £350 billion to support businesses and workers in the United Kingdom. This included a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to pay 80% of the wages of furloughed workers up to a maximum of £2,500 per month and a Self-employment Income Support Scheme providing eligible self-employed people with a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
On 24 September 2020, Rishi Sunak announced a new Job Support Scheme to replace the furlough scheme, which is due to end on 31 October. Under the new scheme, which will run for six months from 1 November 2020, businesses will only be required to contribute towards the wages of employees who are working at least one-third of their usual hours. The government will pay one-third of the remaining salary (up to a maximum of £697.92 per month), and the employer will also make a contribution.
Sunak has been described as a “pragmatic moderniser” and a “One Nation Conservative”. In July 2019, he was ranked 8th on Bloomberg’s list of the 50 most influential people in global finance. In September 2020, he was ranked 2nd on the same list.
Sunak is married to Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy. They have two children.