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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

King Charles III Officially Appoints Rishi Sunak as Britain’s Next Prime Minister

Sunak will enter office amid one of the most chaotic periods in British political history

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED KINGDOM: Rishi Sunak made history by becoming the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of the UK.

“Rishi Sunak has been appointed Britain’s Prime Minister by King Charles III,” the palace said.

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Sunak was born in the UK. His father, Yashvir, is a general practitioner and his mother, Usha, is a pharmacist. Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, is the daughter of N.R. Narayana Murthy, 76, who is the co-founder of tech giant Infosys.

Sunak, 42, one of the wealthiest MPs in Westminster, will enter office amid one of the most chaotic periods in British political history. He is the nation’s youngest leader in modern times.

Aim to restore stability

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Sunak has replaced Liz Truss, who only lasted 44 days after a calamitous tax-slashing budget sparked economic and political turmoil.

To lead a party that has become ideologically divided and to stabilise a nation reeling from years of political and economic unrest, Truss’ replacement was needed.

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On Monday, he told his lawmakers in parliament that they were facing an “existential catastrophe” and that they needed to “unite or perish.” He declared that the nation was facing “a profound economic dilemma.”

He declared, “I will make it my best duty to bring our party and our country together. We now need stability and togetherness.”

As Britain enters one of the harshest recessions in decades, impacted by the skyrocketing cost of food and energy, the multimillionaire former hedge fund boss will be expected to make significant spending cuts to restore the country’s economic reputation.

Recent truss mini-budgets drove up borrowing prices and mortgage rates, drove away investors, and ultimately led to their collapse.

Before Sunak’s triumph, British government bonds fiercely surged, and they increased their gains on Monday.

Sunak is going to take power in a morning audience with King Charles III, who is installing his first prime minister since ascending to the throne just two days after his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, appointed Truss.

Full support from party leaders

Minutes before the outcome was made public, Penny Mordaunt, a rival for Sunak’s leadership position, withdrew. She said it was “clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today.”

“The diversity and talent of our party are once again shown by this historic decision. Rishi has my full support, “Mordaunt said.

After former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdrew from the campaign for the leadership on Sunday, Mordaunt was under pressure to unite behind Sunak.

Johnson, who left his position as prime minister just seven weeks ago, asserted that he had enough support to run but conceded that it was “not the right time.”

Anthony Seldon, a historian and political biographer, claimed that Sunak had the most challenging economic and political legacy of any British leader since World War Two and would be limited by the mistakes made by his predecessor, Truss.

He remarked, “There is no leeway on him being anything other than extraordinarily conservative and cautious.”

He continued by pointing out that Sunak had displayed maturity when he was appointed finance minister, right when the COVID-19 outbreak struck Britain.

Despite the tumult, polls show that Britons favour elections. The Conservatives are excused from holding one until January 2025.

Although they praised Sunak’s selection, economists and investors questioned his ability to manage the nation’s economy while keeping the warring sections of the party united.

Many conservative lawmakers seemed happy that the party had at least swiftly chosen a new leader.

Sunak’s Indian roots

It is no surprise that there is a lot of interest in Sunak’s rise in India as an Indian son rises over the Empire; history comes full circle in Britain. 

The grandparents of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak originated from the town of Gujranwala, which is now a metropolis in Punjab, Pakistan. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was also born in the same city, which adds to its fame.

In the 1960s, Sunak’s parents immigrated from East Africa to the UK. Usha Sunak, Sunak’s mother, owned a pharmacy, and Yashvir Sunak, Sunak’s father, was a general practitioner with the National Health Service.

Akshata Murty, an Indian daughter, is the wife of Rishi Sunak. Krishna and Anoushka are their two kids.

Sunak’s father-in-law is one of India’s most well-known businesspeople and the founder of Infosys.

Sunak is also a Hindu devotee and took his oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred book for Hindus.

Free trade negotiations between India and the UK have reportedly come to a standstill due to concerns from Sunak’s party that it might encourage greater immigration.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted while referring to a framework agreement the two nations had reached. “As you become a UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues and implementing Roadmap 2030,” he wrote. “Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership.”

Also Read: Mahindra Group Chairman Mocks Churchill’s Remarks on Indian “Low Calibre” amid Sunak’s Win


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