Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980. He has emerged the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 24 October 2022.
He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.
Sunak was born in Southampton to parents of Punjabi Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. He was educated at Winchester College, read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and gained an MBA from Stanford University in California as a Fulbright Scholar. While studying at Stanford, he met his future wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of N. R. Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire businessman who founded Infosys. Sunak and Murty are the 222nd richest people in Britain, with a combined fortune of £730m as of 2022. After graduating, Sunak worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firms the Children’s Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners.
Rishi Sunak : Primate Ayodele the Nigerian Prophet who predicted Rishi Sunak’s emergence as UK Prime Minister
Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for Richmond in North Yorkshire at the 2015 general election, succeeding William Hague. Sunak supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership. He was appointed to Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 reshuffle. He voted three times in favour of May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. After May resigned, Sunak supported Boris Johnson’s campaign to become Conservative leader. After Johnson was elected and appointed Prime Minister, he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Sunak replaced Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer after his resignation in the February 2020 cabinet reshuffle.
As Chancellor, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He resigned as chancellor on 5 July 2022, citing his economic policy differences with Johnson in his resignation letter. Sunak’s resignation, along with the resignation of Javid as Health Secretary, led to Johnson’s resignation amid a government crisis.
In July 2022, he stood in the Conservative party leadership election to replace Johnson, and lost the members’ vote to Liz Truss. Following Truss’s resignation amid a government crisis, Sunak won the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.
Early life and education
Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in Southampton to African-born Hindu parents of Punjabi Indian descent, Yashvir and Usha Sunak. He is the eldest of three siblings. His father was born and raised in the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya (present-day Kenya), while his mother was born in Tanganyika (which later became part of Tanzania).
His grandfathers were born in Punjab province, British India, and migrated from East Africa with their families to the UK in the 1960s.His paternal grandfather, Ramdas Sunak, was from Gujranwala (in present-day Pakistan) and moved to Nairobi in 1935 to work as a clerk, where he was joined by his wife Suhag Rani Sunak from Delhi in 1937.
His maternal grandfather, Raghubir Sain Berry MBE, worked in Tanganyika as a tax official, and had an arranged marriage with 16-year-old Tanganyika-born Sraksha, with whom he had three children, and the family moved to UK in 1966, funded by Sraksha selling her wedding jewellery. In Britain, Raghubir Berry joined the Inland Revenue, and as a collector, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1988 Birthday Honours list. Yashvir was a general practitioner, and Usha was a pharmacist, who ran a local pharmacy.
Sunak attended Stroud School, a preparatory school in Romsey, Hampshire, and Winchester College, a boys’ independent boarding school, where he was head boy.He was a waiter at a curry house in Southampton during his summer holidays.
He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating with a first in 2001. During his time at university, he undertook an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.In 2006, he gained an MBA from Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.
Sunak worked as an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004. He then worked for hedge fund management firm the Children’s Investment Fund Management, becoming a partner in September 2006. He left in November 2009 to join former colleagues in California at a new hedge fund firm, Theleme Partners, which launched in October 2010 with $700 million under management. At both hedge funds, his boss was Patrick Degorce.He was also a director of the investment firm Catamaran Ventures, owned by his father-in-law, the Indian businessman N. R. Narayana Murthy between 2013 and 2015.
Early political career
Member of Parliament
Sunak was selected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks) in October 2014, defeating Wendy Morton. The seat was previously held by William Hague, a former leader of the party, Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. The seat is one of the safest Conservative seats in the United Kingdom and has been held by the party for over 100 years.
In the same year Sunak was head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit of centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, for which he co-wrote a report on BME communities in the UK. He was elected as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 19,550 (36.2%).
During the 2015–2017 parliament he was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
Sunak supported Brexit (the UK leaving the European Union) at the June 2016 EU membership referendum. That year, he wrote a report for the Centre for Policy Studies (a Thatcherite think tank) supporting the establishment of free ports after Brexit, and the following year wrote a report advocating the creation of a retail bond market for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Sunak was re-elected at the 2017 general election, with an increased majority of 23,108 (40.5%). He served as parliamentary under-secretary of state for local government between January 2018 and July 2019. Sunak voted for then-Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement on all three occasions, and voted against a second referendum on any withdrawal agreement.
Sunak (right) with Boris Johnson (left) in 10 Downing Street
Sunak supported Boris Johnson in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election and co-wrote an article in The Times newspaper with fellow MPs Robert Jenrick and Oliver Dowden to advocate for Johnson during the campaign in June.
Chief secretary to the Treasury
Sunak was appointed as chief secretary to the Treasury by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019, serving under Chancellor Sajid Javid. He became a member of the Privy Council the next day.
Sunak was re-elected in the 2019 general election with an increased majority of 27,210 (47.2%). During the election campaign, Sunak represented the Conservatives in both BBC’s and ITV’s seven-way election debates.
Chancellor of the Exchequer (2020–22)
Chancellorship of Rishi Sunak
13 February 2020 – 5 July 2022
Nominated by Boris Johnson
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Seat 11 Downing Street
← Sajid JavidNadhim Zahawi →
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Coat of arms of HM Government
In the weeks before Sunak’s appointment as chancellor of the Exchequer, press briefings suggested that a new economic ministry led by Sunak might be established to reduce the power and influence of Chancellor Javid at the Treasury. Sunak was considered a Johnson loyalist, favoured by Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, and seen as the “rising star” who had ably represented Johnson during the 2019 election debates. In February 2020, The Guardian reported that Javid would remain in his role as Chancellor and that Sunak would remain chief secretary to the Treasury, so that Cummings could “keep an eye” on Javid.
On 13 February, Sunak was promoted to chancellor as part of a cabinet reshuffle. Javid had resigned that day following a meeting with Johnson. During the meeting, Johnson had offered to keep his position on the condition that he dismiss all of his advisers at the Treasury, to be replaced with individuals selected by Cummings. Javid told the Press Association that “no self-respecting minister would accept those terms”.
Some political commentators saw Sunak’s appointment as signalling the end of the Treasury’s independence from Downing Street, with Robert Shrimsley, chief political commentator of the Financial Times, arguing that “good government often depends on senior ministers – and the Chancellor in particular – being able to fight bad ideas”.
Further information: British government response to the COVID-19 pandemic § Financial response
Sunak at a press conference on 20 March 2020 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries
Sunak’s first budget took place on 11 March 2020.This included £30 billion of additional spending, of which £12 billion was allocated for mitigation of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the pandemic generated financial consequences, Chancellor Sunak’s measures received criticism as some workers were unable to qualify for the Treasury’s income support measures. The acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, said that people were being unfairly “hung out to dry”, with “their dream jobs turning into nightmares” after hundreds of MPs contacted the Chancellor. The Institute for Employment Studies estimated that 100,000 people could not be eligible for any type of government help as they started a new job too late to be included on the job retention scheme, while the British Hospitality Association informed the Treasury Select Committee that between 350,000 and 500,000 workers in its sector were not eligible.
Sunak was part of a committee of Cabinet ministers (also comprising Johnson, Matt Hancock, and Michael Gove) that made decisions on the pandemic.
Sunak received a fixed penalty notice alongside Johnson for attending a party, but he did not deliver a statement or resign.
Job retention scheme
Sunak as Chancellor in April 2020, in a video concerning government support for businesses amidst COVID-19
On 17 March 2020, Sunak introduced a programme providing £330 billion in emergency support for businesses,as well as a furlough scheme for employees. This was the first time a British government had created such an employee retention scheme. The scheme was introduced on 20 March 2020 as providing grants to employers to pay 80% of a staff wage and employment costs each month, up to a total of £2,500 per person per month. The cost has been estimated at £14 billion a month to run.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme initially ran for three months and was backdated to 1 March. Following a three-week extension of the countrywide lockdown the scheme was extended by Sunak until the end of June 2020. At the end of May, Sunak extended the scheme until the end of October 2020. The decision to extend the job retention scheme was made to avoid or defer mass redundancies, company bankruptcies and potential unemployment levels not seen since the 1930s. After a second lockdown in England on 31 October 2020, a the programme was further extended until 2 December 2020, this was followed on 5 November 2020 by a lengthy extension until 31 March 2021.On on 17 December 2020, the programme was further extended until 30 April 2021. In the 2021 United Kingdom budget held on 3 March 2021, Sunak confirmed that the scheme had been extended once more until 30 September 2021.
Following changes to the scheme at the end of May, the director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said that being asked to pay wages when businesses had not been trading was an added pressure, while the Federation of Small Businesses was surprised that the Chancellor was tapering the scheme when ending it.Northern Ireland’s economy minister Diane Dodds said that changes to the scheme could be very difficult for some sectors uncertain about when they can reopen, particularly in the hospitality and retail sector, whilst finance minister Conor Murphy said that it was too early in the economic recovery.By 15 August 80,433 firms had returned £215,756,121 that had been claimed under the scheme. Other companies had claimed smaller amounts of grant cash on the next instalment to compensate for any overpayment. HM Revenue and Customs officials believed that £3.5 billion may have been paid out in error or to fraudsters.
Fraud against the schemes
In June 2020, David Clarke, chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel charity and a group of top white-collar crime experts wrote a letter to Sunak, the National Audit Office, and others, to alert them the risk of fraud against the government tax-payer backed stimulus schemes. They called for publication of the names of companies receiving Bounce Back Loans to enable data matching to prevent, deter and detect fraud. In September 2020, it emerged that Government Ministers were warned about the risk of fraud against the financial support schemes by Keith Morgan, CEO of the state-owned British Business Bank who had concerns about the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Future Fund. In December 2020, it was reported that banks and the National Crime Agency also had concerns about fraudulent abuse of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. In January 2021, the NCA reported that three city workers who worked for the same London financial institution had been arrested as part of an investigation into fraudulent Bounce Back Loans totalling £6 million. The NCA said the men were suspected of using their “specialist knowledge” to carry out the fraud. This form of insider fraud was a risk highlighted in the letter sent to Sunak in June 2020. A 2022 Freedom of Information request to the British Business Bank, the state-run body administering the bounce back loan scheme, found that almost one fifth, or 193,000 businesses had failed to meet their repayment terms as at 27 June 2022. The UK government estimated that £4.9 billion of bounce back loans may have been lost to fraud.
The Future Fund, is a £1.1 billion investment portfolio set up by Sunak in May 2020 and managed by the British Business Bank. The fund invested in 1,190 mainly early-stage companies at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. One director overseeing the portfolio described the companies as mostly “zombie businesses”, leaving the fund with “a significant tail of dormant companies”.Future Fund investments include sex-party firm Killing Kittens and events start-up Pollen, which fell into administration in August 2022.
Eat Out to Help Out
Main article: Eat Out to Help Out
In July, he unveiled a plan for a further £30 billion of spending which included a stamp duty holiday, a cut to value-added tax (VAT) for the hospitality sector, a job retention bonus for employers and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, aimed at supporting and creating jobs in the hospitality industry. The government subsidised food and soft drinks at participating cafes, pubs and restaurants at 50%, up to £10 per person. The offer was available from 3 to 31 August on Monday to Wednesday each week. In total, the scheme subsidised £849 million in meals. Some consider the scheme to be a success in boosting the hospitality industry, however others disagree. In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study at the University of Warwick concluded that the scheme contributed to a rise in COVID-19 infections of between 8% and 17%.
On 26 September, Sunak was said to have opposed a second lockdown with the threat of his resignation, due to what he saw as the dire economic consequences it would have and the responsibility he would have to suffer for that.
March 2021 budget
In his March 2021 budget, he stated that the deficit had risen to £355 billion in the fiscal year 2020/2021, the highest in peacetime.The budget included an increase in the rate of corporation tax from 19% to 25% in 2023, a five-year freeze in the tax-free personal allowance and the higher rate income tax threshold, and the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September. Sunak was the first Chancellor to raise the corporation tax rate since Healey in 1974.
Fixed penalty notice
Main article: Partygate
Boris Johnson and Sunak at the former’s birthday celebration on 19 June 2020; both men later received fixed penalty notices for attending the gathering
On 12 April 2022, Sunak was issued with a fixed penalty notice after the Metropolitan Police believed he had breached COVID lockdown restrictions by attending a birthday party. A total of 82 others also received fixed penalty notices, including Johnson.
Register of ministers’ interests
In November 2020, Sunak was reported by The Guardian to have not declared a significant amount of his wife and family’s financial interests on the register of ministers’ interests, including a combined £1.7 billion shareholding in the Indian company Infosys. Sunak is required under the ministerial code to declare interests that are “relevant” to his responsibilities and “which might be thought to give rise to a conflict” with his public duties. The independent adviser on ministers’ interests investigated and concluded that Sunak had not broken any rules.
G7 tax reform
Sunak and US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen at the 2021 G7 finance ministers’ meeting
In June 2021, at the G7 summit hosted by Sunak at Lancaster House in London, a tax reform agreement was signed, which in principle sought to establish a global minimum tax on multinationals and online technology companies. In October 2021, the OECD signed an accord to join the tax reform plan.
Proposed green levy
As Chancellor, Sunak privately lobbied to impose a green levy, which would have led to higher petrol and diesel prices, to help pay for the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The proposed Fossil Fuels Emissions Trading Scheme, drawn up by the Treasury, sought to levy pollution from road transportation, as well as shipping, building heating and diesel trains, which together make up more than 40% of UK carbon emissions. The proposal was ultimately rejected by Boris Johnson, who instructed officials that he did not want to increase costs for consumers.
Cost of living crisis
Main articles: October 2021 United Kingdom budget and UK cost of living crisis
Sunak introducing the 2021 autumn budget
In October 2021, Sunak made his third budget statement. It included substantial spending promises to a large extent related to science and education.
Sunak made his spring statement on 23 March 2022. He said that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic had been disrupted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He cut fuel duty, removed VAT on energy saving equipment (such as solar panels and insulation) and reduced national insurance payments for small businesses and, while continuing with a planned national insurance rise in April, he promised to align the primary threshold with the basic personal income allowance as of July. He also promised a reduction in income tax in 2024.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said that the tax burden would reach its highest level since the 1940s. Sunak also provided some funding to help vulnerable people cope with the rising cost of living.
In April 2022, the Labour leader Keir Starmer said that Sunak was out of touch with the struggles of ordinary people due to the cost of living crisis.
Cryptocurrencies and NFTs
As Chancellor, Sunak was pushing ahead with a new law that would pave the way for stablecoins to be used for everyday payments, despite fears from the Bank of England about the financial stability of the technology. In April 2022, Sunak ordered the Royal Mint to create a UK government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) to be issued by summer 2022.
Non-domiciled status of his wife; and Sunak’s US permanent residency
In early 2022, newspapers reported that Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty had non-domiciled status, meaning she did not have to pay tax on income earned abroad while living in the UK. The status cost approximately £30,000 to secure, and allowed her to avoid paying an estimated £20 million in UK taxes. Following media controversy, Murty stated on 8 April that she would pay UK taxes on her global income, adding in a statement that she didn’t want the issue “to be a distraction for my husband”. A Whitehall inquiry was launched into who had leaked the details of her tax status.Labour party leader Keir Starmer accused Sunak of “taxation ‘hypocrisy’ on the grounds that he is putting up taxes for ordinary Britons while his family has been reducing its own tax liabilities”.
Reporting around this time also revealed that Sunak had continued to hold United States’ permanent resident status he had acquired in the 2000s until 2021, including for 18 months after he was Britain’s treasury Chancellor, which required his filing annual U.S. tax returns.An investigation into both his wife’s tax status and his residency status found that Sunak had not broken ministerial rules.
Source : Wikipedia