British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently resigned from his post as he was essentially pushed out of his own government. It was evident with the line of ministerial resignations that they had lost faith in Johnson’s leadership. Rishi Sunak, a British politician, has recently risen to the top in the list of candidates that have been considered to replace former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Prior to his campaign for PM, Sunak resigned from his post of Chancellor of Exchequer (2020-2022) before which he was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2019-2020). On July 8, a day after Boris Johnson’s resignation, Sunak announced on his social media that he will be standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister.
He also added, “Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.” Throughout his campaign so far, he has put forward a lot of his morals and ideas on social media. Not only has he highlighted his Indian heritage, but he has also conveyed that “family is everything” to him.
The question most Indians have on their minds these past few weeks has been, “Who is Rishi Sunak?”
Born in Southampton to parents of Indian Origin, Rishi Sunak is currently a Member of Parliament (and has been since 2015) of the United Kingdom. In 2009, he married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Narayana and Sudha Murthy.
Sunak is currently against Elizabeth Truss, who has served as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and also as Minister of Women and Equalities. In 2016, during Brexit, Truss was publicly against exiting the European Union, however, she has since then changed her opinion and is now in favour of the same. She has received a lot of criticism from Sunak, who has been in favour from the beginning, for betraying the Conservatives in 2016. It is therefore evident that the campaigning process is going to be quite fierce and brave.
Due to Sunak’s emphasis on his Indian heritage, there is clear excitement in the eyes of Indians who are eager to see Britain being led by someone of Indian origin. However, it is important to consider the changes that may occur for India if Sunak were to be elected. If and when Sunak is elected, the Indian passport could receive better reception at UK’s immigration offices, in terms of improved visa policies. It is also possible that India may climb up the list of favoured trade partners for the UK, where it currently stands 17th; however, this is unlikely considering the UK still prefers the European Union. Overall, improvement in foreign policies and diplomatic relations is expected in case of his election.
It is also worthy to note that Sunak is not the only person of Indian origin to head a government like this. Countries like Mauritius, Fiji, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, and Portugal have also had Presidents and Prime Ministers from the Indian lineage.
The votes for this campaign will be counted around the end of August and a new leader will be elected on September 5.