Fact-Check: No, Rishi Sunak Has Not Been Named UK’s New Prime Minister
The new British Prime Minister will be selected on 5 September 2022.
Several social media users are congratulating Britain's Conservative MP Rishi Sunak for being named the new prime minister of the country, after incumbent PM Boris Johnson announced his resignation on 7 July 2022.
The viral claim congratulates Indian-origin Sunak, who is leading the race to become Britain's next prime minister.
However, the viral claim is incorrect. Though Sunak is the top contender for the post, and has won first two rounds of voting within the Conservative Party, the former chancellor has not been named the new prime minister. The results of several rounds on voting to elect a new PM from within the party are scheduled to be announced on 5 September 2022.
The viral claim congratulates British MP Rishi Sunak on being named the new prime minister of Britain.
WHAT WE FOUND
We looked up Sunak's name and found many news reports, but none of them named him as the next prime minister.
According to the latest survey carried out by ConservativeHome, Sunak had dropped to the fourth position within the party.
Sunak's profile on the British government's website also makes no mention of him being elected as prime minister.
Though Sunak is a leading choice for the position, he faces opposition from party members for his 'disloyalty,' with one MP believing that Foreign Secretary Liz Truss would be the next prime minister, reported The Express.
Sunak, the former finance minister, was among the 42 Tories who resigned under Johnson's leadership. He was widely blamed for Johnson's ousting, as he was the first to resign from government.
SUNAK LEADS TORIES' LEADERSHIP POLLS, SO FAR
Since Johnson's resignation, the Conservative party's MPs – colloquially called the Tories – have voted to elect a new prime minister from within their ranks.
As on 18 July, the Tory MPs have conducted two rounds of voting among themselves to elect the new prime minister, and Sunak won both.
Sunak won the first round of voting by securing 88 votes, followed by Penny Mordaunt (67 votes) and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (50 votes).
The former finance minister also secured a lead in the second round with 101 votes, followed by Mordaunt's 83 votes and Liz Truss securing 64 votes.
Despite polls showing the Tories preference for Sunak, PM Boris Johnson reportedly told his allies to support "anyone but Rishi Sunak" to be his successor.
However, Johnson has stated that he will not publicly endorse any candidates or intervene in the contest, reported The Times.
Johnson has announced that he would remain in office until the party picked his replacement. The Tories are set to announce their new prime minister on 5 September 2022.
WHO IS RISHI SUNAK?
Rishi Sunak was born in 1980, and his roots trace back to India's Punjab, where both his maternal grandparents were born. The family emigrated to eastern Africa, and later to Britain.
A British national, Sunak later wed Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and author and philanthropist Sudha Murthy.
The couple has been mired in controversies.
As finance minister, Sunak called on British companies – such as British Petroleum (BP), Shell and Aviva – to disinvest and get out of Russia since the beginning of the war against Ukraine in March 2022.
However, his wife was accused of collecting "bloody money" in the form of dividends, from companies that refused to leave Russia.
Sunak also raised taxes for the common man during his stint as the finance minister, while Murthy reportedly paid close to £30,000 to maintain a non-domicile status, protecting her from paying massive taxes to the British government.
He also drew sharp criticism for his links to The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), where he was a partner. The Times reported that he made a million pounds from a TCI campaign, which contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
Clearly, Conservative MP Rishi Sunak has not been named the new prime minister of Britain, even though he is in the lead. The results of multiple rounds of voting among Tory MPs to elect a new PM among themselves is scheduled to be announced on 5 September 2022.
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