Rishi Sunak was confirmed as the next prime minister of the United Kingdom after rivals Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt bowed out of the running on Monday, 24 October.
Sunak, 42, will succeed Liz Truss who resigned last week after 45 days in office.
The bookmaker’ favorite during the conservative party leadership contest after Boris Johnson’s exit earlier this year, Sunak lost the race to Truss just six weeks ago, despite being the most popular candidate in five of six contest rounds.
Rishi Sunak's main rival, former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt, exited the race with minutes to the 2:30 pm BST deadline of gathering support from 100 MPs of the Conservative Party.
In a statement on Twitter, Mordaunt said, "Despite the compressed tímetable for the leadership contest it is clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today."
While former PM Boris Johnson was initially part of the contest, he bowed out after after recognising he would not lead “a united party in parliament”.
Mordaunt's statement refers to Sunak being backed by over 140 Tory MPs pledged public support to the former chancellor of the exchequer.
Frst public comments since
Sunak begun by paying tribute to Liz Truss; leadership, saying that she served as the PM “under exceptionally difficult circumstances," The Guardian reported.
But there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge. We now need stability and unity. And I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together. Because that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face and build a better, more prosperous future for our children and our grandchildren. I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility, and I will work day in, day out, to deliver for the British people.Rishi Sunak
Humbled to be elected the leader of the Tory and Unionist party, Sunak says and added that it has been the greatest privilege of his life to "be able to serve the party I love and give back to the country I owe so much to."
Sunak's Previous PM Bid Failure
The former finance minister was the most popular candidate among Tory lawmakers in the leadership contest in July this year, but after getting through to a run-off against Truss, he lost out during the party vote which involved over 170,000 Tory party members, who made the final decision.
Sunak had thrown his hat into the ring after he resigned from Johnson's cabinet in the first week of July.
"I am sad to be leaving Government but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this," read Sunak's resignation letter.
Sunak's failure to resolve the cost-of-living crisis, his decision to increase taxes, and the revelation of his wife Akshata Murthy's non-domicile status that allowed her to save millions on taxes in foreign earnings together dented his reputation of being the most-liked minister in the Boris Johnson cabinet.
Finance Whiz, India’s ‘Damaad,’ Johnson’s Right Hand Man: Who Is Rishi Sunak?
Born into an Indian family in Southampton, Sunak did his MBA from Stanford University after graduating from Oxford.
Between 2001 to 2004, Sunak was an analyst for Goldman Sachs and a partner at two hedge funds. Owed to this, and his marriage to Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, Sunak is thought to be one of the richest MPs within the British parliament.
He has been a Member of Parliament from Richmond since 2015. He served as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury before being appointed as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020 by Boris Johnson.
During the conservative party leadership contest after Johnson’s exit, Sunak was defined in two ways. To some Tory members, Sunak is the chancellor who nursed the United Kingdom through COVID, to others he is the man who betrayed Boris Johnson.
His also victory comes after he was hailed as a prescient politician who warned Truss of the imminent chaos from her proposed tax plans.
Before Sunak officially threw his hat in the ring, several Tory MPs believe that the former finance minister is the only cure to the party’s woes and rallied round the flag for Sunak.