Who Is Rishi Sunak, the Indian-Origin MP Who's Quit as UK PM's Right-Hand Man?

He is one of the main contenders for the prime ministerial post should Johnson step down due to controversy.

South Asians
2 min read

Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, resigned from his post on Tuesday, 5 July, citing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership.

He was far from the only one to do so. Health Secretary Sajid Javid, along with other ministers, also walked out of Johnson's cabinet.

Sunak was and continues to be one of the favourites touted as Johnson's successor. If that happens, it would make him the first Indian-origin prime minister of the UK.

Rishi Sunak served as the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer for over two years before resigning over Johnson's approach being "fundamentally too different."

He is one of the main contenders for the prime ministerial post should Johnson step down due to controversy.

Sunak, however, has been in the limelight for reasons both good and bad.


In the Spotlight – Who Is Rishi Sunak?

Born into an Indian family in Southampton, Sunak did his MBA from Stanford University after graduating from Oxford.

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.

Sunak was quite popular within the British public for most of his tenure. By early 2022, however, his charm began to wane, with his economic policies failing to resolve the cost-of-living crisis.


The Akshata Murthy Controversy

Sunak's ratings took another beating when it was revealed in April this year that his wife, Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, held a non-domicile status in the UK.

Her non-dom status allowed her to evade millions in tax on foreign earnings via her stake in Infosys.

This did not reflect well on the Chancellor, who was already under fire for failing to address the country's economic crisis.


'We Cannot Continue Like This': What Prompted Sunak’s Sudden Resignation?

"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.

In his letter, he cited an "improper and an incompetent government" as his reason for quitting.

He also highlighted his differences of opinion with the prime minister over the economic management in the country.

Analsyts, however, say that this may be the former Chancellor's ploy to throw his hat back into the ring to become the next prime minister.


Aiming for the Top Job – What Next for Rishi Sunak?

With the British government grappling with the series of resignations, Sunak would look to capitalise on Boris Johnson's acute image crisis.

Senior Tories, however, have written off Rishi Sunak as a potential prime minister after Johnson leaves. Nevertheless, he continues to be one of the key contenders.

Though his resignation letter said that this may be his "last ministerial job," Sunak might just end up becoming the first Indian-origin prime minister of the UK.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from south-asians

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More