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05 February, 2023
 
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Rishi Sunak to become Britain's next Prime Minister

Predictions were confirmed just days after Liz Truss resigned, with Sunak becoming the fifth prime minister since the Brexit referendum

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Britain's new prime minister will be Rishi Sunak. Penny Mordaunt, the only candidate left standing for the Conservative leadership following Boris Johnson's withdrawal yesterday, has also withdrawn from the race, paving the way for Sunak to take over as Prime Minister.

So, just days after Liz Truss resigned, the predictions came true, with the 42-year-old man, born of Indian parents, becoming the fifth UK prime minister since the Brexit referendum in 2016, without the need for an internal party vote within the Conservatives.

"Rishi Sunak has been elected leader of the Conservative Party and will succeed Liz Truss," said Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee in charge of the election. According to him, the Commission only received one valid nomination.

Sunak's first act was to meet with Conservative MPs, accompanied by some of his most ardent supporters. The MPs in the chamber greeted him with applause and fist bumps on the benches.

Following news of Mordaunt's departure, the pound and British government bond prices rose slightly.

Who is Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak is the new Prime Minister of Britain-1

Mr. Sunak, 42, was born in Southampton, southern England, to parents of Indian origin who had immigrated to Britain from East Africa.

Rishi Sunak is well-known in the United Kingdom but little known elsewhere. He is not popular with the general public in the country, and many are skeptical that he can overcome Labour's massive lead in the polls after the initial euphoria that a change of leadership always brings.

Mr. Sunak, 42, was born in Southampton, southern England, to Indian parents who had emigrated from East Africa.

His family immigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, during a period when many people from Britain's former colonies arrived to help rebuild the country after World War II.

After receiving his degree from Oxford University, he continued on to Stanford University, where he eventually met his wife, Akshata Murthy, whose father is the Infosys Ltd. founder and Indian billionaire, Narayana Murthy.

Mr. Sunak first made headlines in Britain when, at the age of 39, he took over as Mr. Johnson's Chancellor of the Exchequer just as the pandemic arrived in the country. Under Mr. Johnson, he created a work suspension scheme to support millions of people through numerous bailouts.

When he resigned as finance minister in early July, critics claim he betrayed Mr. Johnson, who had given him a promotion. The cabinet was dissolved as a result, which then brought about Mr. Johnson's resignation.

In the current process to succeed Ms. Truss, Mr. Sunak's main argument is that he forewarned in the summer that Ms. Truss would have difficulties leading the nation during a fairly intense and protracted months-long campaign for Boris Johnson's replacement.

In a statement released on Sunday, Mr. Sunak said, "I have served as your chancellor, helping to lead our economy through its most trying times." "The difficulties we now face are even more severe. However, the opportunities are extraordinary if we choose wisely."

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Reuters

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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Cyprus  |  Britain  |  elections  |  UK

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