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Three years ago Rishi Sunak, 42, was semi-unknown but since Monday October 24 he has been the new leader of Britain’s Conservatives, the majority party in Westminster. Therefore, he will become Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s Government, after the appointment of King Charles. He will be the first prime minister in British history of Indian origin and of Hindu religious faith.

We can’t say that these last few days haven’t held surprises that were widely expected on both sides of the Channel. On Saturday October 22, Giorgia Meloni became Prime Minister of Italy, the first woman to ascend Palazzo Chigi in national history.

Photo Ansa/Epa Andy Rain

Due to a series of coincidences, fate would have it that in London today, Rishi Sunak ascended to the helm of the Conservative Party (after the fall of Liz Truss), bringing over 100 of the 357 MPs from his country Conservatives in the House of Commons, when voting within his political community. At 42, three years younger than Meloni, Sunak is the first non-white British Prime Minister, the son of immigrants. He is also one of the youngest and richest in UK history.

A billionaire woman

He was born in Southampton, England, where his parents had emigrated from Africa: his father, a doctor, was born in Kenya, and his mother, a pharmacist, was born in Tanzania. Both had Indian origins. He graduated from Oxford University and also studied at Stanford in the United States. Previously, he worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs. In 2009, he married Akshata Murthy, daughter of Narayana Murthy, an Indian billionaire and one of the founders of Infosys, a multinational information technology giant.

Akshata Murthy, wife of Rishi Sunak. Photo Ansa / Epa

The two, who met while studying at Stanford University, have two daughters. Akshata is the director of her father’s investment firm, Catamaran Ventures, and runs her own fashion label. It is estimated that together, Rishi Sunak and his wife have a heritage of 800 million euros, double the “dowry” of King Charles III. To which must be added residences for 17 million. They live in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and also own a house in Kensington – one of London’s swankiest neighborhoods – as well as an apartment in Santa Monica, California.

Sunak, heir to BoJo

The career of Rishi Sunak, first elected to political office just 7 years ago, accelerated from 2020. It was then that he became Chancellor of the Exchequer – this is i.e. Minister of the Economy – under the government of Boris Johnson. He is generally considered a pragmatic politician belonging to the right wing of the party. In 2016, he voted in favor of Brexit but according to some observers he does not like to talk about this issue. Over the years, Britain’s exit from the European Union, while not bringing economic ruin, does not fulfill the promise of improving conditions in the country. And today, the economic and social problems of the United Kingdom are getting worse.

Sunak with Boris Johnson. Photo Ansa/Epa Andy Rain

It was Rishi Sunak, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, who dealt with the Covid pandemic, which is linked to the party gate scandal that led to the downfall of Boris Johnson. And he did it by carrying out a vast program of public intervention. Her Majesty’s subjects enjoyed it, but Rishinomics pushed the tax burden on the state budget to the highest levels in 70 years. Be that as it may, his admirers call him a “principled pragmatist”. That is to say a politician guided by a few ideas but ready to adapt them to reality. The next few days will be responsible for confirming or disproving this belief.

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