Former UK finance minister Rishi Sunak will become the the country’s next prime minister and the first person of color to lead the UK, following his predecessor Liz Truss’s resignation.
42-year-old Sunak, whose parents are of Indian heritage, was confirmed as the new leader on Monday Oct. 24 after his opponent Penny Mordaunt and former prime minister Boris Johnson both dropped out of the race to be the leader of the ruling Conservative Party.
Sunak, who will also be the youngest prime minister for more than 200 years, will be appointed prime minister by King Charles on Tuesday, taking over from Truss, who he had lost to for the role just 45 days ago.
He is the country’s third prime minister in seven weeks. A Hindu, he was named as the next leader on Diwali, the festival of lights.
After studying at Oxford and Stanford University, Sunak worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and made millions in hedge funds, according to the Daily Beast.
He entered politics in 2015, winning a seat to represent a constituency in Yorkshire.
In July, while serving as finance minister, Sunak had led the wave of lawmaker resignations that ultimately forced Johnson to resign over mishandling allegations of sexual conduct against a colleague.
He had initially been seen as a favorite to succeed Johnson, but lost to Truss, who resigned after her policies caused an economic and political crisis in just 45 days, making her the shortest serving prime minister in the country’s history.
Sunak is married to fashion designer Akshata Murty, whose father is one of India’s richest men, N. R. Narayana Murthy.
The couple are believed to have a fortune of US$820 million, double that of King Charles and Camilla, according to The Guardian.
Despite his meteoric rise, he takes over during one of the most turbulent eras of British politics and will face economic challenges immediately.
He told lawmakers after his victory that they faced an “existential crisis” and must “unite or die.”
“We now need stability and unity, and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together,” he said.