Rishi Sunak (born 12 May 1980) is a British politician who is currently serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. He previously served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from July 2019 to February 2020, and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since the 2015 general election. Appointed Chancellor after the resignation of Sajid Javid in 2020, Sunak is the fastest-rising politician to a Great Office of State in recent British political history.
Born in Southampton, Hampshire to an Indian Punjabi family, his early education was at Winchester College. Sunak subsequently studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and later gained an MBA from Stanford University as a Fulbright scholar. After graduating he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs, and later as a partner at the hedge fund management firm The Children's Investment Fund Management.
Early life and education
Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in Southampton, Hampshire to Yashvir and Usha Sunak. His grandparents were born in Punjab, India and emigrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s. His father Yashvir was a general practitioner (GP) and his mother Usha was a pharmacist who ran a local pharmacy. He is the eldest of three siblings.
Sunak was privately educated at Winchester College, an all-boys' boarding school, where he was head boy. He then studied PPE at Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating with a First in 2001. In 2006, Sunak obtained an MBA from Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.
Sunak worked as an analyst for investment bank Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004. He then worked for hedge fund management firm The Children's Investment Fund Management, becoming a partner in September 2006. He left in November 2009 to join other former colleagues at new hedge fund firm Theleme Partners which launched in October 2010 with an initial $700 million. Sunak was also a director of investment firm Catamaran Ventures owned by his father-in-law Indian businessman N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Member of Parliament
Sunak was selected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks) in October 2014. The seat had previously been held by former leader of the party and foreign secretary William Hague, who chose to stand down at the next general election. Sunak was elected as MP for the constituency in the 2015 general election with a majority of 19,550 (36.2%). During the 2015–2017 parliament, Sunak was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
He supported the UK leaving the European Union (EU) in the June 2016 membership referendum. Sunak was re-elected as MP in the 2017 general election, with an increased majority of 23,108 (40.5%). He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Local Government between January 2018 and July 2019. Sunak voted for then Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal agreement and voted against a referendum on any withdrawal agreement.
He was re-elected in the 2019 general election with an increased majority of 27,210 (47.2%). During the election campaign, Sunak represented the Conservatives in both the BBC's and ITV's seven-way election debates.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Sunak was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019. He became a member of the Privy Council the next day.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sunak was promoted to Chancellor of the Exchequer on 13 February 2020 as part of a cabinet reshuffle, after the resignation of his predecessor Sajid Javid on the same day. Javid had resigned after being asked by Prime Minister Johnson to fire his parliamentary aides.
Sunak married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire and co-founder of Infosys, N. R. Narayana Murthy, in August 2009. They met while studying at Stanford University and have two daughters. He is a Hindu, and has taken his oath at the House of Commons on the Bhagavad Gita since 2017.