Rishi Sunak wins Conservative majority and will be UK’s new prime minister


Rishi Sunak, former UK finance secretary, will be the new leader of the Conservative Party and, consequently, the new British prime minister after Penny Mordaunt, his rival, withdrew from the race on Monday morning (24).

Sunak, 42, the first person of color to be elected to British leadership, wins the race that began after Liz Truss resigned on Thursday as her economic plan failed.

The son of parents who emigrated from East African nations, he is of Indian descent and gained notoriety in the country after spearheading the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sunak was also one of the first to step out of Boris Johnson’s administration, back in July, when the administration plunged into crisis.

Boris, who resigned on the 7th of that month, was even quoted to try again for the premiership. But he announced on Sunday (23) that he would not enter the dispute, opening an advantage to Sunak.

The former secretary had won the public support of at least 51% of Conservative MPs – there are 357 in total. For candidates to advance in the dispute, it was necessary to gather at least one hundred support.

Penny Mordaunt, who rose to prominence as Secretary of Defense under Theresa May in 2019, had about 27 public endorsements as of Monday morning before pulling out of the race. Her campaign, however, said that she was already approaching 90.

Mordaunt did not mention the cipher in the communiqué in a friendly tone in which it expresses its give up. He said that Sunak will have his full support and that, with the elections, his supporters demonstrate what they want for the country: stability.

“This is a historic decision that once again showcases the diversity and talent of our party; I am proud of our campaign and grateful to everyone from across the party’s ranks who supported my candidacy.”

Sunak will be the first prime minister that King Charles III will swear in. According to information from the ITV broadcaster, he is in Sandringham, but is returning to Buckingham Palace later today. During the night, he should receive Truss and Sunak—her, to make the resignation official; him to be sworn in as prime minister.

The future prime minister even contested the previous race for the British lead, against Liz Truss. But it won just over 42% of the votes of the roughly 160,000 members of the Conservative Party, against 57.4% for its rival.

Sunak is one of the richest politicians in the country. His father is a family doctor for the NHS, the public health system; his mother, a pharmacist. He studied at Stanford, USA, where he met and married Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian tech billionaire.

Akshata owns 0.91% of his father’s company, and his small percentage is worth something like £750m. The couple has two daughters.

Preferred by conservatives to take on the challenge of guiding a country in economic and political crisis and a party in instability, Sunak also emerged as the least unpopular conservative politician in a poll conducted by the YouGov institute of 1,000 Britons between the 14th and 16th of this month — before, therefore, Truss resigned.

In the survey, the future premier of the United Kingdom appears with a favorability index (which shows the balance of positive and negative opinions) of -28. Negative, the figure may seem like a bucket of cold water, but only if taken out of context: Mordaunt had -33 and Boris, -40.

Sunak was also the least unpopular among those who say they intend to vote for the Labor Party if there is a general election. In this case, his favorability rating is -35, against -48 for Mordaunt and -74 for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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