On Thursday, Sajid Javid unexpectedly quit as UK’s finance minister amid a reshuffle of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet and became the shortest-serving chancellor of the exchequer since 1970. Javid has been replaced by Indian-origin finance minister, Rishi Sunak ahead of the Budget next month.
According to a Financial Times report, Javid quit after Johnson asked him to sack his closest aides to keep his position.
The other cabinet departures include Julian Smith, Northern Ireland Secretary; Andrea Leadsom, Business Secretary; Theresa Villiers, Environment Secretary; Geoffrey Cox, Attorney General; Esther McVey, Housing Minister; Chris Skidmore, Universities and Science Minister and Transport Ministers Nusrat Ghani and George Freeman.
Following his appointment, Sunak posted on Twitter, “I am honoured to be appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer. My predecessor and good friend Saj did a fantastic job in his time at the Treasury. He was a pleasure to work with and I hope to be able to build on his great work going forward.”
Who is Rishi Sunak?
Sunak previously worked as a top-level executive at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, a hedge fund and then went on to found an investment firm managing multi-million-pound ventures. He went to school at the exclusive private school at Winchester College and has degrees from Oxford and Stanford University. In 2015, he was elected to the British Parliament from the Richmond (Yorkshire) constituency and was re-elected in 2017.
Sunak’s website says, “I co-founded a large investment firm, working with companies from Silicon Valley to Bangalore. Then I used that experience to help small and entrepreneurial British companies grow successfully. From working in my mum’s tiny chemist shop to my experience building large businesses, I have seen first-hand how politicians should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure our future prosperity.”
Among the Conservatives, Sunak is considered to be one of the rising stars and has been endorsed by Conservative Party leader Lord William Hague of Richmond who has said the following, “Rishi has proved to be a diligent constituency MP and it was no surprise to see him re-elected with an increased majority in 2017. He is an exceptional individual and I believe he will continue to be a strong and effective advocate for our community”.
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A staunch pro-Brexit campaigner during the 2016 Referendum, Sunak in 2018 became the parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in Theresa May government.
Sunak has also called for closer ties with India and other Commonwealth countries. Sunak lives in Kirby Sigston, just outside Northallerton. In July, Sunak was one of the three Indian-origin ministers in Johnson’s cabinet, when he was appointed as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury then.
Born in the UK to a general practitioner father and pharmacist mother, Sunak made news in India upon his marriage to Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and author Sudha Murthy.
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