• 04 Dec, 2022

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - wealthiest member of the House of Commons

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - wealthiest member of the House of Commons

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - wealthiest member of the House of Commons

Rishi Sunak is a success story long before he became Britain's Treasury Chief and now U.K Prime Minister. I used to call him “my boy” since he’s my son’s age. Now, l have to call him “Mr Sunak” who rose to the top job in England which marks a historic moment.

 There’s a magical undercurrent that weaves through the world during the month of October/Diwali that can be explained in my recent Diwali Quiz post. Mr Sunak, the grandson of an Indian immigrant to Britain - this 42-year old - will be the first Hindu and the first person who isn’t white to lead the U.K.  Yes, folks Mr Sunak will also be the youngest prime minister since the Earl of Liverpool in 1812. There’s no doubt that Mr Sunak will face profound economic challenges. But his success will be determined by how he manages high inflation and a looming recession that is creating a sense of growing despair. As a hedge fund manager, he arrives with a mandate to bring calm to the ruling Conservative Party following a period of unparalleled chaos that saw the country run by three prime ministers in seven weeks. 

 Since Monday, financial markets around the world reacted positively to his victory. However, his administration will face tough and unpopular decisions on spending, and potentially raise taxes to fill an estimated 40-billion-pound deficit in public finances. Let’s look at the broader outlook. He’s likely to face a winter of discontent as inflation fuelled by rising energy costs from the war in Ukraine and whether electricity blackouts will be needed as Russia restricts gas imports to Europe. In addition, compared to most other rich countries, the U.K. economy has yet to return to its pre-pandemic size. 

 So let’s look at this amazing young man. He represents an unusual mix and new age blood at the top of British politics. He grew up in England to parents of Indian origin, his father was a doctor, and his mother ran a pharmacy. He attended the university at Oxford and found a job with Goldman Sachs. He married the daughter of an Indian billionaire businessman who both studied at Stanford University for their MBAs, where he started a hedge fund called Theleme Partners. 

 One also has to consider Sunak to be the wealthiest member of the House of Commons, and he can find himself in the most uncomfortable position being the richest and trying to explain spending cuts that could make life harder for the working class. He faces another challenge uniting a party that has been at war with itself for years. Should Sunak fail to unite the Conservative Party, l think the Labour Party could take the house and prize in the next election coming up in 2024.