Rishi Sunak, a PM like Britain hasn’t had so far

After only 44 days, Liz Truss was forced to leave 10 Downing Street. She has just been replaced by her recent rival for the leadership of the Conservative Party and, most importantly, the UK: Rishi Sunak.


Rishi Sunak is about to be a Prime Minister like no other. This does not necessarily mean he will be so because of his achievements, although the fact we wish him all the makes no doubt. No, he will be a one-of-a-kind PM because Britain has never had one with such a profile.

Let’s begin with his young age. No one ever reached 10 Downing Street at only 42. Sunak is the youngest British PM in history. That’s quite an achievement from the get-go. 

Second, Rishi is the first “non-white” British PM. Of course, such classifications don’t mean much, given the subjective spectrum in which various ethnicities can be categorised. The Southampton-born politician is the first British PM of Asian descent. 

Finally, Sunak is the wealthiest person to take charge of the British government. On his official, he refers to his success as a businessman. “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. […] I have seen first-hand how politicians should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure our future prosperity,” – he explains.  

Sunak started his political career by serving the Richmond constituency in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017 and 2019. In July 2019, he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury. From February 2020 to July 2022, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer before running against Liz Truss for the leadership of the Conservative Party and thereby, becoming Prime Minister. 

On Tuesday, 25 October, Liz Truss will officially resign in the presence of King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. Shortly after, the new PM will have an audience with the British monarch before heading to his new workplace at 10 Downing Street. 


Image: Heathcliff O’Maliey / Reuters file

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen