Rishi Sunak, the grandson of Indian immigrants, was nominated Monday by the British Conservative Party to replace Liz Truss as its leader and next prime minister, as his rival, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, failed to win enough support to run.
Rishi Sunak has been elected leader of the Conservative Party, announced the head of the parliamentary group Graham Brady. Shortly before, Mordaunt had acknowledged her defeat on Twitter and gave her full support to the 42-year-old former finance minister who becomes the first head of government from an ethnic minority in the United Kingdom.
The billionaire was on track on Monday to become the new British prime minister, replacing Truss, after Boris Johnson abandoned a controversial comeback the day before.
Two months after failing in his first attempt to lead the Conservative Party and run the government, Sunak, 42, was left virtually alone in the race for power after Johnson announced Sunday night that he would not run to succeed the resigned Truss - who had replaced himself on Sept. 6.
Sunak has been reported to have a personal wealth larger than that of King Charles III.
He had been defeated in the previous Conservative Party elections by Truss, but she managed to stay only six weeks in office following Johnson's scandalous fall from grace, which was ignited by Sunak's resignation as finance minister, after which another 60 ensued.
Nevertheless, according to a Sunday Telegraph survey, barely over half of those consulted would have preferred Johnson over Sunak this time around.
The former banker will become Britain’s fifth prime minister in six years as the UK reels from months of economic and political chaos from which Sunak, a pro-Brexit former analyst at Goldman Sachs, is expected to rescue the country.
The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis, Sunak posted on social media. That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister, he added. I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country, wrote the new leader, of Hindu heritage, who will also be the youngest PM in 200 years.
Sunak had tarnished his public profile by holding a US green card in addition to allegations that his wife had claimed special status to evade millions in taxes.