Meet Rishi Sunak, man with Kenyan roots set to become next UK PM
Kenya could once again enter the historical book in 2022, 14 years after Americans lined up in millions to elect the first person of colour, Brack Obama as their 44th President.
Just like Obama, whose father was Kenyan (Barack Hussein Obama Sr), Rushi Sunak could become first man of colour with Kenyan roots, the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Sunak was born on May 12, 1980 in Southampton to Yashvir and Usha Sunak, both Kenyan-born Hindu parents of Punjabi Indian descent.
He is the eldest of three siblings. His father, Yashvir, was born and raised in Kenya, while his mother, Usha, was born in Tanzania.
His grandfathers were born in Punjab province, British India, and migrated from Kenya’s capital Nairobi, with their families to the UK in the 1960s.
His paternal grandfather, Ramdas Sunak, was from Pakistan and moved to Nairobi in 1935 to work as a clerk, where he was joined by his wife Suhag Rani Sunak from Delhi in 1937.
The Next UK PM?
The news of Sunak most likely to succeed Liz Truss who resigned after 45 days in office saw the British Pound gain its strength in the market Monday around 0.4 perecnt higher against dollar at 1.134.
According to a report by the BBC, Sunak is now the only candidate backed by more than 150 Tory MPs, the level required to take part in the ballot of party members.
The stage looks set for the former Chancellor after Boris Johnson pulled out of the race. He said had the backing of 102 MPs.
“I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time,” said former premier Johnson on Sunday.
If confirmed, Sunak would replace Truss, whose economic programme triggered economic headwind in financial markets.
According to the rules, if only one candidate secures the backing of 100 Conservative lawmakers, they will be named prime minister on Monday.
If two candidates pass the threshold, they will go forward to a vote of the party membership, with the winner announced on Friday, just days before new Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt lays bare the state of the country’s finances in a budget plan due to be released on October 31.
Sunak first came to national attention aged 39 when he became finance minister under Johnson just as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Britain, developing a furlough scheme to support millions of people through multiple lockdowns.
“I served as your chancellor, helping to steer our economy through the toughest of times,” Sunak said in a statement on Sunday. “The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities – if we make the right choice – are phenomenal.”
If chosen, Sunak would be the 77th PM of UK but first of Indian origin.