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On UK’s first Prime Minister of Color, Rishi Sunak

On Oct. 25, Sunak formed a government in King Charles III’s name, becoming the first ever person of color, Asian and Hindu to reside in 10 Downing Street.

Following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union back in 2016, political turbulence in the UK persists as Prime Minister Liz Truss stepped down on Oct. 20 after 44 days in office. The Conservative Party elected Rishi Sunak ,the former chancellor of the Exchequer, to replace Truss mere days after a frantic race that ended with Penny Mordaunt, his main opponent, withdrawing her name and expressing support for Rishi Sunak.
On Oct. 25, Sunak formed a government in King Charles III’s name, becoming not just the youngest but also the first ever person of color, Asian and Hindu, to reside in 10 Downing Street. Aware of the acute economic crisis facing the country, he vowed to dedicate himself to the work that needs to be done. “All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands,” he assured the people in his first statement as PM.
While it was a historic moment to have witnessed — someone of Indian roots ruling Britain — many British voters despised the lack of representation, and particularly the say, or lack thereof, they had in the appointment of the prime minister of a democratic government. As one of the richest men in the UK, Sunak is married to the daughter of an Indian billionaire, Akshata Murthy, who, reports claim is richer than the late Queen. Being out of touch with the ordinary public of Britain is one of the many hurdles the new PM faces as he steps into the office as the fifth PM in six years. Not to mention current inflation, cost of living standards, and the energy crisis in the country that Kimi Chaddah describes for the New York Times as, “ills are results of deep, systemic problems, to be sure. [...] Mr. Sunak is complicit in them all.” Experts also question whether his hedge-fund background will influence his opinions on tax avoidance. While allies describe him as composed and organized, Sunak has barely ever been associated with the concept of what Britain and its economy need most right now — compassion.
Regardless, the Prime Minister’s first address to the public stated that he will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of his government’s agenda and promised various things such as a stronger NHS, safer streets and further control of UK’s borders. However, whether Rishi Sunak is ready and capable of leading the UK into the future is a question only time can answer.
Shanzae Ashar Siddiqi is News Editor. Email her at
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