From working in chemist shop to becoming UK's new finance minister - Who is Rishi Sunak?

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2020, 08.32 PM(IST) Edited By: Shivani Kumar

File photo of UK's new Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Sunak was regularly put forward by the government to do media interviews and stood in for Johnson in some televised debates during last year's election campaign.

Indian-origin politician Rishi Sunak replaced Sajid Javid as Finance Minister of the United Kingdom on Thursday. He was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the cabinet reshuffle.

Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys Co-founder and Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy, will join Home secretary Priti Patel on the top government bench as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Before this, Sunak has served as Javid's junior as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was seen as a rising star within the Cabinet while he working with Javid.

As he takes charge of the second most important government position in UK, Sunak will move into No. 11 Downing Street, next door to the Prime Minister's Office.

The MP for Richmond in Yorkshire first entered the UK Parliament in 2015 and has fast risen up the Conservative Party ranks as a staunch Brexiteer who had back Johnson's strategy to leave the European Union (EU). 

Sunak was regularly put forward by the government to do media interviews and stood in for Johnson in some televised debates during last year's election campaign.

Born in the UK, Sunak's mother was a pharmacist who ran a local pharmacy shop while his father was a National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner. 

Sunak attended the prestigious Winchester College before going on to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. He also has an MBA from Stanford University in the United States.

 Before entering politics he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund, then co-founded a 1-billion pound global investment firm. 

"From working in my mum's tiny chemist shop to my experience building large businesses, I have seen how we should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure Britain has a stronger future," Sunak had said during the Brexit referendum.

He strongly believes that small businesses in the UK would flourish as a result of Brexit as the "vast majority of British businesses (94 per cent) don't have anything to do with the EU, but they are still subject to all EU law".

(With inputs from agencies)