Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain’s third prime minister in the last seven weeks after Liz Truss’ short-lived tenure ended last week, CNN reports.
Sunak, who served as the chancellor of the exchequer in former PM Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, received more than half of the votes from Conservative lawmakers on Monday, making him the new head of the Tory Party and the next prime minister.
Johnson and fellow rival Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race, clearing the way for Sunak, who will be the first person of color to lead the nation.
Mordaunt on Monday said Sunak has her “full support.”
“This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party,” she said.
Who is Sunak?
Sunak, 42, is the youngest person to become prime minister in over 200 years and the first Hindu to hold the job. A former Goldman Sachs exec and hedge funder, Sunak is one of the wealthiest people in the UK.
Sunak was elected to Parliament in 2015, backing the 2016 Brexit vote.
Sunak served as a junior minister in former PM Theresa May’s government.
He was later tapped by Johnson to serve as the chief of the Treasury in 2019 and as the chancellor in 2020.
Sunak resigned from the Cabinet amid Johnson’s mounting scandals, leading to the former PM’s resignation.
Sunak lost the race to replace Johnson to Truss but benefited from her catastrophic plan to slash taxes on the rich, which led to her stepping down last week.
Calls for new election:
Opposition leaders called for new elections to let voters decide which party should lead the country.
Labour Leader Keri Starmer said that the country “cannot have another experiment at the top of the Tory party.”
"This is not just a soap opera at the top of the Tory party - it's doing huge damage to the reputation of our country,” he said. “We need a general election so the public can have their say on this utter chaos.”
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey agreed.
"We do not need another Conservative prime minister lurching from crisis to crisis, we need a general election,” he said. "It is time for Conservative MPs to do their patriotic duty, put the country first and give the people a say."