Big Political Twist Leaves ‘Proud Hindu’ as UK Prime Minister

After Liz Truss announced she was stepping down as U.K. prime minister last week, the vacancy was filled on Monday by former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

Sunak’s rise to prime minister is a significant historical moment for the U.K. as he will be the first Hindu and person of color to hold the office, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In the past, Sunak has publicly highlighted how he is a “proud Hindu,” as well as a loyal British citizen, the Times of India reported.

But aside from the historical significance of Sunak’s rise, it also comes after weeks of chaotic instability for the Conservative Party and all of Britain as the country faces recession and the increasing pressure of inflation.

Truss took the reins after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned, but then Truss announced her resignation on Thursday and said, “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected,” the New York Times reported.

Truss was only in office for 45 days, and her financial decisions put the U.K. in further turmoil, NBC News reported.

During her brief stint, Truss introduced tax cuts in light of inflation but the economy responded with stocks and bonds taking a dive and the devaluation of the pound, the Times reported.

Sunak was a critic of Truss’ plans from the beginning and called her economic aspirations a “fairy tale,” the Journal reported.

In fact, after Johnson resigned, Sunak ran against Truss for prime minister and tried to sound the alarm about her economic plans, particularly since British inflation was at about 10 percent.

“Liz’s plans are promising the Earth to everybody. I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it,” Sunak said back in August when he was opposing Truss, the Journal reported.

But the party favored Truss at the time.

After Truss’ resignation, there was speculation that Johnson would make a bid to return to Downing Street again.

But Johnson’s support lagged behind Sunak’s and he withdrew on Sunday evening, Axios reported.

Sunak’s last opponent was the House of Commons leader and former Defense Minister Penny Mordaunt. But Mordaunt tweeted a statement on Monday announcing that she was dropping out of consideration.

“Rishi has my full support,” her tweeted statement read.

After three different prime ministers in the span of seven weeks, Sunak comes to Downing Street in a moment of political and economic turmoil, the Journal noted.

“But his success will be determined by how well he manages the growing challenges to Britain’s economy as high inflation and a looming recession create a sense of growing despair,” the Journal added.

Sunak is 42 years old, the grandson of Indian immigrants and a former hedge fund manager who entered politics in 2015 when he became the MP for Richmond, the Independent reported.

He went on to become chief secretary for the Treasury and then in February 2020 was appointed chancellor by Johnson at the beginning of his time in Downing Street, according to the Independent.

Though the U.K. has been in crisis over the last few months, the markets immediately reacted positively to Sunak’s victory, the Journal reported.

Investors seem confident in Sunak’s economic sense and experience with the treasury and as a result, yields on government debt fell on Monday once Sunak’s win was secured, the Journal added.

But, though Sunak is the new prime minister and the new hope for uniting the Conservative Party, the opposing Labor Party has gained support through all the chaos, Axios reported.

It will be two more years before the next general election and an opportunity for the Labor Party to take control, but already the Conservative Party is trailing the Labor by more than 30 points, Axios added.

Meanwhile, Sunak will have to make tough decisions about spending and finances in order to battle inflation, the Journal reported.

“The choice our party makes now will decide whether the next generation of British people will have more opportunities than the last,” Sunak commented on Sunday.

The U.K. is currently at the beginning of a recession that economists have predicted could last about a year, the Journal reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.