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A photograph of Rishi Sunak walking outside of Downing Street during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer

7 facts about Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak was one of the shortest serving British Prime Ministers in modern history, having spent less than two years in the role.

Image Credit: I T S /

On 25th October 2022, Rishi Sunak became the 57th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, taking over from Liz Truss who lasted less than two months in the role. After just missing out in the summer leadership contest, Sunak received backing from the majority of Conservative MPs, ahead of Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, who could not reach the 100-vote threshold to go forward to the membership vote.

However, in July 2024, Sunak's Conservative Party lost approximately two-thirds of their seats in the general election and handed Keir Starmer's Labour Party a record-breaking landslide victory.

1. He was the first Prime Minister of South Asian heritage

Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980 to a family of Punjabi-Indian descent. His parents emigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, where his father became an NHS doctor, and his mother opened a pharmacy.

He was the first Prime Minister from an ethnic minority and the first practicing Hindu. He first took the Oath of Allegiance on the Bhagavad Gita, the most revered Hindu text.

2. He attended both the University of Oxford and Stanford University

After studying at Winchester College, a public school that ranks among the most prestigious in the world, Sunak went on the read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford.

Upon completing his studies, he was selected as a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University in the United States. This marked him as an extremely promising, overseas student and he left the institution with an MBA.

A photograph of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin at the University of Oxford.

Image Credit: Christine Bird / | Above: A photograph of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin at the University of Oxford.

3. He co-founded an investment banking firm

Prior to becoming involved in politics, Sunak worked as an analyst for the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004. This started a business career that lasted for more than a decade. In 2009 he co-founded a hedge fund firm called Theleme Partners.

4. He is the MP for Richmond (Yorks)

After growing up on the South Coast of England, Rishi was elected Conservative MP for the Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire. He was first elected during the 2015 General Election before being re-elected on two further occasions and securing over 60% of the votes in 2019.

His constituency home is a £1.5 million Grade II listed building in the village of Kirby Sigston. Sunak holds annual garden parties on the property and invites local Conservative Party members.

An aerial view of Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Image Credit: Kaca Skokanova / | Above: An aerial view of Richmond, North Yorkshire. Rishi Sunak was Elected as the Conservative Party MP for Richmond (North Yorkshire) in May 2015.

5. He is known as ‘the richest MP’

Sunak met his wife Akshata Murty while studying at Stanford University. She is the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, the sixth-richest man in India, and a famous fashion designer in her own right. Together they hold an estimated net worth of £730 million, making them among the richest people in the UK and earning Rishi the unofficial title of ‘the richest MP’.

However, the couple faced criticism in April 2022 when it was revealed that Akshata was using her Indian citizenship to avoid paying taxes in the UK.

Rishi Sunak, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, leaving No. 11 Downing Street

Image Credit: Fred Duval / | Above: Rishi Sunak, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, leaving No. 11 Downing Street on the 11th, 2020 to present his budget at the House of Commons in London.

6. He is a massive Southampton FC fan

Sunak is known to be a dedicated fan of his hometown football club, Southampton. He has previously held a season ticket and growing up his favourite player was Matt Le Tissier. While he was at school, Sunak once got in trouble for sneaking a portable television into the strict Winchester College so he and his friends could watch England play in Euro 96.

His other hobbies include cricket and watching movies, as well as exercising, which he says he needs to do to combat his past habits of eating a double chocolate muffin and biscuits every day.

7. He once said he never wanted to be Prime Minister

Despite entering two leadership races in the space of six months, Sunak previously stated that he would never want the top job. In 2020, while working alongside Boris Johnson as Chancellor, he answered a question about his potential aspirations to be Prime Minister by saying: ‘God, no. Definitely not, seeing what the Prime Minister has to deal with.’