Everything you need to know about Rishi Sunak’s family

New PM’s parents emigrated from East Africa in 1960s to join British medical profession

Joe Sommerlad
Monday 31 October 2022 06:24 GMT
Rishi Sunak becomes UK’s third prime minister this year

Rishi Sunak is the UK’s new prime minister after securing the support of the vast majority of the Conservative parliamentary party following the disastrous reign of Liz Truss.

Mr Sunak is a familiar face after serving as Boris Johnson’s chancellor throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, when he led the £69bn furlough scheme to keep people in work and the Eat Out to Help Out campaign to encourage economic growth.

He was also criticised during that time after being caught up in the Partygate furore, for which he received a fixed-penalty notice, over revelations about his wealthy wife’s tax strategies and for his unpopular Spring Statement earlier this year, which was felt not to go far enough in shielding the public from a worsening cost of living crisis.

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Mr Sunak has also not been forgiven by many Tories for “turning” on Mr Johnson, along with health secretary Sajid Javid, after the pair resigned in early July over the Chris Pincher scandal, which sparked the deluge that eventually led to the departures of more than 60 ministers and ultimately forced the PM out of office.

That sentiment is thought to have been behind his defeat in this summer’s drawn-out leadership contest to replace Mr Johnson, which was ultimately won by Ms Truss, to the regret of pretty much everybody.

More positively for Mr Sunak, the disastrous nature of her six-week premiership proved his every criticism of her “fairy tale” economic policies to be entirely right, lending him the legitimacy needed to win favour at the second time of asking and, hopefully, appease the global financial markets that so lost faith in Britain under Ms Truss.

Here’s everything we know about the family of Britain’s new PM, the first Hindu to lead the country:

Who are his parents and grandparents?

Mr Sunak was born in Southampton on 12 May 1980, his parents Yashvir and Usha Sunak an NHS GP and pharmacist respectively.

The couple were originally from Kenya and Tanzania, before emigrating to the UK in the 1960s, both having roots in Punjab, India.

Mr Sunak’s paternal grandfather, Ramdas Sunak, reportedly arrived in Nairobi to work as a clerk in 1935 from Gujranwala, which was then in British India but now lies in Pakistan, giving that nation a claim on the new PM’s heritage.

The latter’s wife, Suhag Rani Sunak, Mr Sunak’s paternal grandmother, is said to have spent two years in Delhi before being reunited with her husband in Kenya in 1937.

Who are Rishi Sunak’s siblings?

Mr Sunak is the eldest of their three children: his brother Sanjay works as a psychologist and his sister Raakhi serves as chief of strategy and planning at Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education.

Who is he married to?

He is married to Indian billionaire’s daughter Akshata Murthy, whom he met while studying for a master’s in business administration at Stanford University, California.

Her father NR Narayana Murthy is commonly nicknamed “India’s Steve Jobs” and Ms Murthy is believed to hold a 0.91 per cent stake in his company Infosys, worth an estimated £700m.

Her other professional interests include Akshata Designs, her own fashion label, and she is listed on LinkedIn as director of the capital and private equity firm Catamaran Ventures, the gym chain Digme Fitness and New & Lingwood, a gentlemen’s outfitters.

How many children do they have?

The couple have two daughters, Krishna and Anushka, whom they have largely been keen to keep out of the media spotlight, although they did appear alongside their father on the campaign this summer when he took on Ms Truss at hustings across the country.

They also have a Labrador named Nova.

The Sunaks are understood to own four properties, including a Grade II-listed manor house in Kirby Sigston near Northallerton in his Richmond constituency in Yorkshire, a five-bedroom townhouse in South Kensington, London, another flat nearby and a penthouse apartment in Santa Monica, California, overlooking the Pacific.

The Sunday Times rich list valued their combined wealth at £730m in May 2022, making them one of the wealthiest couples in Britain and certainly in Westminster.

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