Cabinet reshuffle: Who is Rishi Sunak, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer?

13 February 2020, 16:48

Mr Sunak has been Conservative MP for Richmond in Yorkshire since 2015
Mr Sunak has been Conservative MP for Richmond in Yorkshire since 2015. Picture: PA

Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor of the Exchequer today following a reported row about aides with the Prime Minister - but who is his relatively unknown successor, Rishi Sunak?

Mr Sunak has been Conservative MP for Richmond in Yorkshire since 2015 and was appointed as chief secretary to the Treasury by Boris Johnson in July 2019.

Before this, he was parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019.

He is seen as a rising star in the Tory Party and has been endorsed by former Conservative Party leader Lord Hague of Richmond.

Mr Javid and Mr Sunak have worked together closely in recent times, and seem to have a good working relationship.

In December, Mr Sunak tweeted a picture of the pair of them visiting the cinema together to watch Star Wars.

He captioned the picture: "Great night out with the boss - Jedi Master," to which Mr Javid replied, "The Force is strong in young Sunak."

What is his position on Brexit?

Mr Sunak campaigned for Leave in the 2016 referendum. His constituency voted 55 per cent to leave the EU.

He also voted for former Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on all three occasions.

What did he do before he became an MP?

Mr Sunak's father was a GP and his mother was a pharmacist who emigrated from India with his grandparents.

He studied at the exclusive private school Winchester College and then went on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.

Mr Sunak also studied for an MBA at Stanford University.

Before he entered politics he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund before co-founding an investment firm.

He was parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019.
He was parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019. Picture: PA

Mr Javid is said to have been offered the chance to keep his role, but resigned after refusing to fire his close aides.

It is claimed Mr Cummings wanted to exert more control over the civil service in today's recent reshuffle.

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell said today's events amounted to a power-grab by Mr Cummings.

He said: "This must be a historical record with the government in crisis after just over two months in power.

"Dominic Cummings has clearly won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury and install his stooge as chancellor."

Speaking about Mr Javid's replacement, Rishi Sunak, Mr McDonnell told LBC News he thought the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury - was "inexperienced".

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