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Rishi Sunak meets supporters at a Conservative Party leadership election in Birmingham, England, in August. He lost that election to Liz Truss.
LONDON — Rishi Sunak has won the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, after yet another candidate dropped out of the race. That means he will be Britain’s next prime minister at a time of great economic upheaval. A popular former chancellor of the exchequer under Boris Johnson’s premiership, Sunak lost out to Liz Truss in the race to replace him earlier this summer.
Considered a centrist and pragmatic politician, he emerged in the latest leadership contest as a safe pair of hands to guide the UK, after Liz Truss’ policy proposals around tax cuts and spending shook the government’s credibility and spooked markets. Having only been elected as a member of Parliament in 2015, after a career in banking and hedge funds, Sunak’s political rise to become finance minister by 2020 was meteoric. In that role he took unprecedented action to support Britain’s economy during the pandemic, with months-long programs to replace workers’ wages and incentivize consumer spending. Sunak will be the first British Asian to become prime minister.