Rishi Sunak is in the fray to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms. After initial two rounds of voting by the Conservative MPs, Sunak along with Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat remain in the race.
Sunak captured the limelight in Indian media owing to his Indian origins. Several social media users have started to share congratulatory messages and wishes to Sunak on becoming the “Prime Minister of the UK”. Newschecker found the claims to be false. The race to the UK PM is still underway at the time of writing this article.
Who Is Rishi Sunak?
Born in the English port city of Southampton, Sunak attended Winchester College before heading to Oxford to study philosophy, politics and economics and Stanford University to get an MBA. Married to the daughter of Infosys’ Narayana Murthy, Akshata, Sunak was an analyst for Goldman Sachs and later partnered in two hedge funds. He has been a Conservative party MP for Richmond in Yorkshire since 2015. Sunak was appointed as the junior minister in Theresa May’s government before being made Chief Secretary to the Treasury by her successor, Boris Johnson. He was promoted to Chancellor in February 2020. In the first week of July, Sunak resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer and is currently a frontrunner for the post of next UK PM.
We conducted keyword searches for “New UK PM,” “Rishi Sunak UK PM,” “Rishi Sunak becomes UK PM,” but didn’t find any report indicating that the former Chancellor has succeeded Boris Johnson to the post of the Prime Minister as yet.
Further, a Google search for “How UK will elect new PM” led us to a BBC report titled ‘Tory leadership: How will the new party leader and PM be chosen?,’ elaborating on the process of election of a new leader by the Conservatives. Reportedly, candidates with support of at least 20 Tory-MPs are eligible to foray into the race. Following this, the Conservative MPs participate in successive rounds of voting to finalise the two top contenders for the post of the party leader and the Prime Minister of the country. The elected leader then becomes the PM of the UK and the party leader.
Notably, in the first round of voting candidates with less than 30 votes are eliminated from the leadership race, while in successive cycles the one with the fewest votes is removed.
A Guardian report, dated July 18, 2022, states, “Tonight Conservative MPs will vote in the third ballot for the party leadership …” indicating that the race to choose the top two contenders to succeed Johnson is still on.
In the third round of voting Rishi Sunak, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat will compete for Tory MPs vote to step up in the ladder to UK PM office.
Why The Confusion?
Notably, Sunak won the first and second round of voting with 101 and 88 votes respectively. It is likely that his winning streak led people to believe that the former chancellor has become the new PM of the UK.
Viral claim that Rishi Sunak has become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms is false. At the time of writing of this report, the elections for the new UK PM were still underway.
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