Rishi Sunak replaces Javid as Chancellor

Rishi Sunak (REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Rishi Sunak as the new chancellor of the exchequer, the government said in a statement on Thursday.

Sunak, 39, succeeds Sajid Javid who unexpectedly quit on Thursday amid the cabinet reshuffle.

First elected to parliament in 2015, Sunak previously served as chief secretary to the treasury, the second in command to the chancellor, overseeing public spending.

Born in 1980, Sunak attended the prestigious Winchester College before going on to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. He also has an MBA from Stanford University in the United States.

Sunak’s father was a doctor and his mother ran a chemist shop. Before entering politics he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund, then co-founded an investment firm.

His wife is the daughter of Indian billionaire and co-founder of IT services company Infosys, Narayana Murthy.

Seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party he is regularly put forward by the government to do media interviews, and stood in for Johnson in some televised debates during last year’s election campaign.

Some commentators said Javid’s resignation might have been sought by Johnson’s team – due to a dispute over his advisers.

“He has turned down the job of chancellor of the exchequer,” a source close to Javid said.

The source said Johnson had told Javid he would have to sack his advisers and replace them with advisers from the prime minister’s Downing Street office. “The Chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms.”

The resignation makes Javid, the only British Asian to have held two out of Britain’s four great offices of state, the shortest-serving chancellor of the exchequer since 1970.

His departure after 204 days as finance minister comes less than a month before he was due to deliver his first budget.