Britain’s first Prime Minister of color breaks barriers



Rishi Sunak has made history, becoming the first person of color in the position of UK’s Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak, the third prime minister Britain has had in a mere 7 weeks, came to office on Monday after winning in a tumultuous three-day race for leader of Britain’s Conservative Party. Being the first person of color to ever become Britain’s prime minister as well as the youngest in over two centuries, Sunak has made history.

Sunak is coming in at a time of deep economic turmoil, and the people expect him to realign Britain with more mainstream politics (especially after former PM Liz Truss’s experiment with a free-market agenda that ended in complete financial disaster for Britain). However, some claim that he is not “a man of the people,” sourcing him and his wife’s massive wealth and elite background.

Sunak has attended many prestigious schools, such as Winchester College, Oxford University and Stanford, and has previously worked at Goldman Sachs and two hedge funds. He is often seen sporting expensive clothing and loves lavish pieces of technology; furthermore, his wife, Akshata Murty, is the daughter of Indian billionaire Rohan Murty. They are among the United Kingdom’s 250 richest people, according to the Sunday Times Rich List from earlier this year, and this is undoubtedly a bit concerning to the masses who are struggling to pay even gas prices at this time of economic crisis in Britain. He is out of touch with the lives of ordinary people, some say.

Yet still, some see Sunak as a favorable balance between both Liz Truss and Boris Johnson. They say that since his prediction of Liz Truss’s disaster in office as a result of her experiment with “trickle-down economics” came out to be entirely correct, he is well-versed with what to do to get Britain’s economy back on track, regardless of his own economic cushion.

While Sunak’s ascent to the high position of Prime Minister is seemingly a win for diversity, being as the UK has had a long history of colonizing and looking down upon those of Indian heritage, this victory must be taken with a grain of salt, considering Sunak’s conservative policies that simply may tend to push white majoritarianism and lack perceptiveness (especially his support for the government’s very controversial Rwanda deportation proposal). Moreover, his substantial amount of wealth signifies that he is still very privileged, and may not represent underprivileged communities as well as someone who was, say, from a more ordinary tax bracket.

However, I still feel that being in such a high position of power as Sunak is definitely something to advance a push for equality and show people that you do not simply have to be white to be in power However, it is definitely not enough, and part of his privilege—stemming mainly from his wealth— is likely why he was chosen.

Given that Sunak himself has said very little about how he is planning to turn Britain around during his reign, I guess we’ll just have to see where he goes with this, and how Britain shapes accordingly.