Twitter reacts to Rishi Sunak as Britain’s new Prime Minister

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In an overnight switch of leadership, Rishi Sunak has been announced as the new Prime Minister of Britain, less than two months after he unsuccessfully ran for the post and lost out to Liz Truss.

He will now be leader of the Conservative Party and will be the third politician to assume the country’s highest political office in seven weeks. He will be the country’s first PM of colour and the youngest prime minister in modern political history.

Coming from Punjabi heritage, his grandparents on both sides were from India and had migrated to East Africa in the 1960s. His parents were born and brought up in Kenya and Tanzania, and Sunak himself was born in Southampton in 1980.

However, his appointment has gotten a mixed reception both in Britain and internationally. For many, Sunak as the nation’s first British Asian leader, and first leader of Hindu faith, is a marked step towards diversity in politics.

However, this celebration of diversity has come with increased focus on his background as one of the richest men in Parliament, a far cry from claims of being “one of the people”, even as the country battles a cost-of-living crisis.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was heavily criticised last year for axing a £20-a-week increase to Universal Credit that would have assisted some of the poorest families through the pandemic. He has criticised rivals for proposing big tax cuts as offering “fairy tales” and has reiterated his stance for “traditional Conservative economic values.”

Meanwhile, his wife Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Infosys founder N. R. Narayana Murthy, with a net worth of about $US1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) and was recently in the news for not paying up to £20 million UK tax on her overseas income.

This has all led to understandably mixed emotions among the diaspora on the new British PM.

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Still, this hasn’t stopped the Twitterverse from having a field day with memes.

One recurring joke that’s got Indian social media users guffawing has been Sunak’s resemblance to former Indian bowler Ashish Nehra.

What are your thoughts on Rishi Sunak? Let us know in the comments below!

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