The U.K.’s new prime minister Rishi Sunak is the richest man to ever hold the office—and, with his wife Akshata Murty, has greater wealth than King Charles.
- The Conservative Party has chosen Prime Minister Liz Truss’s replacement following her abrupt resignation on Thursday.
- Rishi Sunak will become the newest U.K. Prime Minister today, after contestants Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out of the race this past weekend.
- Now that he is in office, he stands as a record-setting figure with many major “firsts” for a U.K. Prime Minister—among them, that he is the richest man ever to hold the office.
- “Rishi Sunak … is Britain’s first prime minister of color, the first person to lead the U.K. who professes a faith other than Christianity, and the youngest prime minister to take power in modern history. He is also the richest person to ever occupy the Prime Minister’s residence at No. 10 Downing Street,” says Fortune.
- Sunak has a net worth of $826 million, Fortune reports.
Why it’s news
His net worth, combined with his wife Akshata Murty’s, is so high that he is technically wealthier than Charles, the new King of England—although inheritance may change that in the near future.
“Sunak’s net worth makes him richer than the recently appointed King Charles III, who before his inheritance had a net worth of around $440 million, according to an estimate provided by research institute Wealth-X, which is mostly tied up in real estate holdings and other assets such as jewelry and art,” says Fortune.
As we previously reported, King Charles III is one of the richest men in the U.K. with hundreds of millions in personal assets—largely inherited from his late mother Queen Elizabeth II. Charles does not own the assets of the monarchy but his position as the head of the family business still sets him up to be one of the richest men in the country.
Sunah’s wealth has earned him some scrutiny from the British public who fear that an ultra-wealthy politician is out of touch with the times as the U.K. faces a high cost of living, crippling inflation, and energy cost increases.
“The irony of one of the U.K.’s richest people taking a top position of power has not been lost on Britons facing a cost-of-living crisis. Sunak is coming into power as the country suffers from the worst economic conditions seen in decades, with skyrocketing inflation, rising mortgage payments, and falling pensions—all made worse by an economic crisis spurred by decisions made by Sunak’s predecessor in his own party,” says Fortune.
Backing up a bit
Murty has made much of her wealth through a 0.9% stake in her father’s company, Infosys. She has faced criticism for avoiding £20 million ($22.94 million) in U.K. income taxes through loopholes.
“Sunak’s wealth put him in an unwelcome spotlight this year after revelations emerged that his wife had saved millions in taxes by claiming ‘non-domiciled’ status on dividends from her shares in Infosys… After the media controversy, Murty stated that she would pay U.K. taxes on global income, saying in a statement she didn’t want the issue to be a distraction for my husband,” says Fortune.