When Sajid Javid was thrown out of No 11 in February 2020, few outside Westminster had even heard of his successor. Rishi Sunak had been an MP for less than five years, a minister for two, and had just a few months of experience in the cabinet in the relatively junior role of chief secretary to the Treasury. Nor was Sunak helped by the manner of Javid’s departure – he resigned after Boris Johnson told him to sack all his advisers, a move Javid later said “no self-respecting minister would accept”. Sunak, in acquiescing to the decision, was portrayed as a young loyalist unlikely to ruffle any feathers. Yet in the months since Sunak became chancellor, he has swiftly become the most popular politician in the UK, and Boris Johnson’s heir apparent. The 40-year old is considered by many in his party to be the only reason the Tories continue to dominate Labour on the question of handling the economy. While Johnson’s team dithered over how to react when Covid-19 cases began to spiral, the team in No 11 was quick to assemble a programme of subsidies and loans for households and employers that was essential to rescuing the economy… Read full this story
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