Current Affairs

Oxford PPE graduate Rishi Sunak in as Chancellor

Rishi Sunak has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in today’s cabinet reshuffle following the shock resignation of Sajid Javid. Sunak had been parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019, and was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.

Sunak graduated with a First in PPE from Lincoln College Oxford, and was elected MP for Richmond (York) in 2015, taking 51.4% of the vote.

With just four weeks to go until the Budget, Javid resigned his office, after rejecting an order to fire his team of aides and replace them and with a team of Johnson’s choice, saying “no self-respecting minister” could accept such a condition.

Javid’s resignation follows rumours of tensions between Mr Javid and the Prime Minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

Mr Sunak campaigned for Leave in the 2016 EU referendum, with his constituency in York voting 55% Leave. Sunak voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal every time it was put to the house, and was an early supporter of Boris Johnson, having stood in for him during the BBC’s seven-way debate ahead of the December Election. Before entering politics he worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and at the hedge funds The Children’s Investment Fund and Thélème Partners. Sunak was educated at Winchester College, and also studied for an MBA at Stanford University. 

Sunak’s appointment at age 39, after fewer than five years in government, makes him the second youngest Chancellor in more than a century, behind George Osborne.

Fellow Oxford alumnus Chris Skidmore has also left the government as a Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Skidmore, MP for Kingswood, graduated from Christ Church with a First in Modern History in 2002 before becoming MP for Kingswood in 2010.

Other reshuffle moves include:

  • Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom have been sacked
  • Housing Minister Esther McVey and Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers are also out
  • Attorney General Geoffrey Cox asked to resign
  • Priti Patel remains as Home Secretary
  • Dominic Raab remains as Foreign Secretary
  • Michael Gove remains in his role as minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster

Lois Heslop

Lois Heslop is the co-founder of The Oxford Blue and was Editor-in-Chief for HT20 and TT20. She is in her second year studying Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, and hails from South London. Her other interests include classical music and opera, and she is currently a choral scholar.