By Amit Roy
THE man to watch in Boris Johnson’s new government is 39-year old Rishi Sunak.
Rishi entered the Commons four years ago as a member for Richmond, William Hague’s sprawling constituency in Yorkshire, and joined the cabinet last week as chief secretary to the treasury.
The Daily Mail predicted that because of the politics of envy, “Labour’s attack dogs will target the fact Mr Sunak, who boarded at the £40,000-a year Winchester College and is believed – thanks to his marriage – to be the richest MP, has been handed the sensitive task of balancing the books at the Treasury”.
Picking out the well-heeled ministers in Boris’s cabinet, the Mail focused on Rishi who is said to be “so wealthy he’s dubbed the Maharaja of the Dales”.
“By far the most glamorous invitation in the North Yorkshire social calendar is to the summer garden party in the landscaped grounds of the magnificent Georgian manor house in a small village,” it said.
“Uniformed staff serve champagne and canapés as guests mingle alongside the ornamental lake with its boathouse, private wooded island and paddocks set in 12 acres.
“The host is Rishi Sunak, the MP for Richmond … He bought the house for £1.5 million in 2015.”
In London, he would struggle to get a four-bedroom house for £1.5m.
The report carries a quote from David Hugill, a local Tory councillor who appears to have been impressed by Indian hospitality: “We see plenty of him and his garden parties are great occasions. He brought Boris Johnson to one of our fundraising events just a few weeks ago. It was sold out. Rishi’s wife has really thrown herself into the job, too. They are an asset to the area.
“I think he can go much further than his current cabinet job, maybe all the way to the top.”
For the past four years, Rishi has kept a relatively low profile. But now he is being routinely offered up for media interviews on behalf of the government.
Rishi, who met his wife, Akshata, at Stanford, is usually described as “NR Narayana Murthy’s son-law”.
However, it may not be long before the Infosys founder introduces himself as “Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law”.