Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets 2nd shot at PM job
Former UK Treasury chief Rishi Sunak has thrown his hat in the ring for a second time to lead the Treasury.
Sunak, who is running as leader of opposition Labour, today appeared to open a door he had shut down 12 months ago when he failed to win the post of UK Treasury chief.
His leadership campaign began when he announced he would not run for the Liberal Democrats leadership in September 2017.
“I believe the most important job we can do is to rebuild the country and it’s time for someone new to lead to create a lasting legacy and get the economy growing again,” he said at the time.
His new pitch came two months later when he announced he would be standing as a candidate in the upcoming Labour leadership contest.
His decision to run again has not gone down well with some of his former rivals, including the current leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In his speech yesterday, Sunak said he would make an economic and constitutional case for Labour to form a government, but that he was not yet in a position to pledge support for a new coalition with either the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives.
He has previously spoken of his own ambition to be Treasury chief, saying he would bring a “fresh perspective to the government” and that this would be of great benefit to the economy.
He also has promised to be a “remarkable” chancellor and to “invest all of the UK’s energy in our future”.
In his speech yesterday, he said: “I am not seeking the party leadership. I am seeking an election as the leader of the opposition. I am also seeking to be chancellor.”
This is the second time Sunak is making a pitch for Treasury chief, after his party lost a leadership election in June 2017.
Since then, the former accountant from Essex has been the Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, and the son of a former Labour cabinet minister. His father, former MP and cabinet minister Richard, is now a Tory MP.
Sunak was chief financial secretary to the Treasury between 2012 and 2017.
He was the last in a line of Labour party leaders who were not involved in government from either their party’s founding or early days in office.