Joe Biden: US president hails Rishi Sunak’s rise to Prime Miister as a ‘groundbreaking milestone’

Rishi Sunak was announced as the UK’s next Prime Minister after Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out of the race.

Addressing the crowd, Biden said: “And whether it’s the United Kingdom, where just today, we’ve got news that Rishi Sunak is now the prime minister. As my brother would say, ‘go figure’

“And the Conservative Party, expected to become the Prime Minister, I think, tomorrow when he goes to see the King.

“Pretty astounding. A groundbreaking milestone. And it matters, it matters.”

Biden congratulated Sunak, who is a practising Hindu, on one of the religion’s more joyous festivals, Diwali; a five-day “Festival of Lights” celebrating the triumph of good over evil.

A brief overview of Rishi Sunak

Mr Sunak won the Tory leadership contest without a vote being cast after rivals Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson dropped out, and will replace Liz Truss in No 10 on Tuesday.

The former chancellor gained backing from half of all Tory MPs, with some switching their allegiance to him after former prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed he was not running.

Sunak’s grandparents were from Punjab state before the Indian subcontinent was divided into two countries, India and Pakistan, in 1947 after British colonial rule ended. His family settled in the UK in the 1960s and he was born in Southampton in 1980.

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