Britain’s newly-elected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been called the ‘premier from the slums’ by a Russian newspaper.
The financial publication Kommersant used the slur against the prime minister, 42, as well as dubbing him the ‘first black head of the British government‘ – a term that is often used to refer to someone who is ‘dark-skinned’.
Kommersant used sixteen images to document Rishi’s rise to power, and in the first wrote: ‘Both of Rishi Sunak’s grandfathers are Punjabis from the most disadvantaged regions of British India.’
The financial publication Kommersant used the slur against the prime minister, 42, as well as dubbing him the ‘first black head of the British government’. Kommersant used the headline for a photo gallery illustrating Sunak’s path to the top job, pictured
The publication put out the images on their website and social media after Sunak was elected.
It chronicled his journey into politics from the age of 17, when he wrote his first political manifesto.
And the paper also wrote of the jobs he had before he came a politician in 2015.
The article also published images of Sunak and his wife and discussed the politicians whom he has supported throughout his career.
Kommersant also wrote of Sunak’s riches, as the new leader and his wife take the position of 222nd richest in the world, with a combined fortune of 730 million.
The article also published images of Sunak and his wife and discussed the politicians whom he has supported throughout his career. Pictured: Sunak and his wife in February this year
Kommersant also wrote of Sunak’s riches, as the new leader and his wife take the position of 222nd richest in the world, with a combined fortune of 730 million. Pictured: Akshata Murthy, Sunak’s wife, in August
The use of the slurs to describe Sunak comes after Russia, who is in an ongoing war with Ukraine, said there is ‘no hope’ of an ease in tensions under the new leader.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the appointment of the former chancellor will do little to repair the damaged diplomatic relationship caused by Vladimir Putin‘s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
Peskov said yesterday: ‘At the moment, we do not see any preconditions, grounds, or hope that in the foreseeable future there will be any positive changes.
‘Russia maintains its openness and readiness to discuss the most difficult issues at the negotiating table. But not to the detriment of its own interests.’
Russia has already blasted any hope of improving ties with Britain, saying there is ‘no hope’ of an ease in tensions under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Volodymyr Zelensky, seen with Boris Johnson in Kyiv earlier this year, instead welcomed Mr Sunak as leader. He forged a strong friendship with Mr Johnson during his tenure
Mr Zelensky said it was a chance to strengthen ties even further with a key military ally
Mr Zelensky instead congratulated Mr Sunak and said it was a chance to strengthen ties even further with a key military ally.
The Ukrainian President said: ‘Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on taking office as British Prime Minister!’
‘I wish you too successfully overcome all the challenges facing British society and the whole world today.
‘I’m ready to continue strengthening the Ukrainian-British strategic partnership together!’ the Ukrainian leader added.
Emmanuel Macron also joined in with the chorus of congratulations from world leaders for the new PM.
The French President had a tricky relationship with Mr Johnson and Liz Truss, who refused to say whether he was a ‘friend or foe’.
Liz Truss and French President Emmanuel Macron. The former PM refused to say whether he was a ‘friend or foe’
Mr Macron said yesterday: ‘Congratulations to Rishi Sunak… together we will continue working to tackle the challenges of the moment, including the war in Ukraine and its many consequences for Europe and the world.’
Elsewhere in Europe, German chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Mr Sunak after he became Britain’s third prime minister this year, and vowed to continue working closely with London.
‘I look forward to our further cooperation and partnership in NATO and G7 as close friends,’ Mr Scholz tweeted.
From Italy, newly installed Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that she was ‘eager to cooperate with [Mr Sunak] and his Cabinet on the common challenges, standing for our shared values of freedom and democracy.’
Maros Sefcovic, the European Union’s pointman on post-Brexit ties with Britain, said that ‘a positive EU-UK relationship is of strategic importance’.
He vowed to work towards ‘a partnership in full respect of our agreements’ – including the contentious issue of British province Northern Ireland’s land border with EU-member Ireland.
Across the Irish Sea, leaders welcomed the news but cautioned that Sunak must move quickly to resolve an impasse on the Northern Ireland protocol.
Prime minister Micheal Martin called on Mr Sunak to move quickly to start substantive engagement with the European Union on post-Brexit trade rules governing Northern Ireland.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not wait for Mr Sunak to be officially appointed and sent his congratulations via Twitter on Monday
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Mr Sunak on Twitter and wrote: ‘Special Diwali wishes to ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians as we transform historic ties into modern partnership’
He said in a statement: ‘Building on work already under way, there is a real opportunity for the EU and UK to find jointly agreed solutions on the issues pertaining to the [Northern Ireland] Protocol, and I urge Prime Minister Sunak to move quickly to substantive engagement with the EU on that basis.’
Ireland’s deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar, who is due to take over as prime minister in December, said he was encouraged by the pragmatism and lack of ‘magical thinking’ demonstrated by Mr Sunak.
Mr Varadkar, who was a key player in trade talks between Britain and the European Union during an earlier stint as prime minister, said however that Ireland would be realistic about Mr Sunak’s history as a Brexit supporter.
‘I think he has demonstrated during his period as chancellor that he did have a real understanding of the economy and how it works … and a real concern for businesses and jobs,’ he said of Sunak at a press briefing today.
‘And I think he has probably demonstrated a lot of pragmatism and less of the magical thinking that we perhaps have seen from some British politicians and I think that is encouraging,’ he said.
Dublin, however, needs to be realistic in its expectations of a breakthrough due to Sunak’s history as an early supporter of Brexit, Mr Varadkar said.
Joe Biden also hailed the appointment of Britain’s first non-white prime minister as a ‘groundbreaking milestone,’ but failed to pronounce his name correctly in an embarrassing gaffe.
The US President stumbled over Mr Sunak’s name, making several failed attempts before calling him ‘Rashee Sanook’.
Joe Biden, speaking at a White House event to mark the Indian holiday of Diwali, said Rishi Sunak, who is also of Indian descent, is expected to be named Prime Minister today after seeing King Charles. But he stumbled over his name, calling him ‘Rashee Sanook’
In his speech, Mr 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!”‘ he exclaimed, to a round of laughs from the audience.
‘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.’
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi did not wait for Sunak to be officially appointed, sending congratulations via Twitter on Monday.
‘As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues,’ Mr Modi wrote.
‘Special Diwali wishes to the “living bridge” of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership,’ he added.
Mr Sunak is married to an Indian, Akshata Murty, the daughter of the co-founder of IT giant Infosys.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi did not wait for Sunak, pictured, to be officially appointed, sending congratulations via Twitter on Monday
Mr Sunak is married to an Indian, Akshata Murty, the daughter of the co-founder of IT giant Infosys. Pictured: With King Charles in February
Sanjay Chandarana, president of the Vedic Society Temple – which Mr Sunak’s grandfather co-founded 50 years ago – also said his elevation to Prime Minister meant more fireworks would be needed for Diwali celebrations on the 24th October and that Mr Sunak would be an ‘inspiration for youngsters’.
Parliamentarian Raghav Chadha tweeted on Monday: ‘Today, as India celebrates Diwali in its 75th year as an independent nation, the UK gets an Indian-origin Prime Minister. History comes full circle.’
The president of Rishi Sunak’s home temple in Southampton said the UK is undergoing was own ‘Barack Obama’ moment with him becoming PM
With his victory coming on Diwali, Mr Sunak will be the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, the first of Asian heritage, and the youngest for more than 200 years at the age of 42.
‘It is a moment of pride for India that the country which ruled us for many years has now a prime minister of Indian heritage,’ said Manoj Garg, a New Delhi businessman.
Mr Sunak will be the first person of colour to become prime minister, an accomplishment reflecting that of Kamala Harris, a woman of Indian heritage who became US vice president last year.
Former Bihar state government chief secretary Dr M.A. Ibrahimi tweeted: ‘Rishi Sunak is now set to be elected leader of Conservative Party to become UK PM. All Indians are proud of his achievement.’
Tory former Cabinet minister Sajid Javid said Rishi Sunak becoming the first prime minister of Asian heritage is ‘something we can all celebrate’.
President of the Vedic Society Temple Sanjay Chandarana (pictured) said that Mr Sunak would be an ‘inspiration for youngsters’
Mr Sunak will be the first person of colour to become prime minister, an accomplishment reflecting that of Kamala Harris, a woman of Indian heritage who became US vice president last year (Pictured: Vedic Society Temple in Southampton)
‘I’ve always believed the UK is the most successful multiracial democracy on earth – and I think this takes it to a new level,’ he told ITV’s Peston.
‘This is beyond politics and it’s something we can all celebrate.’
Mr Chandarana, 41, who works at an investment bank in London, said: ‘We are going to need more fireworks now,
‘Rishi becoming prime minister is Great Britain’s Barack Obama moment,’ he said.
‘This will be a proud moment for everyone who is Hindu. We are no longer just a community that is not part of the mainstream, we are part of the mainstream.’
Citizen TV in Kenya also drew comparisons with Obama’s rise to the White House.
Indian TV channels celebrated Sunak’s victory, with New Delhi Television announcing ‘Indian son rises over the empire’.
Former Bihar state government chief secretary Dr M.A. Ibrahimi tweeted: ‘Rishi Sunak is now set to be elected leader of Conservative Party to become UK PM. All Indians are proud of his achievement’
India Today news channel took a jibe at the UK’s economic and political turbulence, using the Hindi term for someone of Indian background: ‘Battered Britain gets ‘desi’ big boss.’
Some said Mr Sunak’s selection was particularly special for the country with its recent celebration of 75 years of independence from British colonial rule.
Others celebrated Mr Sunak as a ‘proud Hindu’, saying he did not shy away from embracing his faith and Indian culture.
They shared videos on Twitter showing Mr Sunak taking his oath of allegiance in 2020 on the Hindu holy book Bhagvad Gita.
Other videos shared on Twitter showed Mr Sunak praying to a cow, considered holy by Hindus, when he was running for Britain’s top job for the first time in August.