FORMER Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched his campaign to become the next prime minister.

The Southampton-born politician, who sparked an avalanche of ministerial resignations when he quit his No11 job, said in a tweet: "I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your prime minister."

Mr Sunak's resignation, which came moments after Sajid Javid stepped down as health secretary, eventually led to Boris Johnson announcing he would stand down.

Announcing his aim to become PM, Mr Sunak said: "Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country."

He already has the support of senior Tory Mark Harper, who is said to be an influential figure among backbench Conservatives.


He said his colleague "represents a return to traditional Conservative values and has an exciting vision for the future of our country".

Mr Sunak became chancellor in early 2020 and was praised for bringing in financial support during the Covid pandemic, including the furlough scheme.

But his popularity waned as a result of several controversies, such as his fine for breaking Covid rules and the furore involving his wife's tax status.

He has also been criticised for his fiscal policy, which has seen him bring in tax increases and resist calls to provide extra cash support for struggling families.

But he is still considered to be one of the favourites to become the next prime minister behind the current frontrunner, defence secretary Ben Wallace.

Mr Sunak was born in Southampton General Hospital on May 12 1980.

His mother Usha worked as manager of Weston Pharmacy at the time, while father Yashvir was a GP whose surgery was on Raymond Road, Shirley.

The family lived at Richmond Gardens in Portswood but moved to a six-bedroomed home at Spindlewood Close, Bassett, after the birth of their second son Sanjay and daughter Raakhi.

Mr Sunak went to the Southampton prep school Oakmount until it closed in 1989, then to Stroud School.

The Sunak family celebrated special occasions at Kuti’s Brasserie in the city and would dine there every Christmas Eve.

Dr Sunak had a season ticket to watch Southampton FC and the future chancellor’s childhood hero was Matt Le Tissier.

For his 18th birthday, he received a card signed by the Southampton football squad, which became “one of his most prized possessions”.

Mr Sunak went to Oxford University and later received a masters in business administration at Stanford University in the US.

He became wealthy as hedge fund manager and married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, before becoming MP for Richmond in Yorkshire in 2015.