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UK PM Rishi Sunak reveals his family excited about Downing Street home

Rishi Sunak on Saturday gave an insight into how his Indian wife Akshata Murty and daughters Krishna and Anoushka are settling into life at 10 Downing Street just over a week after he took charge as the British Prime Minister.

UK PM Rishi Sunak reveals his family excited about Downing Street home snt
First Published Nov 5, 2022, 7:17 PM IST

Just over a week after taking office as the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak gave an insight on Saturday into how his Indian wife, Akshata Murty and children Krishna and Anoushka are adjusting to life at 10 Downing Street.

The previous chancellor, who is of Indian descent, defied convention by returning to the smaller flat above 10 Downing Street, which is typically the residence of the Chancellor of Exchequer.

He said in an interview with "The Times" that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt would occupy the larger apartment above No. 11 Downing Street because he would value the extra room with three children and that his daughters cherished their former residence on the illustrious street when he was the finance minister.

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"We thought it would be nice for him [Hunt] to have that bit of extra space so I thought that was the right thing to do," Sunak told the newspaper. 

"But also, that was our home for two and a half years. It's nice for us to come back to where we used to be, the kids know it, the kids love it. It was the home Nova [Sunak family labrador] first came to when we picked her up as a family," he said.

"Everyone's really excited about it. I met Jeremy's kids last week. My girls are excited because they know that they've got a labrador like us. There's a lot of kids, a lot of dogs," he said. 

The first British Indian to hold the prestigious post described the moment he learned that his predecessor Liz Truss had to go quickly after a terrible mini-budget. When the news broke, he was out with his girls at TGI Friday's in Teesside, northern England, and after speaking with his wife Akshata, he decided to take the plunge.

"I did need to talk to her about it. In one sense I had moved on, I was thinking about what was next for me. I was getting stuck into that," Sunak told the newspaper. 

"I believe very strongly in public service. That's why I wanted to do the job over the summer. I thought I was the best person to lead our country through what we all acknowledge are going to be some challenging times. Given what happened [with Truss's premiership], I felt the same," he said. 

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With a Ganesha statue adorning his desk and being the first Hindu to hold the position of head of state, Sunak is the youngest British prime minister in 200 years at the age of 42.

"As chancellor I was able to light my Diwali diyas on the steps of Downing Street. It said something wonderful about our country that that was possible, but also that it wasn't a big deal. It was in a sense gosh, this is great, but also that's just Britain. That's what you would expect from Britain. Hopefully it's a source of collective pride across the country," he reflected. 

Given the high inflation and the unstable economy, Sunak has one of the most challenging to-do lists of any new prime minister. Nevertheless, he cautioned that the government would be unable to solve every issue while promising to rebuild trust in the ruling party.

"I completely acknowledge that trust has been damaged over the past few weeks and months. I realise that trust is not given, trust is earned. My job is to regain people's trust. That's what I'm going to set about doing," he said.

"You have to make sure that as you're doing things, you're doing it in a way that's fair and being honest with people that, of course, no government can fix every problem," he added.

Also read: UK PM Rishi Sunak wears sacred Hindu 'Kalawa' before his first speech at Downing Street

(With inputs from PTI)

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