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Private school polish and big dreams: how Rishi Sunak became a contender for PM

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theguardian.com

“Let me tell you a story,” Rishi Sunak says in his soft-voiced campaign launch video, highlighting his status as the grandson of hard-grafting Indian immigrants.If he wins the race for No 10, the 42-year-old would be the first person of colour to be the UK prime minister, and the first practising Hindu, in a historic break with the past.

Yet, in other ways, his story is as establishment as it comes: private school, PPE at Oxford, the City, the Tory party.He was born in Southampton, where he and his family still provide a meal once a year to local worshippers at the Hindu temple co-founded by Sunak’s grandfather, Ramdas Sunak, in 1971 – shortly after he emigrated from India with his wife and their son, Sunak’s father, Yash.During this year’s visit, in July, the then chancellor was being introduced to a group of young children, aged four to nine, when one asked: “Are you the prime minister?”“We all burst out laughing,” said Sanjay Chandarana, the president of the Vedic Society temple. “I don’t remember what [Sunak] said particularly but obviously there was a smile on his face.”It was an apposite question.

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