For a Conservative to preside over such a state intervention is a deep paradox. Yet people who have worked with Mr. Sunak say he is well-suited to the task. Pragmatic and politically astute but non-ideological, he is able, they say, to design policies to keep the economy afloat and maneuver them through the government.
“As much as it will pain many of his rivals to admit it, he does appear to be the complete package,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University in London. “It is almost as if he were born to play this role at this particular time.”
Still, Mr. Sunak’s success also reflects the fact that he accepted, as a condition of getting his job, far less independence than chancellors have historically enjoyed. His predecessor, Sajid Javid, was forced out in February after he defied Mr. Johnson’s demand to get rid of his own advisers and install people loyal to the prime minister.
Such adaptability, former colleagues said, is another hallmark of Mr. Sunak’s success. The eldest son of a doctor and a mother who ran a pharmacy, Mr. Sunak has combined his Indian heritage with a classic Tory pedigree. Educated at the elite Winchester School and Oxford, where he graduated with first-class honors, he earned an M.B.A. at Stanford. He met his future wife, Akshata, in California.
On Job Just 6 Weeks, U.K.’s Finance Chief Shines in Crisis – The New York Times