Undated picture of Rishi Sunak with a glass Picture posted on Facebook 11 Feb 2007
Showing a glimpse of chest hair and warmly embracing his future wife, this is a carefree young Rishi Sunak long before he became embroiled in the world of politics.
Aged 28, Sunak was dating his future wife Akshata Murty, but the couple had just been forced to make a very difficult decision.
While he had headed to Britain, she felt rooted in America and had decided to stay there, enrolling on a postgraduate course at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA.
Despite living 5,400 miles apart, the couple regularly flew back and forth across the Atlantic.
These photographs show how they spent an evening with friends at the Whisky Mist nightclub in London.
Ms Murty is seen with a cocktail while Mr Sunak (who says he’s teetotal and ‘a total Coca-Cola addict’) generously bought all the drinks that night for the couple’s friends.
Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murthy at Whisky Mist members club, London
At the time, the club off Park Lane was popular with the young Prince Harry and celebrities such as Beyoncé and Leonardo DiCaprio. Many years later, Tesla tycoon Elon Musk met his second wife, actress Talulah Riley, there.
Whisky Mist was apparently named after an incident during which a tipsy Queen Victoria thought she’d spotted a stag in the fog from the window of Balmoral Castle.
Friends with Mr Sunak and his girlfriend that night recall how many of the guests were focused on Ms Murty because of her family’s fabulous wealth.
Her father founded global IT giant Infosys.
Mr Sunak was described by a female reveller as ‘the most attentive boyfriend you have ever seen’ and as ‘someone who would ask a lot of questions but not give too much away about himself’.
Not long before, he had been to Africa where he met some of Barack Obama’s relatives. He was photographed with them while holding a copy of the future US president’s book, Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance.
The picture was posted on Mr Sunak’s Facebook page. Mr Obama used his book as a primer to introduce himself to the American people as he campaigned in 2008 to become the first black US president.
Fourteen years on, the young Briton captivated by that book is campaigning to become Britain’s first Prime Minister of Asian heritage – and of America’s greatest ally.
Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy (left) at Whisky Mist members club, London.Picture by Michelle Bromley-Mcghie DECEMBER 2008
Rishi: Compensate the blood scandal victims ‘without delay’
By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent for the Mail on Sunday
Rishi Sunak called for victims of the infected blood scandal to receive £100,000 compensation payments ‘without delay’.
The would-be Prime Minister said it was a ‘tragic injustice’ adding: ‘Survivors and their families need to have certainty now.’
Liz Truss, his Tory leadership rival, said victims and their families ‘have waited long enough to get the compensation they need’ and said that as Prime Minister she would ensure the compensation was paid ‘as soon as possible’.
Their intervention came after three former Health Secretaries said the £100,000 payments recommended by an official inquiry should be made as soon as possible given that the life expectancy of victims had been dramatically shortened.
Former Labour Health Secretary Andy Burnham called on Boris Johnson to authorise the payments before he leaves Downing Street next month.
Rishi Sunak called for victims of the infected blood scandal to receive £100,000 compensation payments ‘without delay’
He told the BBC: ‘Please, Prime Minister, do this today, say you’ll do it today, no one will disagree, every single MP will support it, people have waited far, far too long.’
Former Tory health secretaries Jeremy Hunt and Matt Hancock both said they believed that the Government should make the payments as soon as practicable.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt said waiting until the end of the Tory leadership contest would be too late for many victims. Mr Hancock said there was a ‘moral duty on the State, the Government, to pay compensation’.
At least 5,000 people contracted HIV or hepatitis C in the 1970s and 1980s after being given contaminated blood products and transfusions on the NHS.
Last week, Sir Brian Langstaff, chairman of the inquiry into the scandal, said that interim payments of at least £100,000 should be paid ‘without delay, to all those infected and all bereaved partners’.
The Cabinet Office said yesterday that it would act on compensation recommendations ‘with the utmost urgency’ and a copy of the inquiry’s report would be laid before MPs ‘once Parliament reconvenes’ next month.