US president Joe Biden congratulates UK's new PM 'Rashid Sanook'

Rishi Sunak is the UK’s first Hindu prime minister and the first of Asian heritage.

US president Joe Biden congratulates UK’s new PM ‘Rashid Sanook’ Getty Images

US president Joe Biden congratulated the UK’s new Prime Minister at a Diwali event on Monday.

Speaking at the White House to celebrate the Indian festival, Biden said the appointment of Sunak, who is of Indian descent, was “significant”.

A video of his speech was shared to social media and quickly began racking up views, with viewers pointing out his blunder.

Mispronouncing the former chancellor’s name, Biden congratulated “Rashid Sanook” instead, on the “ground breaking milestone”.

Undeterred, the US president continued on with his speech about the festival of lights.

He said: “As my brother would say, go figure! Of the Conservative party, he’s expected to become the prime minister, I think, tomorrow when he goes to see the King.

“Pretty astounding. A ground-breaking milestone. And it matters. It matters.”

Biden made history in 2020, when he chose Indian-origin Kamala Harris to be his running mate.

Harris is now the US vice president and the second most powerful person in the country, as well as the first-ever Asian to be elected to the post.

Sunak was formally appointed as Prime Minister by King Charles III on Tuesday, before naming his Cabinet.

The 42-year-old is the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, the first of Asian heritage and the youngest for more than 200 years.

He enters office amid economic turmoil, a cost-of-living crisis, and the war in Ukraine following the invasion of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

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