London CNN  — 

Just seven short weeks ago, it looked as if it might be all over for Rishi Sunak.

The former chancellor of the exchequer – the UK’s title for its chief finance minister – made a high-stakes gamble. He launched an attack that helped to end Boris Johnson’s premiership, put himself forward as his replacement, but ultimately lost to Liz Truss. Admitting defeat, he retreated to the parliamentary back benches.

But in a sign of just how unpredictable British politics has become, Sunak has returned triumphant from the political wilderness to replace Truss, whose premiership imploded last week.

Sunak was the only leadership hopeful to secure the support of 100 Conservative members of parliament, the necessary threshold set by party officials for potential candidates. He will become the first person of color to be British prime minister – and at the age of 42, he is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years.

He was the last person standing after his rivals – Johnson and the Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt – fell by the wayside.

Speaking after being declared the new Conservative leader, Sunak said he was “honored and humbled” to become the next prime minister.

“It is the greatest privilege of my life to be able to serve the party I love, and to be able to give back to the country i owe so much to,” Sunak said.

“The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge,” he added. “We need stability and unity, and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together.”