U.K. prime minister Rishi Sunak addresses Piers Morgan probe on whether he’s ‘stinking rich’—but refuses to be drawn on billionaire status
By Chris Morris,
The Tory party led bye UK prime minister Rishi Sunak is struggling in the polls amid a brutal cost of a living crisis. The last thing he needs is to remind voters just how out of touch he is with their concerns.
The enormous wealth of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first prime minister of Asian descent, risks once again becoming a liability for the under-fire politician.
In an interview marking the occasion of his first 100 days in office, Piers Morgan, the former editor-in-chief of the left-leaning Daily Mirror, caught him off-guard with a series of questions regarding virtues and vices.
Sunak was happy to confirm he was teetotal and never smoked or did drugs before Morgan asked him then if he was “stinking rich”.
His smile froze, before Sunak mustered “most people would consider I am financially fortunate, yes.”
Sunak’s problematic privilege
Sunak’s privileged status has proved problematic in the past.
Opponents seized on his ill-advised attempt to be relatable by being filmed putting gas in the tank of a small Kia Rio hatchback that turned out not to be his.
So when pressed whether he had enough to be considered a billionaire, Sunak refused to answer.
“What matters about that is not how much is in my bank account,” he said. “What matters are my values and what actions I take for the country.”
The last thing Sunak needs during Britain’s cost of living crisis is to remind everyone that he is not only loaded, but so is his wife. The daughter of one of the founders of Indian software giant Infosys only recently began paying taxes on her overseas wealth once it became a political scandal.
Boris Johnson waiting in the wings
Sunak is in an unenviable position right now.
Polls suggest his party could be wiped out in the next election, scheduled to be held next year at the latest, and potentially lose power for a generation.
Lurking in the background as always is Boris Johnson, unsatisfied with his new life as a lowly backbencher.
The disgraced former prime minister has been galavanting around—one week in Davos, the next in Kyiv—in a potential bid to look statesmanlike again and rally support.
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