Has Rishi Sunak dashed his hopes of becoming prime minister?
Rishi Sunak is facing a damaging backlash after unveiling a mini-budget that critics say does not protect Britain’s most vulnerable families from the looming cost-of-living crisis.
sunak was one of the most popular politicians in the country since he became chancellor, but has been forced onto the offensive while defending his Spring Statement 2022 in a round of “prickly” media interviews, said The guard.
Just weeks after Sunak was tipped as a top contender Replace Boris Johnson As prime minister, political pundits are wondering if his political star is now on the wane.
“Swirl of Criticism”
With Britain’s finances in a “difficult state”, few in government expected the spring declaration “would mean a good news day”, Katy Balls said in the i news site. But both Downing Street and the Treasury were “taken by surprise by the maelstrom of criticism that followed”.
Although some Conservative MPs hailed Sunak’s plans as a “creative and conservative” package of measures, “such praise was lacking in the media,” Balls said. Left-wing newspapers “chided” him for doing too little to help the vulnerable, while the right “denounced the promise of an income tax cut by 2024 as too little and too late”.
The voters are also unimpressed. Sunak finished 2021 as the The country’s most popular politician.
But one YouGov A poll of more than 1,750 Brits following last week’s mini-budget found that 51% had a negative opinion of the Chancellor, versus 36% who viewed him in a positive light – giving Sunak a net favorability rating of – 15, his lowest rating to date.
There are some “big lessons” Sunak needs to learn, Andrew Marr said in The new statesman. “If you’re going to pull a rabbit out of a hat, first make sure it’s a real, live, twitching rabbit and not the tenuous promise of a possible rabbit two years from now.”
And while the first part of his spring speech to the House of Commons last Wednesday may have been “excellent,” with “a geopolitical flourish that made him look and sound like a prime minister rising to the magnitude of world affairs,” it “moved quickly.” downhill”.
According to Marr, Sunak has missed a “great opportunity” to give the British people “a clear history of the economic and military threats facing our democracy and to prepare us for some of the hardships that will be required during the great reconstruction needed”. . Instead, his “partisan games about tax cuts just seem small in comparison”.
The wheels also seem to have strayed from Sunak’s normally smooth PR machine. The day after his “belly flop,” Sunak admitted he had borrowed a Kia Rio from a Sainsbury employee to stage a photo of him filling the car with gas.
In another embarrassment, footage also surfaced of the “absent” Chancellor struggling to pay for a can of Coca-Cola in a store “because he kept trying to tap his contactless card onto the barcode reader,” he said The mirror.
Sunak presented himself as “a sure pair of hands whose eye for detail and measured manner offered a reassuring contrast to Boris Johnson,” the newspaper continued. But the Coke debacle suggests that “underneath the soft-spoken and comfortable off-duty attire” lies a “Thatcherite Tory” whose privileged upbringing, private education and vast family wealth seem to have led him to understand the real world.
Panic in Downing Street
Sunak’s spring statement “failed to ease the panic” in Downing Street over the impact of inflation, he said, “particularly with local elections approaching in May”. The Sunday Times.
According to the newspaper, private strategic surveys have shown that the cost of living crisis is now the “top concern” of the public. And that has reportedly led the chancellor to “consider” whether to introduce new measures, including another tax refund for the municipality as part of a multi-billion dollar package.
As concerns mount, key figures in Downing Street have already considered the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle in the summer, the Sunday Times reported. chief political commentator Tim Shipmanwho suggested Johnson might be preparing to “transfer his chancellor.”
The Prime Minister has “threatened to do so earlier,” Shipman continued, although “those speaking for” Johnson have said Sunak is “not going anywhere” for now.
But if Sunak remains in the Treasury, he will find himself “almost friendless” in the cabinet. And while the council’s tax return plan is popular, it has to contend with a public and other ministers who, in the wake of the Covid pandemic bailouts, believe “most economic problems can be sorted out by government”.
The “big question” hanging over Sunak’s political future is “how his standing among Conservative MPs will change,” Alibhe Rea wrote in The new statesman. Many would have “far more sympathy for his statement than his cabinet rivals, the media or the general public”.
In the “unofficial competition” to succeed Johnson, Rea said, “Tory MPs are the crucial electorate and they are undecided”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/politics/956231/rishi-sunak-prime-minister Has Rishi Sunak dashed his hopes of becoming prime minister?