However, his supporters say it is his background as prime minister and years of making money that makes him qualified to lead a devastated country during these economic turbulent times.
Boris Johnson drops proposal to return to power in UK, putting Rishi Sunak in the lead
Former banker Sunak and his wife, Indian tech heiress Akshata Murthy, have an estimated fortune of around £730m ($830m), according to the Sunday Times Rich List. By comparison, Queen Elizabeth II was estimated to be worth around £370 million ($420 million) on this year’s list, published before her death.
The couple’s money comes largely from Murty’s stake in her father’s company, Infosys. She also owns startup incubator Catamaran Ventures UK and holds stakes in half a dozen or so other companies. The couple own at least three homes in the U.K. and a property in Santa Monica, California, worth about $6 million.
According to the Guardian, the Sunak family – who have two daughters, Krishna and Anushka – spent the week in their five-bedroom house in west London and the weekend in Georgia, North Yorkshire spent in the manor. It has been “turned into a health resort with an indoor pool, gym, yoga studio, hot tub and tennis court,” the paper said.
Does this have any effect on voters?
“It’s not binary,” said Robert Ford, a professor of political science at the University of Manchester. “The whole Briton doesn’t think being rich is a bad or disqualifying thing. There are a lot of very wealthy people who are popular with the public.
“People do care about the wealthy making the rules for themselves. When you’re prime minister, your wife is a non-resident, it’s a green card in the U.S. just in case, it’s the family tax number being held down. People say, ‘Okay, I don’t mind if you pay taxes, but if you don’t, I’m really annoyed,'” he said.
Earlier this year, Sunak’s wife was at the centre of a tax scandal after it was revealed that she was filing in the UK as a “non-domiciled” resident, allowing her to avoid paying UK tax on substantial income earned overseas. . The family has been living in 10 Downing Street, an apartment designated for the British Treasurer (a smaller area than 11 Downing Street, which the Prime Minister usually prefers to live in). While the scandal was still brewing, the vans arrived.
Around the same time, Sunak held a U.S. green card while serving as chancellor or secretary of the treasury. His spokesman said he returned it last year.
A survey released Monday asked people to describe Sunak in one word. One that stands out in particular in the cloud: rich.
Sunak’s critics have tried to exaggerate his privileged growth. They point out that he attended the 600-year-old Winchester College, and today boarders like him pay more than $52,000 a year.
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In the last leadership election this summer, they circulated a video clip from a 2007 BBC documentary in which he suggested he had no “working class friends”.
He also came under fire this summer for a speech to grassroots Conservative Party members, in which he said, as prime minister, he was trying to reverse the funding model of “pushing all money into poor urban areas” to help wealthier towns.
However, in a difficult time of high energy prices and runaway inflation, Sunak’s supporters counter that his background – not his wealth, but his own experience in finance and treasury – made him the current The right person for the job.
Before becoming a legislator — just seven years ago, in Britain’s rapid rise in political standing — Sunak worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker and hedge fund manager. He most recently held the post of prime minister in the government and has become popular for throwing money during the pandemic.
He has consistently polled better than any of his contenders in this leadership race. In her last match against Liz Truss, Sunak said Truss’s plan was based on “fantasy” economics – a statement that proved prescient when her “small budget” led to widespread market volatility.
British Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt, who wants to keep his job, has come out in support of Sunak. He wrote in The Daily Telegraph that the British people were looking for someone who could deal with the crisis.
“Our public finances, market credibility and international reputation have been severely hit. To restore stability and confidence, we need a trusted leader to make difficult choices,” he wrote. “We also need someone who can explain these options to a public worried about jobs, mortgages and public services. We have a leader who can do that at Rishi Sunak.”
However, the question of his wealth could still be a loophole. With Sunak winning, opposition Labour may try to score on Sunak because they are “out of touch”, as they did earlier this year, said Steven Fielding, a professor of political science at the University of Nottingham. He described all the “different breads in my house” when discussing rising food prices.
The cost of living crisis is expected to get worse for millions of Britons who are already feeling the pinch given economic headwinds.
Fielding also said that Truss’ disastrous economic policies saw the market quickly reject her unfunded tax cuts, meaning the next leader’s policies would be “essentially a captive of Leeds Truss and Leeds sterling” Russ’ Consequences”.