Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: How’s It Looking for Prime Minister in Waiting Rishi Sunak?

Alpesh Patel Tuesday 02nd August 2022 11:20 EDT

I’ve taken an overview of the headlines and some of the quotes from the media I want to share with you. It’s for the Conservative Party Membership to choose the next leader and of course the PM. They will evaluate if cutting taxes now (Truss) or later (Sunak) is the right policy, or who is more likely to beat Starmer or who is more the child of Margaret Thatcher.

Basically, they can vote based on any thought, none or prejudice they see fit. No one quizzes them over it. That’s the democratic process. So what do media wags think?


By the way, if it were me, I would want taxes as now so as not to fuel inflation or a spike in interest rates, and then cut taxes before the election if possible. Ie Sunak. Whereas the Truss way is cut taxes and boost growth. You can have two economists and three opinions – so let’s not bother arguing what’s best.


I did overhear two elderly gents in the Carlton Club about 6 months ago. They thought Rishi would be a better PM because he had money and so none of the problems with Ministers in the past needing money such as Johnson – remember Mandelson – etc. And they described Liz “as an ambitious woman”. Now that’s an overheard conversation and should be binned was tittle tattle. But may well reflect the views of Conservative members. In the past 6 months however things have moved on. And may be in 6 months or 2 years or 6 Rishi would be ahead with members.


Rishi Sunak less unpopular with swing voters in UK PM race, survey finds –The Economic Times

Rishi Sunak Pledges major crackdown on sex offenders – The Hindu

The Sartorial Elegance of Rishi Sunak- Rishi will be the richest PM of United Kingdom –

Liz truss is winning over underdog Rishi Sunak – India today

Rishi Sunak has very good chance of becoming UK PM – Former Minister Andrew Mitchell (via The Wire)

UK PM candidates race for toughness against China 'to cover domestic mess' – Global Times

Rishi Sunak - underdog in PM race as ‘forces that be’ want Truss – The Guardian

Liz is Kingmaker, right choice to be a PM – Ben Wallace(The Telegraph)

Liz is Authentic and Straight – The Times

Sunak was wrong to walk out of the cabinet and trigger Johnson’s downfall- The Sun Newspaper

Rishi Show some Courage- Global times

Rishi Sunak vows to get tough on China- Gravitas

Rishi Sunak may not become UK PM- Hindustan times 

Is UK really Ready for Rishi ? – News18

Sunak’s wife Non Dom status is another blow in his leadership prospects-  The New Statesman


To my casual eye it appears from a strategic perspective Liz has the advantage of not having just been Chancellor when economics is the key focus and also not having resigned and triggered a contest, at a time when the membership still find Johnson popular (memberships are an extreme version of the public by definition).

Strategically how does Rishi counter that? Waiting for mistakes from Liz is not the way. Pro-actively it will need more details and more flesh pressing with members and Councillors. It needs more inspiration – more land of hope and glory with more vigour. The Rishi after he won the MP votes saying “we smashed it” and how he wants Britain to be “smashing it globally” in stark contrast to a frozen panicked frightened Liz when the TV presenter faints – they didn’t show you Rishi running to her aid.

The MPs preferred Rishi. But membership tends to be more right-wing. Actually, they just want to ensure the person is error prone. The thing that gets me is the person(s) from the Treasury leaking. They leaked Rishi’s tax affairs, they leaked UK Government-China plans. There is a spy. I don’t care it’s a leak, I care someone in the Civil Service is breaching the Official Secrets Act as when they disclosed China plans. That person should be behind bars and hopefully will be.

All opinions personal.

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