Rishi Sunak

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Sunak in 2020
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God Save the King?
I have friends who are aristocrats, I have friends who are upper class, I have friends who are working-class...well, not working class.
—Rishi Sunak, clearly a friend of the working man.[1]

Rishi "Dishy Rishi"[2] Sunak (1980–) is a rat-faced cunt the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (replacing Liz Truss)[3] and the leader of the Conservative Party. He took office as Chancellor just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and, as such, has been responsible for steering the country's economy through the mass shutdowns and economic slump that it entered as a direct result.

The good news for the population of the UK is that Sunak put in place some economic support programmes that can be considered rather atypical of the party that he's a member of, or his Thatcherite tendency, and which almost certainly helped ameliorate some of the pandemic's worst impacts. The bad news is that he apparently had to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, since he's a believer in the pseudoscientific Great Barrington Declaration "herd immunity" approach,[4] and therefore a key force within the government in favour of delaying or blocking any kind of behavioural restriction. As such, he helped make the pandemic itself much much worse, and his policies and obstructionist behaviour helped both cause and worsen the second wave of the pandemic.

On the 5 July 2022, Sunak resigned from the government following months of scandals within the government.[5] Following Boris Johnson's own resignation, Sunak ran in the leadership contest to replace him with his slick "Ready for Rishi" campaign. The Tory Party, however, was not ready for Rishi — and he would finish in second place to Liz Truss. However, in the days following Truss' resignation, he has garnered considerably more than the one hundred nominations from Tory MPs required to stand as a candidate in the election to replace her.[6]

He is also a massive transphobe, claiming that it is common sense to misgender transgender people.[7] During Sunak's premiership, foreign secretary James Cleverly and business secretary Kemi Badenoch (both of whom also served under the Johnson and Truss premierships), met with Ron DeSantis in April 2023. DeSantis and Badenoch complimented each other's "war on woke". On Badenoch's comments to him, DeSantis said: "She complimented what we are doing in Florida. She committed that it is what they are trying to do in Britain."[8] As Prime Minister he ridiculed supporters of trans rights in front of Esther Ghey, whose daughter Brianna was murdered for being transgender.[9]

Friend of the coronavirus[edit]

Just let people die.
—Sunak during the pandemic[10]

A mooted September 2020 "circuit breaker" lockdown was avoided largely because of Sunak bringing in Great Barrington co-author Sunetra Gupta, as well as lockdown sceptic Carl Heneghan and Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, to tell Boris Johnson how actually such an approach was a really good idea.[4] Sunak apparently felt so strongly about this that he threatened to quit if the "circuit breaker" went ahead.[11] This delay is estimated to have led to another 1.2 million COVID cases than would not have happened otherwise,[4] which on the basis of a rough 1% infection fatality rate means somewhere in the region of an additional 12,000 deaths.

One of Sunak's more bizarre wheezes was the "Eat Out To Help Out" scheme, in which the Government spent £500 million encouraging the public to physically go into restaurants by giving hefty discounts to diners of 50% of the meal cost, at the expense of the Treasury. This policy, apparently devised to create a short-term economic boost while (more crucially for Sunak) saving some money over continuing furlough payments, has been theorised to have caused between an 8% and 17% rise in COVID infections, kicking off the second wave of the pandemic in the UK, while having no real long-term beneficial economic effects.[12]

Sunak has also been very eager to end the various support schemes ahead of time, even while government restrictions remain. The last (June 2021) set of behavioural restrictions were extended by four weeks, from the 21st June to the 19th July… however Sunak blocked the extension of the furloughed worker support scheme anyway, just because.[13] The net result is likely to be either individuals losing their jobs, or being compelled to come back into work and help spread the virus some more even as a third wave appears to be starting in earnest.


The good[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Stopped clock

In Sunak's time in office so far, he has had one or two somewhat positive achievements, mostly in foreign policy. He has maintained Britain's support for Ukraine against Russian invasion,[14] including pledging several billion pounds in military aid at a time when international support for Ukraine was flagging.[15] He has also provided humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians amidst the Israeli invasion of Gaza[16][17] and backed humanitarian pauses to allow more aid into Gaza.[18] However, see below for more questionable aspects of his stance on the conflict. He's also promised legislation to exonerate the hundreds of people wrongly convicted in the Horizon scandal,Wikipedia[19] which at time of writing looks to be introduced to Parliament in a few months.[20]

The bad[edit]

Inhumanity to refugees[edit]

Sunak is a major supporter of the Rwanda asylum planWikipedia first proposed under Johnson, making "stopping the small boats" one of his main goals. The plan essentially states that the British government will send any refugees who arrive by unofficial means to be processed and resettled in Rwanda - a country which the British Supreme Court has ruled to be unsafe.[21] Sunak's response to the ruling shows how much the Tory party values the rule of law: rather than respect the court's ruling and risk losing face, he introduced legislation allowing the government to ignore the law in order to get the Rwanda plan going.[note 1] The Safety of Rwanda Bill, which has passed the commons but has yet to go through the House of Lords, says among other things that British courts are not allowed to disagree with the government about whether or not Rwanda is a safe country, that the government does not have to obey certain international law regarding refugees, that even if the European Court of Human Rights rules that a deportation cannot go ahead the government can still do it, and that the government does not have to obey any part of the Human Rights Act 1998 which might pose an obstacle to the Rwanda plan.[22] Essentially the bill is to allow Sunak to get around the fact that the law says he can't send refugees to Rwanda because they'll be in danger if he sends them there. The only saving grace is that Sunak refused calls from the Tory right to declare the U.K. completely exempt from international law.[23]

While the Rwanda plan struggles through Parliament, Sunak has decided to try and save money on accommodating refugees by locking them all on a barge known as the Bibby Stockholm, hoping that it will be cheaper than accommodating them in hotels. Not only is this not cheaper by any significant margin,[24] but multiple investigations have found that the Bibby Stockholm is unsafe,[25][26][27] with some even going so far as to call it a death trap.[28] At least one asylum seeker housed on the Bibby Stockholm ended up killing himself.[29] Criticism of the policy was further compounded when the government accidentally published an internal report which revealed that a Home Office review had found use of the Bibby Stockholm to house asylum seekers to be discriminatory and potentially illegal under the Equality Act 2010.[30]

Meanwhile, in an act of staggering callousness, Sunak publicly made a £1, 000 bet with professional idiot Piers Morgan about the fate of the desperate people who he's trying to deport. Morgan had questioned Sunak about the fact that, despite having had two years to implement the Rwanda policy, not a single deportation flight has actually taken place in all that time. When Morgan, in a transparent publicity stunt, then bet Sunak £1, 000 that he couldn't get flights off the ground before the next election, Sunak agreed and shook hands with Morgan.[31] This was after a freedom of information request revealed that multiple asylum seekers had been self-harming to try and avoid being deported to Rwanda if flights got off the ground.[32] In response to people calling him out on his callous and out-of-touch response, Sunak claimed that he was "taken by surprise" and didn't know how to respond.[33] So either he really is as callous as he seems, or he's so incapable of thinking on his feet that he doesn't know what to do when someone asks him a question he's not prepared for other than say "yes". He also claimed he was "not a betting man", forgetting that he used to work for a hedge fund.

Complicity in war crimes[edit]

Sunak's response to the invasion of Gaza by Israel, which has been marked by massive civilians casualties and even described as a genocide by a number of international observers,[34] has been mixed to say the least. On the one hand, as previously noted, Sunak has provided several billion pounds in humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians caught up in the conflict and backed humanitarian pauses to allow more aid in. On the other hand, the U.K.'s official support for Israel has led him to make some pretty questionable decisions and statements regarding the conflict.

Sunak's government is currently trying to pass the Economic Activity of Public Bodies Bill, which would prevent public bodies from sanctioning overseas territories without permission from the government.[35] The bill has generally been seen as intended to protect Israel by imposing a de facto ban on public bodies imposing sanctions against them, as the government would be unlikely to give them permission to do this. Particularly outrageous is the fact that the bill would make it illegal for members of public bodies to say they would support a boycott if it were legal, essentially outlawing them from saying they disagree with the law, and the fact that it appears to recognise the illegally occupied territories in Palestine and the Golan Heights as part of Israel.[36] As MPs opposed to the bill have pointed out, if it had been passed in the 1980s it would have forced members of public bodies to support Apartheid, which the Thatcher government had refused to sanction.[37]

Sunak has also repeatedly reaffirmed the U.K.'s unwavering support for Israel and opposes any immediate form of ceasefire, arguing that calling a ceasefire immediately isn't in anyone's interest.[38] The civilians stuck in the middle of a war zone would disagree with you there, Rishi...

General assholishness[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Asshole

Sunak's response to the contaminated blood scandal,Wikipedia which saw thousands of haemophilia sufferers infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, was to try and block efforts to compensate the surviving victims and their families, which was fortunately prevented by a Tory rebellion.[39]

When the government ordered hundreds of schools and hospitals to be closed down for repair in August 2023 after their concrete supports were found to be on the verge of collapse, it was revealed that Sunak, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had been aware of the problem (which had been going on for some years) but had massively reduced the funding available for repairs in order to cut costs. This was after civil servants had warned him that hundreds of schools were in desperate need of repairs and that the funds they were being given were already insufficient to cover the full cost.[40] Sunak had apparently opted to kick the can down the road for a later government to deal with, presumably not anticipating that it would be his government.

Sunak also greatly mishandled the evacuation of British nationals living in Sudan after the outbreak of a new civil war in 2023. Initially focusing on evacuating embassy staff while making no provisions to help out the thousands of British nationals still trapped in Khartoum[41] - something other countries had managed much quicker - he eventually decided to send the RAF to airlift people out of the country. However, seemingly feeling that evacuating everyone would be too much effort, he decided not to allow thousands of British nationals who held U.K. visas giving them the same rights as everyone else but were not technically citizens to evacuate with everyone else, essentially abandoning them to the depredations of the RSF.[42] Many of these people were NHS doctors who had lived in the U.K. for years and were simply visiting Sudan, but Rishi decided they weren't worth saving because, in his eyes, they weren't really British.



  1. Rishi Sunak suggests he doesn’t have ‘working class’ friends in resurfaced documentary by Kate Gill (July 9, 2022) The Independent.
  2. The rise and rise of Dishy Rishi by Atanu Biswas (January 7, 2021 10:42 am) The Statesman.
  3. Rishi Sunak to be UK next prime minister after winning Tory leadership race as Penny Mordaunt drops out of race, The Guardian, 24 October 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Backers of 'herd immunity' shouldn't have been allowed near Boris Johnson, 14th December 2020, The Guardian
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-62058236
  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-63361384
  7. https://www.thepinknews.com/2023/10/06/rishi-sunak-transphobic-comments-conservative-conference/
  8. Heather Stewart (April 30, 2023). "Florida's rightwing governor Ron DeSantis backs Kemi Badenoch's 'war on woke'". The Guardian.
  9. Starmer condemns Sunak over trans rights jibe during PMQs visit by Brianna Ghey’s mother, The Guardian
  10. UK PM Sunak reportedly said 'just let people die', COVID inquiry hears by Andrew Macaskill (November 20, 20236:28 PM PST) Reuters.
  11. Boris Johnson scrapped second UK lockdown ‘over fears Rishi Sunak would quit’, The Metro
  12. ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme drove new COVID-19 infections up by between 8 and 17%, new research finds., University of Warwick
  13. Rishi Sunak set to block furlough extension despite delay to lockdown easing, 14th June 2021, The Independent
  14. Ukraine war: Rishi Sunak visits President Zelensky in Kyiv as he pledges £50m in aid, BBC News
  15. Russia attacks 'arrogant British' after Sunak visits Ukraine to announce new aid, Sky News
  16. UK pledges £4.25m in sexual and reproductive aid for women in Gaza, The Independent
  17. Israel-Gaza: UK aid supplies air-dropped into Gaza for first time, BBC News
  18. Rishi Sunak backs calls for humanitarian pauses in Israel-Hamas war, BBC News
  19. Post Office scandal - live: Rishi Sunak announces new law to quash convictions of Horizon victims, The Independent
  20. Ministers to press ahead with legislation to exonerate Post Office Horizon victims, The Guardian
  21. Top court upholds ruling that UK's Rwanda migrant plan is unlawful, Reuters
  22. See the Wikipedia article on Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.
  23. "PM will fail on Rwanda Bill - Suella Braverman"
  24. Housing asylum seekers on barge may only save £10 a person daily, report says, The Guardian
  25. Bibby Stockholm 'could become floating Grenfell', The Times
  26. First 50 people coming to Bibby Stockholm asylum barge despite safety worries, The Guardian
  27. A boat to stop the boats? Bibby Stockholm and the battle over asylum, Financial Times
  28. Asylum-seekers board UK’s controversial 'deathtrap' housing barge, CNN
  29. Calls grow for Bibby Stockholm barge to close after apparent suicide of resident, The Guardian
  30. Bibby Stockholm discrimination report 'published in error', BBC News
  31. Sunak ‘out of touch’ for betting £1,000 on Rwanda plan’s success, says Labour, The Guardian
  32. James O'Brien hits out at Rishi Sunak for 'betting on the lives of desperate people' | LBC
  33. Rishi Sunak says he was taken by surprise on £1,000 Rwanda bet, BBC News
  34. See the Wikipedia article on War crimes in the Israel–Hamas war § By the Israeli government.
  35. See the Wikipedia article on Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill.
  36. Ban on public bodies boycotting Israel passes in Commons despite Tory rebellion, Sky News
  37. MPs explain why people have the right to boycott Israel
  38. Calling for Gaza ceasefire now 'not in anyone’s interest’ - Sunak, BBC News
  39. Ministers lose infected blood vote after Tory MPs revolt, BBC News
  40. School concrete: Don't blame me to failing to fix RAAC - Rishi Sunak, BBC News
  41. Sudan crisis: UK citizens 'abandoned' as evacuations fail to materialise, BBC News
  42. British residents in Sudan, including NHS doctors, 'will not be evacuated by UK', ITV News