He strutted into the middle of the studio in dark slacks and a creaseless white shirt. Nippy, zestful, ready for anything. Rishi Sunak submitted to a public inquisition on GB News last night and he looked like the guy who warms up the crowd for a motivational speech by Tom Cruise. But Rishi was the headline act. And he was desperate to prepare us for another administration run by Rishi. His opening remarks covered his ‘five priorities – your priorities’ and gave him a chance to quack out his current favourite soundbite, ‘stick with this plan or go back to Square One with Keir Starmer.’
Then it was over to the public. The host said the questions hadn’t been vetted in advance, and GB News had no idea what Rishi would be asked. The first query was as soft as they come. David from Darlington invited the PM to list the Tories’ achievements since 2019.
Rishi boasted about a free-port in Teesside, about stimulating business, about moving a Treasury department to Darlington. ‘Spreading opportunity,’ he said. He has a subtle knack of steering his answers towards the realm of children. ‘Wherever you live and grow up, you’ll know that your dreams can be realised.’
A questioner called Linda told him bluntly that his Rwanda policy has flopped. ‘It isn’t going to work. Be open and honest and tell us what your next steps are.’
‘Great question, Linda,’ gushed Rishi. ‘I think illegal migration is profoundly unfair, right?’ he said, getting all matey. ‘This country is based on a sense of fairness, right? We put in our fair share, right? And illegal immigration breaks that sense of fairness.’ He cited a large drop in numbers from a tiny country, Albania.