Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Does Sunak have a relatability problem?

Credit: Getty Images

Rishi Sunak has been caught on camera apparently walking away from a woman who has just started telling him about his daughter’s ordeal waiting for NHS treatment. As she starts to complain, he is looking anxiously over his shoulder at his aide, and then says he needs to get to the next appointment. She then walks with him while he repeats what the government is doing on the NHS. He does not, as the initial clip circulated suggested, walk straight off, but the encounter remains awkward for the Prime Minister as he doesn’t seem to take any interest in the individual case at all. This clip was circulated first:

While here is the full clip:

Sunak, who was on a campaign visit in Winchester, was holding forth about how NHS waiting lists had been falling in the months when healthcare workers weren’t on strike. One of the women in the crowd, a former health worker, started to argue that things should go back to how they were before, at which point he rather oddly laughed, and then she said ‘well, not literally!’, before adding that her daughter had been waiting for seven hours. As they walked together, the Prime Minister told her what the government was doing, but did not engage with her on a human level.

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Isabel Hardman
Written by
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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