Steerpike Steerpike

Six of the worst reactions to Sunak as PM

Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The chorus of execration that met the appointment of Rishi Sunak as PM has been music to Steerpike’s ears. There are few things more delicious than the right-on indulging in yet another collective meltdown at the sheer audacity of a non-white politician who doesn’t conform to their views. After years of tedious games about identity politics, it is somewhat enjoyable to see some of our more hard-of-thinking commentators be bamboozled by their own logic. Below is a round-up of six of the best reactions to the appointment of Britain’s first Asian premier…

Nadia Whittome

Early out of the gates was Nadia Whittome, the 26-year-old vegan socialist Labour MP who sits for Nottingham East. In a now-deleted tweet, Whittome sneered that Sunak’s success should not be seen as ‘a win for Asian representation’ – despite his appointment being hailed across the globe as an historic first for a major post-imperial power. Whittome added that Sunak is ‘not on your side’, before a panicky Labour HQ forced her to take the post down. Talk about the mask slipping.

Devi Sridhar

It wouldn’t be a clown show without the Lib Dems getting involved

We now go to north of the border where Professor Devi Sridhar – sometime Covid expert and full-time Sturgeon cheerleader – greeted the news with her usual impartial judgement. Sridhar took to Twitter (where else?) to lambast his handling of the pandemic, suggesting his wealth made him indifferent to the virus being let rip. 

‘If you’re in a bubble of extreme wealth (£730 million),’ she wrote, ‘it’s hard to relate to challenges of daily life including access to healthcare. He knows his loved ones and him would always have access to best medical care. What about rest of population dependent on NHS/public services?’

Mr S will simply point to the Times newspaper’s write-up of the comments, which noted that Sturgeon’s government claimed it never followed a ‘herd immunity’ strategy despite emails from her scientists promoting the action for weeks.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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