Rishi Sunak suffered a setback on GB News yesterday after a political expert warned the ex-Chancellor’s wealth could pose a problem for the Conservative Party. Matthew Goodwin, a Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, joined Dan Wootton to discuss the ongoing race to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and Tory Party leader.
Speaking about whether Mr Sunak’s wealth could play a role in the leadership contest, Mr Goodwin said: “I think the wealth factor is a factor in this race.
“It’s not just about being wealthy, I’m not anti-wealth myself, but I think with Rishi he’s just so wealthy, twice as wealthy as the Queen, as we go into this cost of living crisis, we are in it now, as it gets worse over the winter, I think that is going to become a factor.”
Mr Goodwin, who co-wrote National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy in 2018, added: “I think he is actually a big risk for the party.”
The Sunday Times Rich List valued Mr Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy’s fortune at £730million.
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Ms Murthy’s father, Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, co-founded IT company Infosys which Forbes has estimated puts his net worth at £3.1billion.
The Richmond MP also sported a £3,500 suit on Wednesday from Bloomsbury tailor Henry Herbert just days after wearing Prada shoes worth £490 while on a visit to Teesside.
However, Mr Sunak responded to questions about his wealth, including those about his wife’s family, during last Sunday’s leaders’ debate on ITV.
He said: “I am actually incredibly proud of what my parents-in-law built.
“My father-in-law came from absolutely nothing and just had a dream and a couple of hundred pounds that my mother-in-law’s savings provided him, and with that, he went on to build one of the world’s largest, most respected, most successful companies that by the way employs thousands of people here in the United Kingdom.”
A recent opinion poll conducted by YouGov found Liz Truss is poised to defeat Mr Sunak.
Conservative members decisively backed the Foreign Secretary by 62 percent to just 38 percent.
Despite Mr Sunak’s support for Brexit, the ex-Chancellor is trailing Ms Truss among Leave voters by 70 percent to 30 percent.
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Ms Truss, who campaigned for the UK to remain in the Brussels bloc, is also finding it hard to win over those who supported her side of the argument in 2016.
The race to replace Mr Johnson will conclude on September 5 after weeks of hustings and TV debates across the country.