LONDON: Rishi Sunak’s personal wealth as a perceived barrier in his path to connecting with the wider British electorate suffering from post-pandemic economic turmoil was in focus among sections of the UK media on Friday.
The 42-year-old, who is facing off foreign secretary Liz Truss in the last stretch of the campaign to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and PM , has been facing jibes related to his so-called “privileged” upbringing and wife Akshata’s family wealth linked to her Infosys shares.
On Thursday, ‘Channel 4 News’ aired an investigation titled ‘Rishi Sunak: Inside the Tory Leadership candidate’s fortune’, which questioned Sunak camp’s references to his “humble” and “modest” background and was picked up by various publications on Friday. “Ithink financially it was a huge commitment for us because the fees at Winchester (College) are double what you would pay if you went to the local school in Sout- hampton,” the report quoted Sunak’s father, Yashvir, from a BBC interview from 2000. However, while the channel highlights the Sunak camp’s claims of him being a scholarship student, the former FM himself has said that his time at Winchester was an outcome of his family’s hardwork and sacrifice. The Channel 4 probe also dug out land registry information to reveal that the PM hopeful started his property portfolio at 21 with an interest-free loan from his parents to buy a £210,000 one-bedroom flat in London, which is today worth £750,000. It goes on to detail his US life, starting with a job at Goldman Sachs and then as a partner at an investment bank that was ultimately owned by a firm in the Cayman Islands, an offshore tax haven. The “Ready4Rishi” campaign said Sunak stands for Tory values of hard work and aspiration.