Rishi Sunak grilled by host on lack of 'feeling deprived'
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Rishi Sunak defended himself against claims from BBC host Justin Webb that he did not know what it meant to be deprived. As it took footballer Marcus Rashford to raise awareness about the issues facing poorer families in the UK, in order to get the backing of Mr Sunak, who then issued vouchers. Mr Sunak then went on to discuss his handling of the pandemic, and why he believes he is the best Conservative candidate in the leadership race to run the country.
Mr Webb said: ” It took Marcus Rashford there, didn’t it, to persuade you to offer food vouchers back in 2020.
“For kids over the summer who were in desperate trouble, I mean you had decided not to do that and then you were forced to U-turn.
“In other words, perhaps again you didn’t properly understand what it means to be deprived.”
Mr Sunak told Radio 4s Today programme: “I think Justin when the pandemic hit I understood full well the impact it could have on millions of people up and down the country…”
Mr Webb said: “Did you make a mistake over those vouchers then?”
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Mr Sunak added: “If I could just answer your question… That’s why when this country was faced with one of the biggest challenges that we had seen I stepped up and in a matter of weeks put together and delivered the furlough scheme.
“Which protected over ten million people’s jobs and livelihoods, that did an enormous amount of good for those people.
“I’m really proud of that achievement, and it’s things like that that I’ve done and that’s why if you think looking forward which is what we now need to do.
“We know that there are challenging times ahead, I’ve got the… I think the experience and the energy not just to deal with them in an honest responsible way.
“But also the vision to grow the economy, to make sure we can grasp all the exciting opportunities that I see ahead of us, and actually looking forward what matters is who can beat Labour in a general election.”
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Conservative MPs will vote in their second round of the leadership contest today.
There has been much criticism over Mr Sunaks financial status as he is one of the richest men in the country and he married into one of the richest families in the world.
Some critics say he may be out of touch with real-world financial issues due to this fact.
Penny Mordaunt and Mr Sunak are neck and neck in the leadership race, as both have continued to jump between the first and second place in predictions of who will be the next leader.
And Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is set to pitch her campaign, Ms Truss is currently sitting in third place in the race to be the next Prime Minister.
Mr Sunak has been receiving support from many of his fellow MPs, despite criticisms leveraged against him due to his previous handling of Britain’s economy.
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Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi was knocked out of the race to become the next PM yesterday after failing to get more than 30 votes.
Has discussed why he is putting his full backing behind Mr Sunak.
Mr Zahawi said: “I’m supporting Rishi Sunak. And that’s for two reasons. First of all, the big challenge we face now is economic, and this is someone of formidable ability, who has been thinking about the right thing to do for our economy, for families up and down the country, very hard over the last two years.
“But, in the end, it’s not about policy. I’ve been around long enough to know that politics is really about character. Rishi is one of the most decent, straight people, with the highest standards of integrity, that I have ever met in British politics and that’s why I would be proud to have him as my next Prime Minister.”
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