14:17 GMT23 September 2020
Listen Live
    UK
    Get short URL
    132
    Subscribe

    According to recent polls, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is the most popular individual in the role since Gordon Brown, with a raft of announced measures to prop up the COVID-19 battered economy seen as helping solidify this status.

    British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has dismissed speculation that he might be aspiring to become the next UK Prime Minister, reported The Independent.

    When a Times Radio reporter remarked that the Chancellor looked tired as he has been working to grapple with the coronavirus crisis, and asked if the situation might have dampened his desire to become Britain’s next prime minister, Sunak responded:

    “Oh gosh, I don’t have that desire.”

    Sunak, 40, admitted he was “tired” and had not seen his family much due to the crisis.  

    “I am sorry I am looking tired so I will take that as an instruction to try and revitalise myself over the coming weekend to be a bit more bright and bushy eyed next week,” said the chancellor.

    Rishi Sunak added that everyone was “dealing with something we haven’t had to deal with before”, trying in their different way “to do the best they can”.

    Amid the measures adopted by the UK government to allay the economic woes triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been widespread speculation that Sunak might be regarded as a potential successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    British lawmaker Rishi Sunak, and Chancellor of the Exchequer leaves 10 Downing Street, where he was given the job by Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as the former Chancellor Sajid Javid, resigned, in London, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020
    © AP Photo / Matt Dunham
    British lawmaker Rishi Sunak, and Chancellor of the Exchequer leaves 10 Downing Street, where he was given the job by Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as the former Chancellor Sajid Javid, resigned, in London, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020

    Vowing to do “whatever it takes” to prop up the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, and announcing the furlough scheme in March, to encourage companies to retain employees, Rishi Sunak found himself dubbed the most popular serving politician in the country.

    Polling conducted by YouGov in July showed that the raft of announced measures resulted in six in ten (59 per cent) of those polled thinking the chancellor is dong a good job (up 10 percent since June) with just 11 percent of the opposite opinion (unchanged since June).

    The poll results make him the most popular man to hold the office in 15 years, since Gordon Brown, known for his reputation as the “Iron Chancellor”.

    ​However, as phasing out of the government's coronavirus economic package and the furlough scheme in autumn could result in unemployment soaring to ten percent this year, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), it is anyone’s guess whether the chancellor’s popularity will be able to survive the hit.

     

    Related:

    Rishi Sunak Criticised by Former Tory MP for Inadequate Face Covering
    Labour’s Plea to Rishi Sunak: Keep Furlough Scheme Intact or Brace for More Job Losses
    Rishi Sunak Triggers Wave of Jokes Online After Photo With £180 Bluetooth Coffee Mug
    Rishi Sunak Says Tories’ Low-Tax Promise an ‘Ambition’ as UK Faces Budget Black Hole
    Tags:
    Gordon Brown, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), coronavirus, COVID-19
    Community standardsDiscussion