Rishi Sunak is the UK’s new Prime Minister – the third in the space of two months
Rishi Sunak is now the 10th Tory Prime Minister since 1955 that Scotland hasn’t voted for, only elected by around 0.0005% of the UK’s population – Tory MPs at Westminster.
He has come into office as the Tories crashed the UK economy and failed to properly act on the cost-of-living crisis, with ordinary people paying the price of Westminster control.
Here are 6 things you need to know about Rishi Sunak.
1. One of the UK’s richest people who thought it’s “silly” to provide energy support for the poorest
At a time when millions are struggling with the Tory cost-of-living crisis, the UK is being lead by a man who is even richer than the monarch.
Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, are sitting on a combined fortune of about £730m – roughly double the estimated £300m-£350m wealth of King Charles III and the Queen Consort.
Meanwhile, as people’s energy bills were skyrocketing, Rishi Sunak said it was “silly” to provide support.
Worse still, he’s preparing to impose a new wave of austerity cuts which will further harm the already struggling public services, pushing more people into poverty.
2. Boasted about taking money out of “deprived urban areas” to help wealthy towns
During the Tory leadership contest in the summer of 2022, Rishi Sunak boasted to Tory party members about redistributing public money from “deprived urban areas” to wealthy, Tory-voting towns.
Just like John Major diverting cash from the Highlands to the south-east of England to boost dwindling support in 1992, Rishi Sunak is likely to do the same – completely undermining the UK government’s own ‘Levelling Up’ agenda and proving beyond doubt that it’s nothing more than a baseless slogan.
3. Broke the law over illegal lockdown parties
Just like his former boss Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak was fined by the police for breaking Covid laws during lockdown and attending gatherings.
While telling everyone else to respect the rules that they’ve created, the Tories were partying away in Downing Street – laying bare their view that it’s one rule for them, and another for the rest of us.
It is also alleged he has misled Parliament, responding to an urgent question about the initial Partygate revelations in December 2021 with “No, I did not attend any parties”.
4. Slashed Universal Credit for the most vulnerable
While he was Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has ushered in a new era of Tory cuts, slashing Universal Credit for families during a cost-of-living crisis – while consistently opposing measures to support struggling households.
In October 2021, during the pandemic, Sunak has cut Universal Credit by £20 a week, imposing the biggest cut to social security since World War Two, and affecting 480,000 families in Scotland.
Meanwhile, people on legacy benefits, which includes many lone parents and disabled people, have been altogether excluded from UK government’s additional support throughout the pandemic.
5. Thought that Darlington is in Scotland
When asked by The Spectator if he’d be spending a lot of time in Scotland as Prime Minister, he responded by saying: “People can see I take that seriously… I set up the economic campus in Darlington.”
Darlington is 85 miles away from the Scottish border, and only 10 miles from Rishi Sunak’s own constituency of Richmond.
While he doesn’t appear to know much about Scotland, his comments about bypassing the Scottish Parliament laid bare his attitude to Scottish democracy.
In an interview with The Herald, Sunak claimed that the Tories have the ‘right’ to bypass Holyrood in deciding how to spend money in devolved areas in Scotland, reaffirming the Tory power grab.
6. And he’s preparing to unleash another round of brutal austerity cuts
With Sunak as Prime Minister, the UK is headed for another round of devastating cuts to our public services and to welfare spending – cuts that nobody in Scotland voted for.
The decade of Tory austerity – which came as a result of political choices, rather than a necessity, already contributed to over 330,000 excess deaths across the UK, according to a new report by the Glasgow Centre of Population Health.
Despite austerity likely causing more deaths than Covid, the Tories are determined to plough ahead with more cuts – making households pay through their teeth for the mistakes of a UK government.
Let’s choose a better, fairer future with independence
Rishi Sunak is another Tory Prime Minister with no mandate in Scotland, but we can choose a better future.
As an independent country, Scotland will always get the governments we vote for – instead of having to rely on Westminster politicians we reject, with all the wrong values and the wrong priorities.
We will be able to escape the long-term damage of Brexit – supported by both Tories and Labour – and rejoin the EU to open up new trade routes and regain opportunities.
We will be able to properly invest in our people and our public services, just like other independent countries similar to Scotland’s size – instead of accepting even more Westminster austerity.