MPs whittled down the candidates to just him and Liz Truss, and now members of the party will vote for who their preferred leader and therefore PM is.
Whoever becomes the next PM will enter power at the height of a cost of living crisis where soaring inflation and energy costs are crippling people’s bank balances.
With that context in mind, people have questioned whether Sunak, a certified rich man, can emphasise with the hardships of the average Joe.
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He says he can and has consistently denied being out of touch. But when you consider the 12 times his mask has slipped, do you believe him?
1. When you consider his property portfolio
Sunak’s properties seem pretty swanky. For one, he has a £400,000 leisure complex at his £2 million Yorkshire mansion and him and his wife are believed to own at least four properties including their main residence, a five-bedroom mews house in Kensington, which is believed to be worth around £7 million.
One of these properties is a first-floor flat in Old Brompton Road, Kensington, which is said to act as a holiday home for visiting relatives.
Like we say, swanky.
2. When he joined the Sunday Times rich list
This year, Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty made the publication’s list for the first time, with their joint £730m fortune putting them at number 222 in the list of the UK’s wealthiest 250 people.
This wasn’t exactly a win for his campaign to be seen as down to earth…
3. When he couldn’t use a contactless card
In March, a clip of Sunak appearing unable to use the contactless function on his card went viral on social media.
He was doing a photo op for his spring statement but he held his card up to the barcode scanner through a protective glass screen to pay, instead of the card machine and was duly roasted, so at least he united the nation in laughing at his expense.
4. When he talked about his ‘whole range of breads’
During that period, he also put his foot in it when asked by BBC Breakfast about what inflation in supermarkets he had personally noticed as the cost of living crisis started to bite.
When the presenter said for her it was crisps, he laughed, and replied: “It’s probably, I think bread, probably is the thing. The one we buy I’m sure is now about £1.20 and it was about £1, from memory.”
Asked what kind of bread by journalist Nina Warhurst, he replied: “It’s a Hovis kind of seeded thing.
“We have a whole range of different – we all have different breads in my house, a degree of healthiness between my wife, myself and my kids.”
In response, shadow food secretary Jim McMahon said: “Maybe if the Chancellor was struggling to afford a single loaf of bread like so many families are, he would have offered support to families yesterday.
“Instead it appears the ‘continental breakfast’ Chancellor doesn’t understand the Tory cost of living crisis he’s presiding over.”
5. When he borrowed a cheaper car
The spring statement went from bad to worse to worst after it emerged he borrowed a Kia Rio worth about £12,000 to promote a temporary 5p fuel duty cut.
He used £30.01 of his own cash to fill up the car at a Sainsbury’s but later admitted the car belonged to supermarket employee.
6. When we found out about his actual cars
Sunak told MPs that he had a pre-2019 VW Golf when he was quizzed about the aforementioned Kia incident, but according to the Mirror,he actually has four – and the other three are a lot more pricey.
Sources told the publication Sunak also has a high-specification Range Rover, which costs from £94,000 new. They also claimed he owns two further vehicles – a top-of-the-range Lexus and a BMW – which are reportedly kept at his Santa Monica property.
7. When he got dressed
Sunak has been pictured many a time wearing outfits that are more than most people’s monthly income.
He wore a £3,500 bespoke suit by Bloomsbury tailor Henry Herbert yesterday, as he waited to find out if he had made it to the final two in the Tory leadership contest.
And last week he wore £490 Prada suede loafers on a visit to a building site in Teeside, as you do…
He has previously been spotted wearing £335 trainers in Downing Street favoured by celebrities, and he sported a £795 shearling jacket while ice skating with his children.
And when he was preparing for the 2021 Autumn budget, he wore £95 sliders and socks.
Maybe he should spend some of his money at the opticians, because he clearly doesn’t have a grasp on optics.
8. When he defended his Peloton habit
Sunak revealed he works out on the £1,750 exercise bike, which comes with a 22in screen that enable people to take part in live-streamed video classes from home, in 2020.
But in an interview with Mumsnet in April this year, he defended his pricey product and said he eats a lot of cake, so naturally has to put a shift in on the bike.
“These Maryland cookies are my favourite. I have one of them most days actually. People always like to take the mick out of me for my Peloton that I use but the reason I have to use this Peloton is because I’m constantly eating either cookies or cake most days.”
Let them eat cake, and cycle.
9. When he showed us his mugs
In 2020, Sunak seemed utterly untethered from reality when he posed for a pre-Budget photo featuring a £180 “smart mug” on his Treasury desk. The Ember travel mug keeps coffee warm for up to three hours and tracks users’ caffeine intake.
And after he resigned as chancellor earlier this month, his penchant for expensive coffee receptacles returned as his wife (generously) brought drinks to journalists waiting outside their hope in Emma Lacey mugs retailing at £39 each.
Whatever happened to Ikea?
10. When he talked about his friends
The other week, Sunak got himself into a spot of bother when an interview surfaced in which he suggested that he had “no working-class friends”.
The then 21-year-old told the BBC, as part of a series called Middle Classes: Their Rise and Sprawl that he has “friends who are aristocrats, I have friends who are upper-class, I have friends who are, you know, working-class’.”
He then corrected himself to say, “Well, not working-class” and whatever he meant, it didn’t look great.
11. When his wife hit the headlines
Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, also besmirches his salt of the Earth image, given how wealthy she is.
She is an heiress and the daughter of a billionaire and was embroiled in controversy of her own when it was revealed she paid £30,000 a year to maintain non-domicile status, meaning she was not liable for UK tax on income earned abroad.
She later gave up her non-dom status because of the backlash.
More like pink Himalayan rock salt of the Earth.
12. When we found out about his education
Sunak likes to make a big song and dance about his humble beginnings but when he claims to have had an average start in life he talks straight out of his arse.
He was educated at Winchester College, a £33,990 a year public school. And according to the Mirror he is set to spend around £63,000 on private school fees for his daughters next year.
13. When he went to McDonald’s
Desperate to add to his relatable credentials, Sunak took photos of him showing he now knew how to use a debit card in McDonald’s as a leadership election stunt.
The MP posted a picture of himself using a contactless machine on his Instagram stories, adding the caption: “Nailed it.”
But a journalist noticed he may not have been paying, as the image showed he already had order number, and that a receipt was hanging out of the machine.
To make matters worse, he later said he likes getting breakfast wraps from the fast food chain. The only problem? It hasn’t been on the menu since 2020.
Sunak is a man of the people alright, just not many people.
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