Sunak’s rating tanks after damaging revelations

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He’s been criticized — including by members of his own party — for failing to help the most vulnerable families cope with a cost of living crisis when he gave an economic statement last month…reports Asian Lite News

Rishi Sunak’s favorability rating turned negative for the first time, sinking below that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after a slew of damaging stories about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s financial affairs and the perception he isn’t doing enough to help Britons facing surging living costs.

Sunak posted a net rating of minus 20 in the latest monthly tracker poll by Savanta ComRes, published on Wednesday. That’s down 26 points in a month, and compares with a high of plus 30 in 2020. The online poll of 2,145 U.K. adults was conducted April 8-10, before both the chancellor and Johnson were fined by police for breaking the coronavirus rules their own government made.

The survey is the latest blow for the chancellor, who made himself popular by opening the Treasury’s spending taps during successive Covid-19 lockdowns and until just weeks ago was widely touted by politicians and the press as Johnson’s most likely successor.

He’s been criticized — including by members of his own party — for failing to help the most vulnerable families cope with a cost of living crisis when he gave an economic statement last month.

Then last week came a series of damaging revelations, including that his wife Akshata Murthy, holds non-domiciled status in the UK, meaning she doesn’t pay British taxes on her foreign earnings. Under intense pressure, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, Infosys Ltd. co-founder Narayana Murthy, later said she would now do so.

Sunak was also forced to acknowledge he had held a US green card until October 2021 — by which time he’d been chancellor for more than a year and a half. Along with his wife’s tax status, the news fueled the perception that the family didn’t see their long-term future in the UK.

“The fact we’ve seen such a drop in favorability during a tumultuous month for the chancellor ultimately points to the fact that all public goodwill he may have built up during the pandemic has all but evaporated,” Savanta ComRes Political Research Director Chris Hopkins said. “A 26-point drop in one month feels unprecedented,” yet could have been even worse if the polling had been carried out after Sunak was fined, he said.

Meanwhile Johnson’s rating increased for a third month, to minus 19 points. Some 34% of people surveyed said they would vote in an election for the ruling Conservatives, while 40% opted for the main opposition Labour Party.

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