• Thursday, June 13, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Sunak denies claims of moving to California

‘I’m committed to staying in the UK for years to come’

Rishi Sunak holds a plate as he visits a ceramic manufacturing plant during a Conservative general election campaign event in Staffordshire, Britain, May 28, 2024. Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS

By: Pramod Thomas

RISHI SUNAK was on Tuesday (28) forced to counter stinging criticism from a Tory peer that the prime minister was planning to “disappear” to California after damaging the party “beyond repair”, saying the UK was his home and he has no plans to relocate his family to the US after the general election on July 4.

The British Indian leader told voters on the campaign trail in Amersham, south-east England, that he was surprised at Lord Zac Goldsmith’s comments posted on social media this week as he had not spoken to the former Foreign Office minister for a long time.

The 44-year-old father of two school-going daughters, Krishna and Anoushka, said he had no intention of pulling them out of their schools in the UK and relocating.

“I’m surprised that Lord Goldsmith, who I don’t think I’ve spoken to in a very long time, seems to have some sort of intimate knowledge of my family’s arrangements,” Sunak told a group of Tory supporters.

Asked about the prospect of relocating to the US, the UK-born MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire, said: “Of course not, my kids are at school, this is my home and as I said earlier my football team [Southampton FC] just got promoted to the Premier League so I intend to spend many more happy days watching them at St Mary’s [Stadium].

“Of course that’s what I’m going to do. I was born and brought up in Southampton, I was raised with a very strong ethic of service to one’s community, that’s what I believe, that’s what I’ve always done.”

His remarks came a day after Goldsmith, the brother of Jemima Khan and a staunch supporter of former prime minister Boris Johnson, took to X to react to a post by a ‘Times’ newspaper journalist about there being a “lot of bad blood” among Tory MPs, including Cabinet ministers, about Sunak’s “unilateral decision to call an early election” ahead of an expected autumn poll in October-November.

“I understand the anger towards Sunak who has damaged the Party almost beyond repair and all but guaranteed the majority of his MPs will lose their job next month,” reacted Lord Goldsmith.

“But it’s hard to muster much sympathy given that none of this would have happened without the complicity of a majority of the Party and what is now unfolding was entirely predictable- indeed predicted. The hope is that when Sunak disappears off to California in a few weeks there are at least some decent MPs left around which to rebuild,” he added, with crossed finger emojis.

It follows speculation over the wealthy Sunak family, including wife Akshata Murty’s Infosys millions, returning to the US where they first met while studying at Stanford University.

“Gosh, I love being an MP. Yes, of course I’m staying. I love being an MP, I love my constituents, I love my home in North Yorkshire – it’s wonderful,” Sunak told the ‘Loose Women’ television show earlier this month when confronted with the same relocation query.

Meanwhile, there seems to be growing disquiet within the Tory party ranks following a mass exodus by several MPs and other incumbent members of Parliament fearful of losing their seats amid pre-election surveys pointing to a definitive lead for the opposition Labour party.

(PTI)

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