Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has insisted that he is the right person for the UK’s top job, especially at a time of rapid technological change and tough economic challenges, as he gets back into the full swing of work after a rare family holiday in California.
In an interview with ‘The Times’ on Wednesday, the 43-year-old British Indian leader pointed to the latest official figures showing a fall in inflation from 7.9 per cent to 6.8 per cent as a sign that the economy was moving in the right direction with him in charge at 10 Downing Street.
As he edges closer towards his first year in office after he was suddenly elevated to the post of Prime Minister in October last year when predecessor Liz Truss was forced out amid financial turmoil, Sunak pointed to how he had not “got this job in not the easiest of circumstances” but is the right choice as the leader going into a general election expected next year.
“I think I’m the right person, the right Prime Minister, at a time when technological change is so important to help lead the country through that change so we can benefit from it,” Sunak told the newspaper.
“This is the country that benefits from those changes in technology, this is where those companies are locating, where they’re growing, where they’re investing, where they’re creating jobs,” he said.
Asked if people struggling with a cost-of-living crisis will feel better off in a year’s time, he said it was his job to make sure that people can feel that happening.
He noted: “You can start to see now that there is a prospect of wages growing faster than inflation going forward. I’m really proud of our country and what makes us special. I’m really optimistic about the future.
“We’ve got a challenge right now to overcome but I’m entirely confident we will do it. Is it taking a bit longer than anyone would like? Of course, it is, but we’re making progress. The last couple of months show that the plan is working.”
With a general election expected around mid-2024, the Conservative Party government under his leadership is quite obviously now pitching its tent to start wooing the electorate.
One of the key pillars of that approach is also to show the Labour Party as not being up to the task, even as the Opposition party currently leads most opinion polls.
“The biggest economic challenge is inflation. Not having an answer that’s clear, that’s unequivocal, that you believe in, is an abdication of leadership. That’s a massive contrast between me and him,” said Sunak, with reference to his main opponent – Labour Leader Keir Starmer.
Asked about his US holiday, where he was joined by his wife Akshata Murty and daughters Krishna and Anoushka on a visit to Disneyland, the leader dubbed it as “lovely”.
“We went on hikes, I dragged the kids around the ‘Star Wars’ bit of Disney. The new ‘Rise of the Resistance’ ride is amazing. I made everyone pose in the Millennium Falcon,” he said.