Labour need to discredit Rishi Sunak

Come next election there’s every chance Boris Johnson could be yesterday’s PM, and without discrediting the country’s most popular politician Labour remains in the soup.

We’re heading into a tough, rough winter that could be the undoing of the man that walks on water, Rishi Sunak. But for now at least, he remains the most popular individual in the cabinet and the most popular politician in the UK. While Keir Starmer swans ahead of most senior Tory ministers in the wake of broad acknowledgement of govt incompetence, Rishi Sunak floats far above Starmer.

Labour can discredit Boris Johnson all they like; if they’re successful in such an endeavour he could well be yesterday’s leader by May 2024, and Labour will be socked at the ballot box. They’ve clearly taken note of this and started targeting Sunak in their sharable content and criticisms of the govt response to coronavirus, coupled with a very strong performance and the dispatch box and victory lap recently in parliament by Anneliese Dodds over a flurry of Treasury U-turns in disguise.

It may turn out to be economic circumstances and unpopular Treasury decisions that doom the heir apparent to Tory leadership, or indeed Boris Johnson could display more feats of Teflon politics and amble on and on and on. It may also prove near impossible for Labour to dent his standing in the eyes of the public; like technocratic Mondale trying to beat charismatic Reagan. But they need to try, and it needs to start now. The narrative of Labour’s story for Britain is either subtly begun now, or it won’t be heard come election time.



Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.