'Is That It?': Rishi Sunak Savaged By Journalists After Underwhelming Speech

It's safe to say the watching media were unimpressed by the prime minister.
Rishi Sunak delivered his speech in east London
Rishi Sunak delivered his speech in east London
Sky News

Rishi Sunak was savaged by political journalists after delivering a lacklustre speech to kick off 2023.

The prime minister unveiled five promises he said voters should judge him on at the next election.

They include halving inflation and growing the economy by the end of this year, cutting NHS waiting lists and stopping boats carrying asylum seekers across the English Channel from France.

Sunak said his pledges were “the people’s priorities, they are your government’s priorities and we will either have achieved them or not”.

But in the Q&A which followed the 25-minute speech, the PM was pilloried by the watching press pack.

Chris Mason, the BBC’s political editor, said: “The health service is under extraordinary pressure right now and some people watching this this afternoon might say ‘Is that it?’.”

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby said: “In the real world, you can’t get a train, you can’t get a doctor’s appointment, nurses are going to food banks, and when you do dial 999 you can’t be sure than an ambulance is going to get there in time to save your loved one. That’s the reality of Britain in 2023.

“And now you’re here giving people more promises about how you might change the country that they’ve heard many times before during 13 years of Conservative rule.

“My question really is why should the public believe you are any different to any of your predecessors?”

Kate McCann from Talk TV told the PM: “You’ve made five promises today, but your predecessors also made a promise - a big one - to reform social care, and you were part of the government that was supposed to deliver on that.

“They’ve rowed back and you’ve been accused of doing the same. You’ve just accepted one of the biggest challenges the NHS faces is social care and you’ve also promised big thinking and no quick fixes.

“But there’s still no plan to deal with the social care problem. So how can people trust you to deliver on five more pledges today when you’re yet to deliver on this one and will you resign if you don’t.”

Meanwhile, the verdict on Twitter was equally damning for the prime minister, with even former Conservative advisers taking issue with his style of delivery.


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