Desk report: Rishi Sunak, who with his heiress wife is worth an estimated £730 million, asked a homeless man if he ‘works in business’.
The prime minister visited a homeless shelter in London run by Passage yesterday and got behind the counter to dish out food ahead of Christmas.
Sunak asked one homeless man, Dean, how he was doing, to which he replied: ‘Hungry.’
The Tory leader said: ‘Well, let’s hope we get you some good breakfast.’
After handing him sausages, toast and eggs, Dean asked whether Sunak is repairing Britain’s battered economy.
‘That’s exactly what I’m trying to do,’ Sunak replied, before asking if Dean works in finance.
‘No, I’m homeless. I’m actually a homeless person,’ Dean clarified. ‘But I am interested in business, I like finance.
It’s good for the city and when finance does well, we all do well don’t we?’
Sunak raved about his own time in finance, having been a Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager, and asked Dean whether this is something he’d ‘like to get into’.
‘I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t know,’ Dean replied, ‘I’d like to get through Christmas first.’
Labour MP Bill Esterson was less than impressed by the exchange.
He tweeted: ‘Rishi Sunak visiting a homeless shelter asking a homeless man if he works in the finance industry.
‘Out of touch. Out of his depth. Time he was out of office. Time there was a General Election.’
NHS doctor Rachel Clarke said: ‘Why do politicians believe photos like these capture anything other than their cynicism?
‘Here’s Rishi Sunak cosplaying in cashmere as a homeless shelter staff member yesterday.’
Comedian James Felton said: ‘There’s out of touch and then there’s a millionaire asking a homeless man in a homeless shelter if he’s in financial services.’
Sunak is one of the wealthiest people to ever have the keys to Number 10, having a net worth roughly twice that of King Charles.
He has faced similar criticisms in the past over his money, from seemingly not being able to use a contactless card at a petrol station to wearing £490 Prada loafers to a construction site.
It comes as millions in the UK are facing a deepening cost-of-living crisis, with the annual inflation rate reaching an eye-watering 10.7% in November.
The cost of fuel, food, rent and more have all skyrocketed with no signs of slowing down anytime soon – the recession isn’t helping either.
According to the homeless charity Shelter, almost 2.5 million people are either behind or constantly struggling to pay their rent – a 45% increase since April.