Politics

Rishi Sunak ready to become PM? 3 key ways Chancellor is subtly making bid for No 10

Sajid Javid clashes with Reid over Rishi Sunak comment

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As partygate rumbles on and a cost-of-living crisis looms, Boris Johnson’s days at No 10 could be numbered. Today marks the second anniversary since Rishi Sunak was first appointed as Chancellor. As Mr Sunak celebrates two years in office, Express.co.uk looks at the subtle hints that suggest now might be the time he makes a leadership bid.

Many of Mr Sunak’s Tory colleagues have described the Chancellor as a “frontrunner” to replace Mr Johnson.

Despite this support, the Chancellor has been coy about his intentions of moving next door.

Mr Sunak hasn’t confirmed or denied his intentions of becoming prime minister. He said becoming the next PM is “not what I’m focused on” as he described talk of a leadership contest as a “hypothetical situation”.

Making himself relatable

It seems supporters of Mr Sunak have embarked on a mission to help the chancellor improve his image by making him appear to be “a real man of the people,” Politico reported.

His supporters have let it be known that Mr Sunak is just like us – he only drinks Yorkshire tea and is a real family man carving time out of his busy schedule to spend time with his daughters.

An aide told the Times: “There’s work Rishi and dad Rishi.”

“He’s totally different around his kids. They are totally the love of his life.”

He is also reportedly a devotee of the pork and apple pie from Kitson & Sons butchers in Northallerton, which is part of his Richmond constituency.

And in a far cry from his “upper-middle-class upbringing”, (he was educated at the elite private school, Winchester College), he has developed “several verbal ticks” from his adopted home in Yorkshire, the Times reported.

Staff at No 11 have often heard him say “now then” and “job’s a good ’un”.

Distancing himself from Boris Johnson

Until recently, Boris Johnson has always had the unwavering support of the Chancellor. Could these be key signs that Mr Sunak wants to make a leadership bid soon?

The PM has come under fire for claiming that Sir Keir Starmer “spent most of his time [as Director of Public Prosecutions] prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile”.

The Chancellor said he wouldn’t have made the same remarks as Mr Johnson.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “Being honest, I wouldn’t have said it and I’m glad the PM clarified what he meant.”

Distancing himself from Partygate

Mr Sunak did not take up his usual place by Boris Johnson’s side when the PM apologised for his handling of the partygate scandal.

The Chancellor excused himself by attending a local business event more than 200 miles away from the capital, instead of supporting his leader at PMQs.

The local business event wasn’t even in his own constituency, which has led some to question the real motivation behind his trip at such a crucial time for the PM.

Many have speculated that the Chancellor had hoped to distance himself from Boris Johnson’s scandals.

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