Recession fears and rivalries take the shine off Rishi Sunak


The chancellor’s star rose quickly, but now ‘the richest man in the Commons’ is attracting new kinds of attention

From Whitehall to Wetherspoon’s, there was near universal agreement that Rushi Sunak was performing very well under the stresses of the pandemic. At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis the chancellor – a virtual unknown outside the Westminster bubble just months earlier – was getting almost as much airtime as the prime minister and collecting a string of flattering nicknames.

There was “Dishy Rishi” for his Eat Out to Help Out scheme designed to help restaurants recover from the first national lockdown. The financial news provider Bloomberg also dubbed Sunak, a Star Wars fan, “Britain’s economic Jedi”, for turning on the Treasury’s taps to pay millions of workers’ furlough wages and help save thousands of businesses from collapse.

Related: Sunak now prefers risk of doing too much to risk of doing too little

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