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Watch: Sunak hits out at defector donor

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

As the election date draws ever closer, this morning it was the turn of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to face callers on LBC’s phone-in. And as the questions rolled in, the PM found himself doing a rather lot of defending: of his decision to have the national poll in July, on his party’s plans to introduce national service for 18 year olds and of his, um, predilection for Haribos.

On public trust, LBC introduced a rather novel way of measuring voters’ faith in their potential leaders. Sunak was told by presenter Nick Ferrari that 60 per cent of people would rather Sir Keir Starmer be their GP than the PM – and this figure increased to two-thirds when voters were asked who they’d prefer as their lawyer in court. It might help of course that Starmer actually is a trained legal professional…

And things got a little more awkward when Sunak was quizzed on how much faith Tory party donors have in the Conservatives. On Tuesday night, it was revealed that John Caudwell, a billionaire Tory donor for 51 years and founder of Phones4U, will instead endorse Labour at this election. Caudwell told the Times that he had been ‘despairing about the performance’ of the Tories, adding: ‘Having seen the way the Conservative party has performed in the last five to six years I found myself completely unable to vote for them again.’ Ouch.

‘How significant is that two of Britain’s richest men have announced they’re backing Sir Keir Starmer, one of whom in the past, John Caudwell, has given £500,000 to the Tory party as recently as 2019?’ Ferrari asked the Prime Minister.

‘Well, as you said, they’re too of Britain’s richest men, they can probably afford Labour’s tax rises,’ quipped Rishi – perhaps quite forgetting that not only is he viewed as being richer than the King, the tax burden is still set to rise under the Tories. Not quite the comeback he might have thought it was…

Watch here:

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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