Keir Starmer says Rishi Sunak will be a 'weak' PM 'who will have to put party first and country second'

The Labour leader said Mr Sunak has only ever fought one leadership election battle his entire life when he 'got thrashed' by Liz Truss

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Sir Keir Starmer has said that Rishi Sunak will be a “weak” Prime Minister who will always have to put the interests of the Tory Party before those of the country.

Addressing the shadow cabinet, the Labour leader said Mr Sunak has only ever fought one leadership election battle his entire life when he “got thrashed” by Liz Truss.

“Rishi Sunak stabbed Boris Johnson in the back when he thought he could get his job. And in the same way, he will now try and disown the Tory record of recent years and recent months and pretend that he is a new broom,” Sir Keir said, according to a readout of the meeting.

“But he was also the chancellor who left Britain facing the lowest growth of any developed country, the highest inflation and millions of people worried about their bills.

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer
Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

"And now he plans to make working people pay the price for the Tories’ crashing the economy.

“Rishi Sunak is a weak Prime Minister who will have to put his party first and the country second. His first message yesterday was about the need to save the Tory Party, not serve the country.”

Sir Keir acknowledged the Tories could expect a “bounce” in the opinion polls but said he had always known Labour’s huge lead in recent polling was no more than an “enjoyable story”.

The Labour leader also welcomed the significance of the first Prime Minister of British-Asian origin taking the reins in No 10.

But he criticised Mr Sunak’s politics, insisting he will “not deliver for working people”, Labour said.

A readout of the meeting continued: “Keir Starmer spoke to shadow cabinet this morning and welcomed the significance of Britain having our first British-Asian Prime Minister.

“More broadly, the Labour leader said that Rishi Sunak has only ever fought one leadership election battle his entire life and ‘got thrashed’ by Liz Truss. And no wonder he doesn’t want to fight a general election.”