Rishi Sunak denies racism factor in UK PM race
Racism is not a factor in the Conservative Party membership’s decision to vote for the next party leader and successor of Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said over the weekend.
The British Indian finalist in the race to 10 Downing Street who is trailing his opponent, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in surveys during the leadership election campaign set to conclude on September 5, dismissed factors such as gender or ethnicity would play a part in Tory members’ postal ballots from next week. It followed an Indian-origin businessman and Conservative Party donor, Lord Rami Ranger, saying in a video earlier in the week that Britain would be seen as racist if Sunak goes on to lose the Tory leadership election.
"I absolutely don't think that's a factor in anyone's decision. I just don't think that's right,” Sunak told ‘The Daily Telegraph’ in an interview.
"I was selected as a member of Parliament in Richmond… Our members rightly put merit above everything else. I'm sure when they are considering this question, they are just figuring out who is the best person to be Prime Minister... Gender, ethnicity and everything else will have nothing to do with it," said the Tory MP for Richmond, Yorkshire.
The former Chancellor, who is trailing in the pre-vote opinion polls, acknowledges "playing catch-up" to Liz Truss in the race as he continues his campaign tour of the UK to win over Conservative Party members’ votes.