Rishi Sunak has been criticized for being “out of tune” for placing a £1,000 wager with Piers Morgan regarding the likelihood of deportation flights to Rwanda occurring before the upcoming election.
“During a segment on TalkTV, Morgan challenged the prime minister by offering to donate £1,000 to a refugee charity if they were able to get anyone on the planes before the election. The prime minister was asked if they would accept the bet.”
Sunak and Morgan shook hands on their bet, with Sunak stating that he was putting in a great deal of effort to ensure that people could board the planes.
The supreme court has blocked the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing their claims, deeming the policy illegal in November. Sunak has stated that he can rescue the program.
The decision to make a bet with Morgan was met with criticism from opposition parties. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, stated that it is not common for people who are struggling with increasing mortgages, bills, and food prices to casually make bets worth £1,000. This highlights the fact that Rishi Sunak is disconnected from the struggles of working individuals.
Stephen Kinnock, the opposition’s spokesperson for immigration, expressed disapproval of the bet, stating that it was highly inappropriate. He also criticized Sunak for recklessly spending money as if it were a game of Monopoly, while betting on a policy that he no longer has control over.
The Scottish National Party has alerted the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, Laurie Magnus, about Sunak’s actions, stating that his bet may violate the ministerial code. Kirsty Blackman expressed outrage, stating that it is disgraceful and appalling for Rishi Sunak, who is one of the wealthiest individuals in the UK, to gamble on the timely deportation of vulnerable refugees for political gain.
Alistair Carmichael, a member of the Liberal Democrat party, brought up a matter of procedure in the House of Commons, stating that Sunak should disclose his bet on his list of declared interests.
The spokesperson for the prime minister stated that Piers proposed the idea and the response indicates that flights will begin to take off.
Sunak received additional backlash for stating, “the evidence speaks for itself” in response to being questioned about his opinion on Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, potentially being a supporter of terrorism.
The UK prime minister claimed that in 2008, Starmer had acted as a representative for Hizb ut-Tahrir while the group was attempting to oppose a ban on their activities in Germany. Last month, the UK government designated Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organization.
“He was their legal representation during their attempt to oppose this. We have officially labeled them as such because that is our belief. These actions reflect individuals’ moral principles.”
A representative from Starmer’s team rejected the assault as “unfounded gibberish.”
According to a spokesperson, Keir Starmer was responsible for the initial prosecution of high-ranking members of al-Qaida, the imprisonment of individuals involved in the liquid bomb plot on airlines, and the removal of numerous terrorists from the country.
“Under Keir’s guidance, there was an increase in the number of sexual offence charges and convictions, improved support for victims, and a reformation of the Crown Prosecution Service. The prime minister can only aspire to have such a commendable track record of serving their country.”
Sunak and other members of the Conservative Party have consistently criticized Starmer for his past involvement with Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2008, just prior to his appointment as director of public prosecutions. Starmer was a member of a group of lawyers who filed an application in June 2008 with the European court of human rights in an attempt to challenge a ban on the organization’s operations in Germany. However, their appeal was ultimately denied.
According to a Labour representative, Starmer was not the sole representative of the organization in court. Instead, he was a member of a three-person team that filed an initial application to Strasbourg. The official also stated that the legal work involved providing representation and advice to individuals, regardless of their beliefs.
In January, Sunak brought up the subject during the prime minister’s questions. The government banned the group for advocating terrorism and commending the 7 October assaults on Israel.