Rishi Sunak laughs when asked ‘what does levelling up actually mean?’

"He is literally laughing in the public’s face. But for most people, the failure of the Tory Govt to tackle inequality in this country is no laughing matter.”

A photo of Rishi Sunak leaving Downing Street

If you wanted further proof of just how out of touch Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak is, you only have to view the footage of the former chancellor laughing when asked ‘what does levelling up actually mean?’ during a hustings with party members yesterday.

Truss and Sunak appeared before party members in Darlington where they faced a grilling from TalkTV’s Tom Newton Dunn. 

In a clip shared from the hustings online, Sunak was once more asked about levelling up, the flagship Tory policy under Boris Johnson to narrow inequalities in the country, but which it’s pretty clear to many is merely empty rhetoric, the aim of which is to keep the Tories’ fragile electoral coalition together.

When asked what it meant by an audience member who said they struggled to understand it, Sunak laughed in response, leading to condemnation.

Labour MP Sarah Owen shared footage of Sunak’s reaction and tweeted: “He is literally laughing in the public’s face. But for most people, the failure of the Tory Govt to tackle inequality in this country is no laughing matter.”

It comes after video footage last week showed Sunak boasting about  taking money away from ‘deprived urban areas’ and handing it over to wealthy towns.

The video, obtained by the New Statesman shows Sunak saying: “I managed to start changing the funding formulas to make sure that areas like this are getting the funding that they deserve because we inherited a bunch of formulas from the Labour Party that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone.

“I started the work of undoing that”.

Clearly tackling inequalities isn’t really a priority for the richest MP in Parliament.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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