Rishi Sunak defends glitzy PR and insists he is not a narcissist
6th October 2020

Rishi Sunak defends glitzy PR and insists he is not a narcissist as he says social media posts with his name and face on are needed because he wants people to know ‘what we are up to’ after it emerges he starts his day with a spin on £2,000 Peloton bike

  • The Chancellor has been criticised by Labour for his ‘signed’ social media posts 
  • Rishi Sunak defended posts and said he wants people ‘to know what we are up to’
  • Comes after Mr Sunak revealed he starts day with a spin on £2,000 Peloton bike 

Rishi Sunak today defended his ‘Brand Rishi’ social media posts and insisted he is not a narcissist as he said he just wants people to know ‘what we are up to’.

The Chancellor has been criticised by Labour for putting his signature and face on many of his social media announcements. 

But Mr Sunak said this morning he wanted to try ‘lots of different ways to communicate with people’ and ‘I am not going to apologise for that’. 

He also suggested the glitzy approach to his PR and prominence of his name in announcements was necessary because ‘most people probably didn’t know who I was before I had this job’. 

The Chancellor’s defence of his PR strategy came after he revealed at a Conservative Party conference event yesterday that he starts his day by taking a virtual spin on a £2,000 Peloton bike. 

Labour has criticised Chancellor Rishi Sunak for putting his signature and face on social media announcements

Labour has attacked Mr Sunak for ‘signing’ his social media posts, with shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds jibing that ‘Britain risks the worst unemployment crisis in decades and Rishi Sunak’s name will be all over it’. 

The Chancellor was grilled on his PR strategy this morning as it was suggested to him during an interview on Sky News that his social media posts made him appear narcissistic.   

But he replied: ‘No, actually I am very new to politics in that sense and actually for someone who has a job like mine where I am responsible for the UK economy, I am not someone who has been in politics for a very long time and actually understandably most people probably didn’t know who I was before I had this job.

‘That is exactly the point. My job is to make sure that everyone in this country understands what I am doing on their behalf, can question it, hold me accountable for it and feel engaged with that debate.’ 

Asked to name another prominent politician who is not a president or prime minister who puts their own personal branding on announcements, Mr Sunak said: ‘We are actually living in a world where people can communicate in different ways. 

‘My main desire is to make sure everyone understands what I am doing so they can question it, hold me to account for it, know why I am doing it and I am going to try lots of different ways to communicate with people. 

‘I am not going to apologise for that. I want people to know what we are up to so they can question it and decide whether they like it, don’t like it, either way that is the right they have.’

The ‘Brand Rishi’ push has fuelled speculation that the Chancellor could one day launch a bid for the Tory leadership. 

Mr Sunak said yesterday that he does not want to run for the top job and this morning he insisted he was sticking to that position. 

‘As I said yesterday I think the job I have is hard enough and I see up close what the Prime Minister has to deal with everyday,’ he said. 

But Mr Sunak suggested he needed to boost his profile because ‘most people probably didn’t know who I was before I had this job’ and he wants people to know ‘what we are up to’

The Chancellor yesterday revealed he starts his day with a spin on a £2,000 Peloton bike. He is pictured in July preparing for his mini-Budget with his £180 ‘smart’ coffee mug 

‘It is not an envious task – I think he does it admirably well.’   

Mr Sunak’s expensive tastes were highlighted in July when he was pictured preparing in his Treasury office for his mini-Budget with a £180 ‘smart’ coffee mug. 

Yesterday he revealed he owns a £2,000 Peloton exercise bike which has a screen allowing people to take virtual classes from their home. 

Asked at a virtual Tory conference event how he starts his day, Mr Sunak reportedly said: ‘I check my phone, do a news scan, then depending on how energetic I’m feeling I’ll either do treadmill, Peloton or some gym class. I do that, see my kids and then generally I’m at my desk at 7.45am.’

Mr Sunak said he ‘hates running outside’ and ‘the treadmill’s my thing’.    

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