Rishi Sunak has been criticised over an awkward exchange with a homeless person while volunteering at a soup kitchen in front of television cameras.
The prime minister visited a shelter on Friday, where after a brief exchange he asked the man whether he worked in business. The man replied that he was homeless. Sunak then discussed his background in the finance industry and asked if it would be something the man would “like to get in to”.
The man replied: “I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t know, I’d like to get through Christmas first.”
He explained that he hoped a charity would find him some temporary accommodation so he was not on the street for Christmas.
Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, described the exchange as excruciating, and the Labour MP Stella Creasy said: “Watching this I am concerned that the prime minister thinks homeless means ‘doesn’t have a country pile at the moment’.”
Sunak used the trip to outline that the government had pledged £2bn to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over three years.
Michael Savage www.theguardian.com