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Politics

#Ready4Rishi: Sunak launched his election campaign with a hashtag

Rishi Sunak has kicked off his bid to be Conservative leader and prime minister asking if you are #Ready4Rishi.

Are you #Ready4Rishi? Sunak’s resignation signalled the end of Boris Johnson’s premiership, now the former chancellor has kicked off the race to replace him.

Sunak launched his bid to be the new Conservative leader and prime minister with a suspiciously snazzy campaign video charting his rise to political prominence and his very own hashtag. And we all know that hashtags are watertight against being co-opted and used out of context. Right, Rishi?

Earlier in the week, Sunak revealed a rift with Johnson in his resignation letter, saying “I have always tried to compromise in order to deliver the things you want to achieve. On those occasions where I have disagreed with you privately, I have supported you publicly.”

Sunak’s almost three-minute campaign video made a concerted effort to differentiate himself from Johnson’s way of running things, starting with a whistle-stop tour through his childhood and ending with a call of unity far from the division shown by the Conservative Party this week.

“I’ve told you a bit about my story,” he says in the video. “But I’m running to be our next prime minister because it’s your stories that matter most.”

Social media users weren’t shy in sharing their stories — and opinions — on #Ready4Rishi.

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“Dear Plebs,” wrote one user. “Let’s restore trust by you all forgetting my wife avoids tax while I raised yours… Don’t mention I broke the law and mislead everyone about it… Oh & forget I have enabled the most corrupt Government in modern times… Signed Super Rishi (Non Dom) #Ready4Rishi”

Another was more straightforward: “#Ready4Rishi you’ve got to be joking, empathy free rich kid!” wrote Matthew Payne. “‘Whatever it takes’ unless you were one of 3 million+ self employed. Eat out to kill off,that went well! £4.3 billion in Covid fraud swept under carpet, and written off. Chancer of The Exchequer, when people needed help!”

A third broke down some of the campaign slogans in withering style. “‘Restore trust’ – you stood by and let Johnson break it. ‘Rebuild the economy’ – you’ve been in charge of it for the last 3 years…you broke it. A useless phoney in a smart suit, is no different to the useless phoney in a scruffy one, the one he wants to replace #ready4rishi

Television presenter Max Rushden and newsreader Dan Walker were among those who pointed out how quickly Sunak had got his video together. Walker quipped: “Quick turnaround.”

He did have his supporters though. Backbench Conservative MPs including Angela Richardson, former chief whip Mark Harper.

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