Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking at PMQs on Wednesday (Photo: House of Commons – PA Images via Getty Images)
It didn’t take long to by Rishi Sunak opponents to talk about his electoral defeats.
During his first family housing, union leader Mr Keir Starmer was quick to remind the Prime Minister that Sunak had not become Prime Minister through a general election or a vote of the Tory membership.
His place at No. 10 was secured after his opponents in the last leadership contest withdrew, meaning he was the last one standing.
As Starmer noted, “The only time he stood in a competitive election he was beaten by the former Prime Minister, who herself was beaten by a lettuce.”
Sunak was the favorite in the summer leadership race to replace Boris Johnson when the Conservative MPs were voting, but when it was all members, Liz Truss won.
However, she only lasted 49 days in government in total. His time at No 10 was so short that a week before he officially left, the Daily Star set up a live cam with a lettuce to see what might last longer.
When she resigned, the newspaper officially declared Lettuce the winner, which thrilled the internet.
Now that Sunak is finally in power, having only been named No 10 by around 193 Tory MPs who nominated him, there have been growing calls for a general election.
Starmer asked, “Why doesn’t he put it to the test, let the workers speak and call a general election?”
As the third prime minister to stand on the 2019 Tory manifesto – and substantial changes such as Brexitthe pandemic and the war of Ukraine have swayed public opinion ever since – the opposition urged the government to let people go to the polls.
Starmer also referred to Sunak’s viral clip from the summer where he told Tories in Tunbridge Wells that he was in fact withdrawing funds from ‘deprived urban areas’.
Speaking during the last leadership contest in July, Sunak said in the footage: “I have managed to start changing the funding formulas to make sure areas like this get the funding that they deserved.
“We inherited a lot of formulas from Work which pushed all funding to deprived urban areas and which had to be cancelled. I started the work of undoing that.
Three months later, Starmer recalled that clip in the Commons and quoted former Conservative party chairman Jake Berry, who said after the video went viral: “In public he claims he [Sunak] wants to level the North.
“But then he brags about wanting to channel vital investment away from deprived areas. He says one thing and does another.
Starmer also claimed that former Conservative party chairman Berry was sacked on Tuesday because he “spoke the truth” about the former chancellor.
As Starmer concluded, “Even his own side knows he’s not on the side of normal workers.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.