Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Rishi Sunak… he goes on This Morning

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Rishi Sunak… he goes on This Morning

Oh, Rishi. We’ve all been there, waiting for the results of an exam we know we flubbed, or the rejection email for a job where we accidentally called the interviewer “mum”, or the voters to consign us to the dustbin of history after leading our party to electoral ruin. It would be so easy to feel sorry for you – if it wasn’t for, you know, the Horrors.

He had a rough road, but it’s not like he’s done himself any favours. It seems like every day we’re gifted with a brand-new blunder or awkward moment from the PM, each more cringeworthy and baffling than the last.

I’m not suggesting that Sunak is trying to throw the election, but if he was trying to throw the election, I’m not sure how his strategy would differ from what he’s been doing for the past six weeks. Maybe he thinks that if he bombs hard enough, he’ll be able to score a few pity votes.

How else do you explain incidents like his appearance on This Morning this morning, when he found himself taking a back seat to Becky Holt, aka Britain’s “most tattooed mum”? The prime minister – the most powerful man in Britain, mind you – sat awkwardly in the background while hosts Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley quizzed the bikini-clad Holt on her choice of body art, which included a very frank discussion about the pitfalls of genital tattooing. Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves…

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Becky Holt, Britain’s most tattooed mum (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

When they finally got around to interviewing the PM, they asked him what his favourite meal was, to which he responded: “Well, my favourite meal generally is sandwiches. You know, I’m a big sandwich person.”

People like to take politicians for granted, but we forget that they often have rich inner lives, just like the rest of us. There are moments like this that really humanize them, you know?

I know politicians try to avoid courting controversy this close to an election, but I feel like he could have gotten away with being a bit more specific here. Was he worried that saying “tuna mayonnaise” would lose him the egg-and-cress vote? Maybe his mind just completely blanked out and he forgot that ham exists?

I wonder what your favorite activities are? Probably walking and breathing, I suspect. Maybe when he’s feeling really cheeky, he treats himself to a couple of blinks (don’t tell the wife though).

People accuse Sunak of being out of touch – but remember when he was a chancellor and, while trying to pay for the petrol he’d put into the small, affordable car he’d borrowed for a Budget day photo call, he revealed by his clueless actions that he had no idea how contactless payment worked?

Or when, launching his Eat Out to Help Out scheme, he invited the cameras to film him serving food at a Wagamama restaurant, like a normal kind of working-class guy, and got the orders wrong – and forgot to wear a Covid mask? Or that time he tried to look cool in front of schoolchildren, telling them he was a “total Coke addict”?

We forget that, as a keen technocrat, Rishi is also robotic – but I feel like a robot could be programmed to answer basic, human questions. But favourite meals? That’s a level of difficulty that Tory scientists have clearly failed to crack.

His This Morning The appearance felt like a fitting send-off not only for this seemingly never-ending election cycle and seemingly never-ending government – ​​but for Sunak himself.

He hasn’t even been kicked out of Downing Street yet, and he was the second most interesting thing in that TV studio. But, once the electorate has spoken and the removal vans have whisked his belongings out of Downing Street on Friday morning, every morning will be This Morning for Sunak. He will sit in green rooms waiting to play the supporting act to people who have either succeeded, or at least failed in more interesting ways than he did.

Rishi isn’t even the Ringo of the former Tory prime minister Beatles. David Cameron and Theresa May have maintained more of the legitimacy of their office. Boris Johnson has more charisma, in a mad, one-eyed street preacher sort of way. Even Liz Truss had a more spectacular blow-up than the whimper Sunak is about to experience.

Given that line-up has been around for the past 14 years, Rishi is barely Pete Best. He’s the “I like sandwiches” of people. He’s the guy who was technically prime minister, but who now is just barely there.

If he wants to make himself stand out a bit, maybe he should get a tattoo.