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12th Jun 2024

Rishi Sunak says his family ‘sacrificed things like Sky TV’ when he was younger

Charlie Herbert

rishi sunak sky tv

‘We went without all sorts of things – famously Sky TV’

Rishi Sunak has been criticised after naming Sky TV as one of the main sacrifices his parents had to make when he was growing up.

Ever since he became prime minister, much as been made of Sunak’s extreme wealth. The Tory leader and his wife Akshata Murty have a combined wealth of £651m according to the Sunday Times Rich List, making them richer than King Charles III.

So many have wondered over the last couple of years just how in touch Sunak is with the vast majority of people in the UK.

This was put to him in a new interview with ITV, which Sunak infamously took part in instead of staying in Normandy for the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations last week.

The PM was asked by Paul Brand what he does in his day-to-day life to make sure he’s “still in touch with teh kind of struggles ordinary people face” and whether he had “ever gone without something.”

Responding, Sunak said his family emigrated to the UK “with very little” and he was raised with the values of “hard work.”

Brand asked again for an example of something he went without as a child, to which Sunak replied: “I went without lots of things because my parents wanted to put everything into our education.”

And when pressed once more for a specific example, the prime minister said: “All sorts of things! Like lots of people, there are all sorts of things that I wanted as a kid that I couldn’t have – famously Sky TV! That was something that we never had growing up actually.”

He added: “My experience is obviously going to be what my experience was. What is more important is my values and how I was raised and I was raised in a household where hard work was really important, you had to work very hard and family was important, service to your community was important.”

Sunak has been slammed by some for his response though, with people seeing it as another example of him being out of touch.

Sky TV began broadcasting with four channels in Europe on February 5 1989 with a target of the UK – meaning it wasn’t even available in the UK when it launched.

Sunak was born on May 12 1980, meaning he would have been just eight-years-old when Sky TV first launched, let alone when it would first be available in the UK, then widely available and how it’s recognised today.

Commenting on the clip, one person wrote: “Insane. I remember my parents having a spend cap of a maximum of £5 for my birthday present whilst this guy is upset by not having a £600 a year subscription…”

Another said: “My mam used to work 2 cleaning jobs either side of a 8-5 factory job, leave home at 5:30am, get home at 8:30pm to bring up 3 of us. I used to nick potatoes from a field & she’d buy 11p tins of stewing steak from Kwik Save to feed us. You struggled without Sky?”

A third sarcastically commented: “Regular man of the people. Totally relatable. Extremely likeable and charismatic.”

And someone else simply wrote: “He has no idea what ‘struggling’ is.”

The full interview will air at 7pm tonight (June 12) on ITV1.

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