'I just want someone to be honest': Views from Rishi Sunak's constituency as he wins Tory leadership

  • Voters in Rishi Sunak's constituency in Richmond, North Yorkshire give their views

With Rishi Sunak set to become the UK's Prime Minister, people in his constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire have been considering what he will be like when he becomes leader of the country.

Mr Sunak has been announced as the winner of the Tory leadership race and will become the next Prime Minister.

Barry Divers, who owns Cross View Tea Rooms on the market place, said: "Rishi is loved round here, as you can imagine.

"I think he's a really good guy, if you remember back to what he did through the pandemic, as a business owner we just couldn't have survived without the decisions that he made.

"He's been excellent, so I'd have no concerns."

His local popularity aside, Mr Sunak's tenure in Government has not been without issue.

He received a £50 fine from the Met Police following an investigation into alleged parties at Downing Street during Covid-19 restrictions, and he has also faced questions over his wife's tax affairs after it emerged she was claiming non-domicile status.

When asked how he felt about this, Mr Divers said: "We all make mistakes, the key thing is he learns from them and we move forward.

"From the partygate side, I think you'll find very few people in this country that haven't made the odd mistake during the whole pandemic.

"From the tax side, of course that has got to be an issue. But, at the end of the day I think he's the right man to lead us forward and change something because what is going on is just not working right now.

Mr Sunak preparing the Economic Update in the Treasury in 2020 Credit: Simon Walker/HM Treasury/PA

"He's been in the tea room, he's always been quite good at coming around the town and speaking to people so kudos to him."

In the cafe, opinions from customers were mixed, but one thing they all agreed on was that a change is needed.

One person said: "I think we need some new blood. Something needs to change quite radically."

A woman added: "I think anybody is going to be better than Liz Truss or what we've previously had so I'm open to anybody as long as they're going to make improvements."

Another said: "Boris Johnson's had his turn, I think Liz [Truss] made the right decision to resign. I'm open to change as long as it makes a positive difference."

One customer said he thinks Mr Sunak could be a good fit, but believes Boris Johnson deserves some credit.

He said: "I think at the present state of time and the state the country is in financially he's got tremendous businesses acumen, and I think he could probably be the right man for the job.

"I've got to give Boris his due, he was fantastic. During the pandemic, Brexit, and all the different things coming up, and it was just constant sniping at him. He didn't really get a chance.

"I like Boris, without a doubt. Fantastic lad who tried his best but I think Rishi could possibly be the right man at this time."

When asked whether Rishi Sunak is the right man for the moment, one woman told ITV News Tyne Tees: "Definitely not, I'm a small business owner and the furlough scheme has made my life very, very difficult.

"We're still recovering now from the problems that were created. I don't think it was the right decision at the time, so no I don't think he's the right man for the job.

"There's not really anybody that I would be like 'yes, definitely'. I just want someone to be honest."

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