UK’s Johnson says Sunak under fire to remain finance minister | world news
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown his support behind his underfire finance minister Rishi Sunak, saying he will remain in his post as the country’s second most powerful politician after the next cabinet reshuffle due later this year.
Sunak, once seen as a strong contender to succeed Johnson, faced a slew of criticism for failing to sufficiently support the household cost of living, his wealthy wife’s non-domiciled tax status and a fine he received, along with Johnson, for breaking lockdown rules.
Asked during a trip to India whether Sunak will still be finance minister in the fall, Johnson said: “The answer is yes.”
Johnson declined to answer questions about whether other ministers will keep their jobs.
“You won’t get anything more from me,” he said. “Let’s talk about what we’re doing and not talk about who’s going to do it.”
Sunak has also been criticized for holding a US “green card” – an immigration status for permanent residents of the United States – after becoming finance minister in 2020.
An opinion poll released Thursday by polling firm YouGov showed that 40% of respondents considered Sunak incompetent, up 23 points from January last year, but still lower than the 66% who think that Johnson is incompetent.
Johnson told reporters in India he would do anything to help Britons weather what government budget forecasters said was likely to be the biggest drop in inflation-adjusted incomes since at least the 1950s.
But Johnson said critics who blamed rising energy bills on government plans to promote renewable energy were wrong.
“Green technology, sustainable electricity can help lower bills,” he said. “Overall, if you look at what we’ve done with renewables, it’s helped lower bills over the last few years and will continue to do so.”