UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing backlash for asking a homeless man if he “works in business”. The incident took place on Friday when Mr Sunak visited a homeless shelter in London. As he was serving food, the Prime Minister got into a brief chat with a homeless person, a video of which has since gone viral on social media.
In the clip, Mr Sunak first asked the man how he was doing, to which the man said that he is hungry. Seconds later, the Prime Minister then asked if he works in business. To this, the man replied, “No, I’m homeless. I’m actually a homeless person.”
“Rishi Sunak is so out of touch. Working for the PR points in a homeless shelter, his original question to a homeless person is “Do you have a business?” (which he switches at the last minute to “Do you work in a business?”)” the caption of the Twitter post read.
Watch the video below:
Rishi Sunak is so out of touch.
Working for the PR points in a homeless shelter, his original question to a homeless person is “Do you have a business?”
(which he switches at the last minute to “Do you work in a business?”)
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) December 24, 2022
According to The Guardian, while serving the food, Mr Sunak also discussed his background in the finance industry and asked if it would be something the man would “like to get into”. The man replied: “I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t know, I’d like to get through Christmas first.” He also explained that he hoped a charity would find him some temporary accommodation so he was not on the street for Christmas.
The video has gone viral on social media. Several Twitter users and British politicians slammed Mr Sunak for asking bizarre questions to a man struggling to find a bed to sleep in.
Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, described the exchange as excruciating, and the Labour MP Stella Creasy said: “Watching this I am concerned that the prime minister thinks homeless means ‘doesn’t have a country pile at the moment’.”
“British Prime Minister’s awful visit to a soup kitchen. How can people “serve” their fellow man when they can’t even relate to their lives,” wrote one Twitter user. “Beyond parody,” said another.
A third user commented, “In which @RishiSunak fails to show any curiosity or compassion about a homeless man, and instead talks about his own career in the City. Very strange indeed!” A fourth added, “Just Rishi Sunak at a homeless shelter trying to work out a what type of business being homeless is.”
Meanwhile, as per the outlet, Mr Sunak used the trip to outline that the government had pledged 2 billion pounds to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over three years.
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