How have Rishi Sunak's first 100 days as prime minister gone?

How have Rishi Sunak's first 100 days as prime minister gone?
Rishi Sunak says he's crossing fingers for ambulance wait times to improve

Rishi Sunak has been in power for 100 days.

Outlasting Liz Truss, and no doubt a lettuce too - the prime minister has been trusted with Britain for over three months now, amid strikes, a floundering economy, issues in the NHS and a number of scandals still dogging the Conservative Party.

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The 100 day milestone is always a good point to sit back, take stock of how prime ministers are doing and hand them a record card.

Which is exactly what indy100 has done with Sunak.


Sunak arrived on the steps of Downing Street upon being appointed prime minister and in his first speech pledged to lead with "integrity".

It was seen as a clear demarcation from the scoundrel attitude of Boris Johnson and left people optimistic that professionalism was back in government. But the reality? Different.

Sunak acted slowly when it was reported Gavin Williamson sent expletive-ridden texts to the then Tory whip moaning about not being invited to the Queen's funeral.

Sunak acted slowly when reports about Nadhim Zahawi's tax affairs dominated the media. He wouldn't fire him until an investigation was concluded - fine. But the investigation was only called months after the initial reports made their way into print.

Then there are the scandal-hit ministers he's appeared to underestimate. Bullying allegations against Dominic Raab have ramped up over the last few months and show no sign of going away. Sunak has ordered an investigation into them, and while following due process is the correct course of action rather than giving Raab the heave-ho if he is proven guilty, if Raab is found to have been a bit of an arse, it will cement the idea that Sunak is weak as it gets.

Meanwhile, he's also kept Suella Braverman in post despite her resigning from Truss's government for breaching the ministerial code, despite more allegations about her "leaky" behaviour surfacing and despite the fact she is a loose rhetorical cannon prone to spouting nonsense that generates bad headlines.


Aside from mishandling issues emerging from his cabinet, Sunak has shown himself to be as gaffe-prone as prime minister as he was as chancellor.

He initially said he wouldn't go to Cop, then u-turned after backlash, showing pretty poor judgement.

He was criticised for flying to Leeds to visit an NHS hospital rather than take the train - in more evidence his media handlers shouldn't ask for a pay rise anytime soon.

He was ratty when asked whether he used an NHS or private GP, until he blurted out a quick admission that he had in the past used private healthcare.

And he was fined for not wearing a seatbelt in a moving car, a moment even the Thick Of It writers couldn't dream of.

Nothing majorly scandalous, no erroneous acts to make people march on the streets of Westminster demanding he goes, but these are small chips in his armour that erode his authority and prestige.


As are the way he conducts himself in speeches and commons appearances. He is either underwhelming, resorts to culture war arguments to score cheap political points, borrows Johnson buzzwords and deploys them less effectively, or bangs on about Jeremy Corbyn.

No one could accuse Sunak of being a charismatic speaker, and he is appearing more 'statesboylike' than statesmanlike.

Gaffes and speeches are cosmetic things but they matter - ultimately driving voter's decisions at the ballot box.


Speaking of which, Sunak has not done well in the polls. Labour are leading by 20 points and Sunak's personal popularity is plummeting.

Consider this and the fact he has no mandate given he was appointed by Tory MPs, not even members let alone the general public, and Sunak's grasp on power looks weak, weak, weak.


But arguably, all this is a distraction from what really matters in government - good policies and decisive leadership through unexpected challenges.

How has he fared in this respect?

Well, he wants everyone to study maths and wants general "growth" for the economy. Not exactly rousing stuff.

Especially as the economy is looking ropey, and Sunak is the furlough guy from Eat Out to Help Out. Surely he can do something to fix it?

He hasn't crashed the pound a la Truss but this isn't exactly comforting. Energy bills are going up, the cost of living crisis is still a household phrase and a recent International Monetary Fund report stated that the UK will be the only G7 country whose economy will shrink.

Meanwhile, the NHS is also in a crisis of its own, but Sunak is "crossing his fingers" that things improve and everyone is on strike

It is clear further challenges for Sunak await. Much like his opinion of the nation and the public's maths skills, the prime minister needs to seriously up his game.

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