Today, former Chancellor Rishu Sunak officially launched his campaign to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Sunak was one of the first MPs to resign from his cabinet job last week, triggering a domino effect of resignations that eventually led to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Today, Sunak hosted a launch event in his bid to become the new leader and Prime Minister where he promised “openness” and Sky News political journalist Beth Rigby tested the promise almost immediately.
Rigby asked Sunak a probing question, reminding him that he also received a fine for lockdown parties and of the questions raised over his family’s tax affairs.
When Rigby said, “I have to say you’re an utterly corrosive figure in the Parliamentary party for a big chunk of it” she proceeded to be booed and jeered by Sunak’s supporters in the room for asking challenging questions.
A clip of the exchange was posted by advocacy group Best for Britain, which also claimed that “Sunak tried to leave event without taking a single question from any newspaper”.
They also suggested that Rigby's microphone may have been briefly cut out, though it’s unclear if that was a Sky News tech issue.
\u201cAt a launch promising "openness", @BethRigby tries to ask a properly probing question. She is booed and it looks like her mic is cut off. Followed by a pretty prickly question from The Sun, after Sunak tries to leave event without taking a single question from any newspaper. ~AA\u201d
One person commented: “I didn’t realise that Sunak was campaigning to be President of the United Kingdom - look at that campaign material, the docile cheerleaders surrounding him & their hostility to challenging & important questions … it’s so depressing.”
\u201cI didn\u2019t realise that Sunak was campaigning to be President of the United Kingdom - look at that campaign material , the docile cheerleaders surrounding him & their hostility to challenging & important questions \u2026 it\u2019s so depressing .\u201d