At least I didn’t slap anybody for criticising my wife, says Rishi ...
Rishi Sunak has compared himself to Will Smith for defending his wife over her supposed links to Russia. Yes, really.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newscast podcast, the chancellor said he had a difficult week and brought up the Smith slap scandal for no reason at all. He said: “Someone said, ‘Joe Root, Will Smith, and me – not the best of weekends for any of us’.
“But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good,” he told Laura Kuenssberg.
Sunak added: “You know, I think it’s totally fine for people to take shots at me. It’s fair game. I’m the one sitting here and that’s what I signed up for.”
It comes amid reports Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy has a 0.91 per cent stake in IT and services giant Infosys – a company founded by her father which continues to operate in Russia.
Reacting to clips of the interview on social media, people reminded Sunak that the two are not comparable:
There are serious questions needing answering abt @RishiSunak's wife & father-in-law making millions in Putin's Russia & Sunak's hypocrisy. Telling that @bbclaurak in this clip doesn't ask any hard questions letting Sunak away with talking abt it on a personal level. #bbcnewscasthttps://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
Sure. Because having a painful and untreatable medical condition is EXACTLY THE SAME as inheriting a multimillion stake in a company trading in Russia. \n\nContactless and utterly clueless.https://twitter.com/bbcpolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
Will Smith's wife has a health condition mocked, your wife and you are benefiting from Russian investments @RishiSunak.\n\nPretty grim of you think these are comparable.https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
Hello @RishiSunak ! Your wife's finances are being questioned. Fair, given your profession and standard you set for others. Stop pretending people have said she has a fat bum or something.https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
Christ alive what a bucket of piss. No-one is attacking his wife. They're asking if she profited from dividends from a family company operating in Russia.https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
There's a difference between mocking someone's medical condition for laughs and being questioned about whether you, a senior politician, are personally profiting from Russian money, when your government is clamping down on Russian money.https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833\u00a0\u2026
— Owen Jones \ud83c\udf39 (@Owen Jones \ud83c\udf39)
And interestingly, it looks like Sunak may have been inspired by a joke printed in the Private Eye the day before he appeared on the podcast.
I\u2019m not sure I\u2019ll ever recover from this. Private Eye has absolutely ended me.pic.twitter.com/qbp42WpFR8