Rishi Sunak releases new promotional video

Being a politician is tough.

People watch their every move, look for things they've got wrong and rinse them mercilessly for them when they inevitably do go wrong - it can't be non-stop fun.

But then there are times they really don't make it easy for themselves and make decisions or say things so flabbergasting, we don't know how they got elected.

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This week has been no different, and over the last seven days Tories have fallen into every gaffe-trap going, from dodging important meetings, to making dodgy ministerial appointments.

With that in mind, here are MP's biggest gaffes this week:

1. Sunak becomes PM and immediately becomes a meme

It usually takes a while for new prime ministers to become memes of themselves, but Sunak managed to hit the ground running on day one when, upon being coronated as leader of the Tory party, he delivered a short and robotic speech which people immediately took the mick out of.

It happens to the best of us.

2. Sunak takes a pop at North London

Things didn't improve in the week and Sunak used his first PMQs appearance to slam the leader of the opposition Keir Starmer for the cardinal sin of living in North London.

Starmer had brought up footage of Sunak bragging about taking money out of deprived urban areas, and instead of explaining himself, Sunak simply said: "I know the right honourable gentleman rarely leaves North London".

It was pretty ridiculous, not least because the criticism is usually used to make people seem elite and out of touch, and Sunak is on the Sunday Times Rich List, while Starmer isn't.

Starmer also represents a London constituency - so living near it is pretty good if you ask us.

3. Nadine Dorries tries her hand at presenting

Over to the backbenches, and as she is no longer culture secretary, Dorries must have more time on her hands. So much time that she decided to try her hand at presenting on TalkTV, filling in for Piers Morgan.

Did she do a good job? Well you can judge that for yourselves...

4. Nadhim Zahawi rapidly changes his mind

On Sunday morning, despite him being among those calling on Johnson to resign in July, Zahawi expressed his support for Johnson becoming the leader of the Tories (again).

He tweeted: “I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right,” adding: “Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto.

Really bigging his old boss up, just hours later, The Telegraph published a comment piece by the former Education Secretary, titled ‘Get ready for Boris 2.0, the man who will make the Tories and Britain great again’.

Embarrassingly for him, Johnson confirmed he wasn't standing in the race around the same time and just 30 minutes after the comment piece was published, Zahawi chose a new horse to back.

We've got whiplash.

5. Just failing to uphold democracy

A big gaffe this week has been the coronation of Sunak in general. There's not been a general election yet we are onto our third prime minister in seven weeks and given the Tories' position in the polls, it seems the public are not best pleased.

Could this be the biggest political gaffe of all time?

6. Just Suella Braverman

It has also been a tough week for the home secretary. Last week she resigned from Liz Truss's government for breaching the ministerial code - she admitted to sending "sensitive" documents to the wrong person and from her personal email.

Then, she returned under Sunak and this decision was heavily criticised. Why should she get a second chance?

The heat didn't die down. Ed Davey alleged people call her "leaky Sue" while the previous Tory party chairman Jake Berry made further allegations about her conduct, and the Daily Mail said she was investigated over the leak of a story involving MI5 in January.

7. Sunak dodges Cop27

Sunak has not only faced criticism for his appointments this week. Despite it being an extremely important annual event in which world leaders discuss how to limit the impact of climate change, Sunak decided he would not attend Cop27.

His allies defended him, but he was widely criticised by environmentalists and opposition parties.

Not the best optics.

8. Sunak's dodgy song choice

And to round off the chaos week, on Friday, the prime minister released a promotional video of him running around being the PM. It was characteristically slick.

Except for one small problem - the drum beat in the background sounded eerily similar to one of convicted paedophile Gary Glitter's songs, Rock & Roll Part 2.

It absolutely wasn't that song, his deputy spokesperson confirmed, but having to issue that clarification in itself was pretty awkward.

We shudder to think what next week may bring.

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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