The video which shows the big problem facing Rishi Sunak
Watch: Rishi Sunak under fire for claiming he worked to divert money from 'deprived urban communities' when chancellor
Rishi Sunak has won the Tory party leadership contest and will become prime minister after Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race to succeed Liz Truss.
While Sunak amassed the support of the majority of Tory MPs, his track record on being in touch with the British public will be a thorn in his side under his leadership.
A video obtained by the New Statesman in August revealed the incoming prime minister, who has a net worth of over £700m, boasting that he had funnelled money from poor areas into wealthier one during his time as chancellor.
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"I managed to start changing the funding formulas, to make sure that areas like this are getting the funding that they deserve," Sunak told Tory members in the wealthy constituency of Tunbridge Wells.
“Because we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone. I started the work of undoing that."
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner shared the video on Twitter on Monday as the Tory leadership contest was still ongoing, in a sign that the comments will continue to dog Sunak during his time in No 10.
"When people show you who they are, believe them the first time," she said.
"General election NOW. Rishi Sunak boasts of taking money from 'deprived urban areas' to help wealthy."
Shadow education minister Toby Perkins took a similar approach, saying people should "never forget" the remarks.
"Sunak may have got the job without an election this time, but in the last campaign he boasted about robbing the poor to give to the rich in Tunbridge Wells," said Perkins.
Despite the criticism, Sunak doubled down on his remarks in August – telling Sky News: "I think that’s an entirely sensible thing to be doing, because it’s not just big urban areas that require that extra investment."
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The video surfaced weeks after a different video showing a young Sunak appearing to admit that he had no working class friends emerged.
"I have friends who are aristocrats, I have friends who are upper-class, I have friends who are working class – well, not working class," he told the BBC's Middle Classes: Their Rise & Sprawl documentary in 2001.
Sunak said during the Tory leadership contest over the summer it had been a "silly" thing to say.
Elsewhere, in April, the former chancellor and his wife Akshata Murty came under scrutiny after it emerged she had been claiming a non-domiciled tax status to avoid paying millions in UK taxes.
Following intense political pressure and public anger, Murty – who is the daughter of Indian tech billionaire Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy – announced she would be changing her tax status.
"I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family," said Murty in August.
"For this reason, I will no longer be claiming the remittance basis for tax."
Sunak also came under pressure after he emerged he had held a US green card until 2021.
On Monday, Labour MP Nadia Whittome said Sunak's wealth is twice that of the King.
"Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of £730,000,000," she said.
"That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III. Remember this whenever he talks about making 'tough decisions' that working class people will pay for."
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Her colleague Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: "We don’t need another unelected multimillionaire imposed on the country to inflict huge public service cuts. We need a general election."
Sunak has repeatedly rejected claims that he is too wealthy to be an effective prime minister.
“I don’t judge people by their bank accounts, I judge them by their character and I think people can judge me by my actions over the past couple of years," he said in May.
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