Rishi Sunak Mocked As PM Re-Brands The Party Political Broadcast

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Rutland Lodge Healthcare Centre in Leeds. Picture date: Monday January 9, 2023.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Rutland Lodge Healthcare Centre in Leeds. Picture date: Monday January 9, 2023.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Rutland Lodge Healthcare Centre in Leeds. Picture date: Monday January 9, 2023.

Rishi Sunak has brought his slick PR to Downing Street – but not everyone is impressed.

The prime minister built his political reputation on the back of a communications strategy that emphasised his “personal brand”.

When he was chancellor, Sunak included his signature on social media posts promoting Treasury policies that invariably involved handing out lots of money.

And his leadership campaign was marked by stylised videos that stood out against his rivals – notably a clip that introduced him to the stage when he was the “underdog” to Liz Truss that seemed to have employed a Ray Winstone impersonator.

Now Sunak is innovating from No.10 as he previewed his “broadcast to the nation” on Wednesday.

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A “broadcast to the nation” sounds like a very grand term, something perhaps only reserved for big announcements, such as lockdown during the pandemic, or the monarch’s televised address on Christmas Day.

So what’s going on?

Given the video was originally posted on the Conservative Party’s feed and includes it branding, and the early evening time slots, its seems likely the “broadcast to the nation” is actually a party political broadcast – the five minute-ish slot parties are allocated free of charge on TV channels.

They’re have been beamed into living rooms since 1924, and have ranged from what was dubbed Kinnock: The Movie in 1987 – a soft focus portrait of Labour leader Neil Kinnock directed by Hugh Hudson, who made Chariots of Fire – to The Green Party mocking David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage as members of an all-male pop group in 2015.

The trailer of the broadcast showcases Sunak sitting down at a table as he returns to his “your priorities are my priorities” riff that was the central message of his first major speech on domestic policy last week.

The early reviews are not promising ...

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