Rishi Sunak pledges to put family at centre of ‘vision of a better future’

The Prime Minister pledged to build a society that values families in his first major speech of the year.

Rishi Sunak spoke at length about family as he set out his agenda for 2023, calling it “something that politicians struggle to talk about”.

Mr Sunak also claimed he wanted to “support parents to manage the demands of modern workplaces without weakening the irreplaceable bonds of family life”.

It follows reports that the Prime Minister plans to jettison a range of reforms designed to ease the cost burden of childcare on parents, set out by his predecessor Liz Truss.

“Family is something politicians struggle to talk about because you can all too readily be pilloried for being out of touch or worse, hostile to those who don’t conform to some idealised form,” Mr Sunak said.

“We live in a world today where family can and does take many forms.

“But whatever your family looks like, it doesn’t matter as long as the common bond is love.”

He added that politicians “shouldn’t be shy” of talking about family, adding: “We cannot not talk about the thing that is most important in most of our lives.

“Not when the evidence is clear that strong, supportive families make for more stable communities and happier individuals.”

Mr Sunak said his own family “sustains me in the most difficult moments in this job”, and claimed the Government would “roll out family hubs to offer parents the support they need to raise a child”.

“We need to support parents to manage the demands of modern workplaces without weakening the irreplaceable bonds of family life,” he said.

Mr Sunak added: “Because I believe deeply that family, not just government, can help us answer the profound questions we face as a country.

“When it comes to health, family cares for us when we are sick and old; family teaches us values in education; when it comes to community – family guides us in right and wrong.

“That’s why family runs right through our vision of a better future.”

Rishi Sunak visit to Plexal
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Telegraph newspaper first reported that Mr Sunak is set to shelve childcare reforms promised by his short-lived predecessor.

Ms Truss is believed to be concerned about the proposals.

One of her allies, Tory former minister Simon Clarke, criticised the move on Twitter, writing: “We should do all we can to support working mums.”