Rishi Sunak praised as ‘charismatic’ and ‘a strong family man’ after speech

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Rishi Sunak came across as “charismatic” and a “strong family man” during a speech, some Conservative Party members have said.

The Tory leadership candidate appeared at a tyre shop in Grantham, the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, on Saturday to urge members to give him their vote.

During the 10-minute talk and in answering questions from the audience, Mr Sunak spoke about his policy vision and his background as the son of a GP father and chemist mother.

Conservative leadership bid
Rishi Sunak during a visit to Vaculug tyre specialists in Grantham, as part of his campaign to be leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and the next prime minister (Danny Lawson/PA)

Many in attendance applauded and cheered as he delivered the speech.

One, Marion Webb, 72, who lives near Grantham, said afterwards: “There was lots to think about.

“I’m sure we all take our vote very seriously so we are all going to listen to all the views and make up our minds and do what’s best because we realise that this is not just for a leader, which is serious enough, but it’s for the prime minister.

“I didn’t know about his background before.

“I didn’t know about his father being a GP and I get the idea of a very strong family man who is very caring.”

“I suppose his views on taxes are well known but I think we got the human element and more of the idea of a rounded person.”

Ben Lavender, 18, from Grantham, said, while he intended to vote for Mr Sunak, he thought the chances of victory were “50/50”.

He added: “He seemed very charismatic.

“I think watching the debate the other night he seems more charismatic than Liz Truss.”

Juliet Donoghue, a former Conservative councillor in Rushcliffe, said she thought he was “amazing”.

She added: “I was impressed with him.

“I think he’s got a background in health and I feel he’s a man of integrity and I would like to see him representing the UK as a statesman, as prime minister because you can talk about years of experience but if you don’t have a good heart and integrity what’s the point.

“So I think he ticks those boxes.”

“I think to be fair on Liz Truss, I think they’re both strong candidates but my favourite is him and I like that fact that he’s from a health background and, you know, he knows sacrifice that GP’s take, his dad was one but top on integrity and honesty and let’s start rebuilding on that.

“We might not get it all right but it’s a good start.”

Craig Leyland, a local businessman and leader of East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire was still undecided.

He said: “I have to say that the two candidates here today weren’t necessarily the ones I was expecting to see, certainly one of them was, but I had another preference but, you know, we are where we are and I’ve got to make a decision based on what will be best for the country.”

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