On Saturday, the UK’s opposition Labour Party criticised British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over a television tape that showed an unpleasant interaction with a guy while working at a soup kitchen for the underprivileged and homeless over the holiday season. The British Indian leader was captured on tape on Friday asking a guy if he worked in business during a visit to a Passage shelter in London. ITV News broadcast the man’s response. ‘I’m homeless, so no. Actually, I am a homeless person’.
When Sunak asked Dean what sort of business he was interested in, Dean said, ‘Finance’. Dean then stated that he was interested in business. Then Sunak, who was serving the meals at the shelter with volunteers from a charity, remarked: ‘Actually, I used to work in finance. Would you like to get involved in that? I wouldn’t mind at all, yeah. However, I dunno, I’d want to get through Christmas first,’ the homeless man said in reply.
Social media users reacted to the discussion. In relation to the ITV programme, Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner tweeted that it was ‘excruciating’. According to Labour MP Stella Creasy, ‘Watching this, I’m concerned that the Prime Minister thinks being homeless means not currently owning a country pile (second house)’. Bill Esterson, a fellow Labour MP, claimed the discussion showed the Prime Minister was ‘out of touch’ at a time when the nation was experiencing a crisis related to rising living costs.
Sunak complimented the ‘great job’ being done to help individuals throughout the holiday season during the pre-Christmas visit. ‘ Most of us this weekend and this Christmas will be inside, will be warm, will be safe, and will be with our families,’ he told the media. ‘Sadly, not everyone can say that. And for that reason’, he said, ‘the government is spending a sizable sum to lessen the number of persons who are homeless or sleeping on the streets’.