Is caste an issue for Rishi Sunak, who is in the race for the post of Prime Minister in the UK?

Is caste an issue for Rishi Sunak, who is in the race for the post of Prime Minister in the UK?

(Paul Whiteley, University of Essex) Colchester (UK): A UGOV poll of party members concluded on August 2 shows Rishi Sunak trailing Liz Truss by 69% against 31% in the Conservative leadership race. A similar survey was completed on 21 July, showing the figure at 38% and 62%. Truss seems to be winning the match.

This is surprising given the fact that Sunak was a very popular chancellor at the time of the Covid lockdown, in large part because of his generosity in supporting workers with the furlough scheme. But the survey shows that survey participants prefer truss by a large margin over key policy issues such as cost of living, the NHS, asylum, housing, and defense.

Furthermore, she thinks she could pave the way for a Conservative Party victory in the next election - though many are pessimistic about whether that could happen. This raises the interesting question: why is he being so disliked among party members? One reason for this could be the back-stabbing - it is believed that Sunak betrayed the prime minister by resigning as chancellor. His resignation prompted many to resign from the government, which shook Prime Minister Boris Johnson's power.

Overall 51% of the survey respondents thought it was wrong for them to resign and only 40% thought it was right. In addition, only 27% of members thought he was trustworthy, while 60% thought the same about Truss. His early resignation seems to have put him at a great disadvantage in the leadership race. But there is another aspect which is not discussed at all. Some members of the Conservative Party are likely prejudiced against him because he comes from an ethnic minority background.

In a country striving for better equality, this is not a question to be avoided. If it was a general election, it would have been discussed somewhere. Inequality cannot be addressed without evidence and honesty – a fact that is acknowledged by businesses, government organizations, and indeed parliamentary parties. When David Cameron was party leader, he promoted the inclusion of ethnic minorities in the parliamentary party. He made important appointments in his cabinet.

Therefore, the Conservative Parliamentary Party cannot be accused of ignoring the issue. But this may not be the case with the members of the party. Is prejudice among the members a fact that does not dare to speak the name of the sage? If the prime ministers are to be elected through party elections, this is an issue that should at least be considered.

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