Can Rishi Sunak, with his ‘Ponzi scheme reputation’, make a comeback?

The chancellor is down, but not out – although it will take a long time for his reputation to recover, writes John Rentoul

Tuesday 17 May 2022 19:12
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<p>The argument for Sunak resigning was that he would preserve his integrity</p>

The argument for Sunak resigning was that he would preserve his integrity

One of the conventional wisdoms that seems mistaken is the idea that Rishi Sunak should have resigned when he received a penalty notice for taking part in a lockdown gathering in Downing Street.

The chancellor hesitated for seven hours after hearing from Scotland Yard last month that the police thought he had broken the law by turning up early for a ministerial meeting. The debate between him and his aides bore some superficial similarity to that engaged in by Keir Starmer and his advisers over whether he should say he would resign if fined.

The argument for Sunak resigning was that he would preserve his integrity and draw a contrast with the boisterous approach to ethics of the prime minister. The calculation was that he would then be well placed to contest the leadership from his lofty vantage point on the moral high ground when Boris Johnson was eventually ousted.

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