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Rishi Sunak is the one Tory who still thinks he can win

The prime minister was determined to fight for every point when grilled by MPs, writes John Rentoul. And at the No 10 Christmas reception last night there was – perhaps – a slip of when in 2024 the election might be...

Tuesday 19 December 2023 17:23 GMT
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Snippy or in control? Sunak appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee
Snippy or in control? Sunak appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee (PA )

If the election were decided by body language alone, then the verdict from rival Christmas receptions for Westminster journalists is that Rishi Sunak would win.

Keir Starmer was relaxed and confident when he spoke to the media pack last week and mingled afterwards, but the prime minister was energised and irrepressible when he did the same at No 10 last night. Of the two, you would have to say that Sunak wanted it more.

If Sunak felt weighed down by the assumption that has settled over SW1 like a low cloud that the Conservatives are facing near-certain defeat, he managed, mostly, to conceal it.

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