BBC News

Row over social media ad attacking Rishi Sunak's 'celebrity lifestyle'

Published
image copyrightOne Rule For Them
image captionThe attack ad focuses on Rishi Sunak's personal wealth

A video attacking Chancellor Rishi Sunak's "lavish celebrity lifestyle" has sparked a row on social media.

The video, by a new pro-Labour campaign group, targets Mr Sunak's personal wealth and accuses him of planning tax cuts for "his old mates in the City".

Tory former Chancellor Sajid Javid responded to it by saying: "The Left really, really do detest ethnic-minority Tory Cabinet ministers."

Conservative peer Baroness Warsi took issue with Mr Javid's criticism.

"That's not universally true Sajid," she tweeted.

"Don't think the left 'detested' me when I was a Tory Cabinet minister although many on the right did/ still do for holding a mirror up to racism within our ranks."

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But Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said the attack video followed a "pattern", tweeting: "The left really don't like us BAME people being successful, do they."

And Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said: "I don't remember seeing videos like this about [former Tory chancellor] Phillip Hammond who was also very wealthy but somehow Rishi Sunak is different."

The group behind the video, One Rule For Them, hit back at suggestions Mr Sunak had been singled out because of his ethnicity, saying: "We make videos about our political opponents on the merit of their decisions."

'Political start-up'

The group said it had also made an attack ad focusing on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings.

One Rule For Them's founder, former Labour Party advisor and campaign organiser Adam McNicholas, has accused the party under Sir Keir Starmer of not being aggressive enough in its attacks on political opponents.

Mr McNicholas described One Rule For Them as "a grassroots political start up", which would be "working independent of political parties with the sole focus of defeating the Tories in marginal seats".

He added: "We are crowdfunding to raise money to run campaigns in target seats.

"We will continue to target politicians - national and local - where they think the rules don't apply to them and where they are responsible for regressive policies like denying kids free school meals during the school holidays and cutting income support by £1,000 per year for low income workers during the pandemic."

Non-party campaign groups have grown in influence in recent years.

Momentum, which was set up to support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party, spent £500,458 on campaigning in the run up to last year's general election.

Mr McNicholas said his new group had no formal links to the Labour Party.

"I have friends who work for Labour so I talk to people who work for Labour but the project is entirely independent. It's me and my team of volunteers," he told BBC News.

Related Topics

  • Rishi Sunak
  • Tom Tugendhat
  • Labour Party
  • Sajid Javid