Rishi Sunak has come under fire for what critics called an “excruciating” exchange with a homeless man.
In footage from his visit to a homeless shelter in London on Friday, the Prime Minister can be heard asking a man he is serving food to: “Do you work in business?”
The man, called Dean, replies: “No, I’m homeless. I’m actually a homeless person.”
The awkward exchange began when the multimillionaire Prime Minister was serving breakfast to the homeless man, who asked him: “Are you sorting the economy out?”
Dean then said he was interested in business, prompting Mr Sunak to ask him what kind of business.
"Are you sorting the economy out?"
"That's exactly what I'm trying to do," Rishi Sunak responds to a homeless man at a London shelter today while serving him breakfast
The PM says the government has pledged £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over three years pic.twitter.com/cQNcyeNeqh
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 23, 2022
When Dean replied finance, the Prime Minister said: “I used to work in finance, actually.”
The Richmond MP then asked: “Is that something you’d like to get into?”
“Yeah I wouldn’t mind. But, I don’t know, I’d like to get through Christmas first,” the homeless man said.
Mr Sunak asked: “What’s your plan, what are you doing this weekend?”
Dean replied that he was hoping the homeless charity St Mungo’s could help him get into temporary accommodation “so I’m not on the street”.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted the ITV clip and wrote: “Excruciating.”
Another Labour MP, Bill Esterson, said the exchange demonstrated Mr Sunak was “out of touch”.