RISHI Sunak has marked a year as Prime Minister and had an endless slew of disastrous moments and policy failures during that time.

From scrapping the UK’s commitments to tackling climate change, to failing to deal with the cost of living crisis hammering households across the UK, it has been a bumpy ride for those of us having to deal with the consequences of Tory inaction.

There have also been numerous bungles from the Tory PM over his 365 days in charge.

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And not to forget – Sunak wasn’t even elected by his own party to the top job in Westminster, having taken on the job after Liz Truss was forced to quit over her disastrous mini-budget.

The SNP have dubbed Sunak’s tenure so far as a “failure”, so The National have picked out a select few of his worst moments to celebrate the milestone.

Failure to tackle the cost of living

While Brexit got the ball rolling on the cost of living crisis, and Truss hammered it home with her disastrous mini-budget, Sunak has made millions of families worse off, according to the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

Since Truss’s swift exit from Number 10, households now have to deal with higher mortgage bills and rents, higher food and grocery prices, a rise in car and home insurance costs, as well as phone and internet bills, and crucial energy bill support was withdrawn – despite the energy crisis still being in full swing ahead of winter.

"As Rishi Sunak marks a year of failure as Prime Minister, millions of families across Scotland are even worse off now than they were under Liz Truss because of his government's choices,” Flynn (below) said.

The National: Stephen Flynn

"Neither the Tories or pro-Brexit Labour Party have the answers to the fundamental problem of UK decay and decline - because both parties are wedded to failed Westminster policies that have tanked the UK economy and sent the cost of living soaring, from Brexit to austerity cuts.

"Scotland's best future is independence. Independent countries like Scotland are wealthier and fairer than the UK - so the question is, why not Scotland?

"Only with independence can Scotland escape Westminster control, get rid of the Tories for good, and secure the powers we need to build a wealthier and fairer future in Europe."

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Net zero commitment rollback

Sunak and the Tories were accused of having “blood on their hands” and faced a fierce backlash in September after he U-turned on a number of the UK Government’s key climate commitments - and even some that had never existed in the first place (meat tax, anyone?).

He pushed back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, weakened commitments to the phasing out of gas boilers, and a number of other Tory manifesto pledges.

It followed the PM’s push to tackle the also non-existent “war on motorists” as he played to the climate-sceptic hard-right of the party, almost as if they are set for an absolute drubbing at the next General Election.


Scrapping policies seems to be a favourite ploy of Sunak’s and the HS2 link up to Manchester was another project sacrificed at the altar of Tory “long-term decisions”, as the PM tried to frame himself as the change candidate, despite his party being in power for 13 years.

After days of refusing to commit to rumours in the press, Sunak confirmed the decision at the Tory party conference, announcing a number of projects that would be funded in its place.

The move prompted a furious backlash, even from his own party. 

Notably, what the PM didn’t say was that a number of these projects had already been announced, and in some cases, completed. Oh, and not to forget that the land ripped up to build the HS2 line will be sold off on the cheap. We wonder what Tory donors will benefit from that one.

The National: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty arriving by plane in Hiroshima

Fly baby, fly

Sunak has become renowned for his love of a private jet, on one occasion taking a 28-minute flight from London to Blackpool, and has shrugged off criticism of his love of lavish travel. He even took to social media to announce the scrapping of HS2 with a photograph of himself on a private jet.

And, while Labour accused the PM of potentially breaking the ministerial code by using an RAF plan to get from London to Aberdeenshire earlier this year, Sunak has not been deterred. A millionaire PM who enjoys a heavy carbon footprint with flights galore? It’s a wonder the net-zero commitments were scrapped.

Sturgeon dig

At the Tory party conference earlier this month, Sunak appeared to risk a potential contempt of court by making a dig about Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP finance probe during his keynote speech.

He quipped that she wanted to go down in history as the woman who took Scotland to independence, but “it now looks like she may go down for very different reasons” to the event in Manchester.

It’s not a surprise that Sunak chose his moment to take a pop at the former first minister, in his conference speech in April he dubbed the Scottish Parliament a “devolved assembly”.

A respectful approach to devolution and Scottish politicians as always from the Tories.

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Dodging Scottish press

On those rare occasions that Sunak has made a jaunt north of the Border – most of which were in parts of the north east where journalists were given very little notice of his visit – he has not made it very accommodating to the Scottish press pack.

At the Scottish Tory party conference in July, he attempted to dodge questions from reporters and was accused of trying to give himself an “easy ride”.

Before that, a visit to Aberdeenshire saw just 15 minutes allocated to journalists, five to broadcast and 10 to print. We haven’t seen much of him after that either.

The National: Independence march

Refusal to engage on independence

Like Tory Prime Ministers before him Sunak has repeatedly ruled out granting a Section 30 order to allow Scotland to have a referendum on independence. 

He has made unfounded claims that the “forces of separatism are in retreat” and that the Union is stronger than ever.

Sunak also refused to set out the democratic route for Scotland to achieve independence.

He must be ignoring polling that puts independence support steady while the Union is not seen so favourably, of course.

What do you think Rishi Sunak’s worst moment as PM has been? Let us know in the comments.