Guardian columnist Owen Jones has posted a video on Twitter labelling Rishi Sunak “the most dangerous man in Britain”.
On Wednesday night, Owen Jones posted a video that was heavily critical of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his response to the pandemic.
In the video, Jones suggested that Sunak had prioritised the economy over human lives, which he claims was “a catastrophic mistake”. This comes as a follow-up to a Guardian article posted by Jones in December, declaring that Sunak is “central to the UK’s Covid mess”.
The examples given by Jones to reinforce this claim were the furlough, Eat Out to Help Out and statutory sick pay levels. The financial measures that Sunak has imposed, he said, had “driven thousands into poverty”.
The furlough scheme has given many workers across the country an opportunity to continue receiving an income when they are unable to work due to Covid. Jones denounced this scheme as insufficient, saying that many people were ineligible. He went on to assume that the furlough scheme had caused a number of deaths from people left in poverty, and that Sunak was the cause of those deaths.
The most significant claim made by Jones was that Rishi Sunak “desperately fought against the measures that were needed in order to suppress the virus, to save lives and shorten the nightmare that all of us have been trapped in”.
The Chancellor’s attempts to re-open the economy, including opening workspaces, leisure activities and the hospitality sector, were widely hailed as a success at the time. Commentators praised the moves, saying they allowed those who work in these sectors to regain a revenue stream and reduced the pressure that many were feeling as a result of lockdown, which also helped to relieve the strain of mental health issues nationwide.
From Jones’ perspective, however, this was the cause of numerous unnecessary deaths, laying the blame for this at the Chancellor’s door. However, Sunak remains one of the most popular politicians in Parliament, with support from both parties.