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Piers Morgan has heavily praised Chancellor Rishi Sunak in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, describing the senior Tory MP as both “a good communicator” and “firm decision-maker”, who has stood out during the coronavirus crisis.
When quizzed on his views of the Chancellor, Mr Morgan said: “I certainly think that what he has going for him is that he is a good communicator and he can be a firm decision-maker and he seems to understand the brief for which he is in charge which is the economy.
“I think he is going to come under a lot of pressure in the next few months because clearly we are going to go through a lot more economic hardship and the question is how can he guide us through that.
“But I think Rishi Sunak is the most impressive of the cabinet.”
However, Mr Morgan did suggest the bar had been set very low, and his colleagues were “mediocre”.
He said: “Now the bar for that is very low. I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my career, 30 odd years in Fleet Street, I’ve never seen a more mediocre cabinet – so the bar is low.
“But I do think he is a good performer in explaining to the public why he is doing things and I think most of the economic measures he has taken he has been alright.”
Mr Morgan further praised the Chancellor in his new book, Wake Up, where he suggested Mr Sunak was the only senior Tory performing well during the pandemic.
The book charts the key dates and events of 2020, and in an entry on April 15, he said: “I’m on a WhatsApp group chat with a few top TV news journalist mates and we all agree that we can’t recall a time when both the Government and opposition ranks seemed to be so lacking in calibre, with the honourable exception of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has been commendably authoritative during his press briefing stints.”
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The Chancellor’s popularity has soared during the pandemic, with Tory politicians publicly supporting him.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, said: “He doesn’t just talk about the clothes pegs, he provides a washing line.”
Mr Sunak has also received high praise from Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat.
The Tory MP for Tonbridge and Malling has commended the Chancellor’s “leadership” during the crisis.
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He said Mr Sunak “enjoys a huge amount of confident on Conservative benches, and when I speak to people around the country… he has huge support as well”.
Similarly, a backbencher told the Times: “My constituents see him [Rishi] as a future PM. It will become a problem when the polls start slipping. Until that point, Boris will ride it.
“The difference between Rishi and Boris is that one of them has a philosophy and the other has a focus group.
“Rishi is a small-business, long-standing Brexit supporter, he’s a financially coherent conservative.
“Boris has Dom [Cummings] who tells him what to do on the basis of a focus group.”
Recent polling also indicates the Chancellor’s ratings are ahead of Mr Johnson’s.
According to YouGov, Mr Sunak is currently the most popular Tory politician.
The pollsters state 48 percent of respondents have a positive opinion of the Chancellor, with 17 percent having a negative view.
The Prime Minister is ranked in second, with a 40 percent approval rating and 35 percent disapproval score.
The ratings are based on 1,153 interviews collected between July and October 2020.
Wake Up: Why the world has gone nuts by Piers Morgan (HarperCollins, £20) is out now.
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