Rupert Murdoch’s Role in Persuading Rishi Sunak to Stay Amid Partygate Scandal, New Book Reveals

Rupert Murdoch’s Influence on Rishi Sunak’s Controversial Decision

Renowned British political editor Ben Riley-Smith, in his latest book published by The Daily Telegraph, delves into the intriguing details surrounding Rishi Sunak’s decision not to step down as Chancellor amidst the Partygate scandal. The book debunks assertions that Sunak’s decision to remain in power was significantly influenced by Rupert Murdoch’s executives of the media conglomerate.

The Partygate Saga Unveiled

In June 2020, both Rishi Sunak and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson were fined for attending a birthday party at 10 Downing Street, a breach of lockdown laws. This incident cast a shadow on Sunak’s tenure as Chancellor.

Murdoch’s Intervention

Boris Johnson reportedly disclosed that Rupert Murdoch had intervened, advising Sunak against resigning. This revelation has sparked fresh turmoil within the Conservative Party, with blame games reigniting over Johnson’s political downfall and concerns about a potential general election wipeout.

The Book’s Claims

According to Ben Riley-Smith’s book, Sunak had considered leaving in April 2022 and had even given a copy of his letter of resignation to a few close friends, some of whom were connected to Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate, such Times columnists William Hague and Daniel Finkelstein. Additionally, Sunak’s potential exit was discussed with Mas Siddiqui, a friend of the Chancellor and a News Corp director.

No Direct Evidence

While Boris Johnson asserts that Murdoch influenced Sunak’s decision, there is no concrete evidence of direct contact between Sunak and Murdoch. No. 10 Downing Street has denied any communication between Sunak and Murdoch on this matter.

Political Maneuvering

The former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, became aware of Sunak’s leadership aspirations in early 2022, which reportedly unsettled him. He even attempted to dissuade political strategist Lynton Crosby from working with Sunak after it was revealed that Sunak’s team had prepared a leadership website and marketing campaign in January.

Sunak’s Dilemma

As pressure mounted following a fixed-penalty notice issued by the Metropolitan Police in April 2022, Rishi Sunak agonized over his decision to resign but ultimately chose to remain in Downing Street alongside Boris Johnson.

Sunak’s Resignation

Sunak eventually resigned as Chancellor in July, citing differences in economic policy as his reason. His resignation triggered a series of government resignations, ultimately leading to Boris Johnson’s departure from No. 10 Downing Street.

Continuing Controversy

The book also highlights that Sunak had asked fellow Tory MPs in the Treasury in February 2022 to back him in a future leadership contest. His resignation came amid deep frustration over Partygate and the perceived need for higher governmental standards.

A Glimpse into the Intrigue

This new revelation about Rupert Murdoch’s alleged role in persuading Rishi Sunak not to quit adds another layer to the ever-evolving narrative of Partygate and its repercussions on British politics.

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