Sunak’s wealth isn’t a problem for voters – except when he refuses to talk about it | Rafael Behr

People don’t generally go into British politics for the money, although the money isn’t bad. The basic annual MPs’ salary of £84,144 is more than double the UK average. Ministers earn even more. But there are quicker ways to get rich.

There are careers where greed can go naked. In politics it has to skulk in itchy robes of public service. Bankers and hedge fund managers don’t need to explain what principle called them to global finance. When Rishi Sunak did those jobs, I doubt he was ever asked why. By the time he switched to politics, he had earned heaps of cash and married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of a billionaire. Cupidity was not the reason he sought office.

Likewise, the prime minister’s failure to declare a conflict of interest over government childcare subsidies probably doesn’t expose venal machination. Only in the flickering bunker light of internet conspiracy theory does it look like a devious diversion of budget resources. Carelessness is the plausible…

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This article was written by Rafael Behr and originally published on