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Rishi Sunak faces ire over his 3.8 crore swimming pool amid water shortage in UK

Rishi Sunak during a visit to Bray Film Studios, near Windsor, Berkshire, Britain, to meet with local party activists as part of his campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister, Wednesday Aug. 10, 2022. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) (AP)Premium
Rishi Sunak during a visit to Bray Film Studios, near Windsor, Berkshire, Britain, to meet with local party activists as part of his campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister, Wednesday Aug. 10, 2022. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) (AP)

  • Rishi Sunak is reportedly spending an approximately 3.8 crore ( 400,000 pounds) to construct a luxurious swimming pool inside his mansion.

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In the run up to becoming the Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, Indian-origin contender Rishi Sunak has faced the public anger and brunt several times. Whether it was his comment on labour section of the society or the fact that during an appearance on television a banner sporting his electoral message has the word ‘campaign’ spelt wrong.

This time Sunak seems to be facing a larger problem with context to his public reputation right ahead of the polls, wherein he is reportedly spending an approximately 3.8 crore ( 400,000 pounds) to construct a luxurious swimming pool inside his mansion.

Notably the action comes when England has been reeling under severe heatwaves for a couple of months, leading to the UK authorities declaring drought officially. Sunak spending a gargantuan amount of money to build a swimming pool when UK is facing acute water shortage has enraged many British citizen.

According to the Daily Mail, the former Chancellor of Exchequer is also building a gym and tennis courts at his 2 million pound Georgian manor house near Northallerton.

Aerial footage filmed recently shows the construction of the pool is in full swing – a fact that has angered many on social media, given the cost-of-living crisis in the UK. Also adding fuel to fire is the fact that public swimming pools in Richmond were forced to close due to rising energy costs.

Rishi Sunak reportedly spends his weekends at this house with his wife, Akshata Murthy, and his two daughters. The couple had applied for permission to build a 12-metre by 5-metre swimming pool at the mansion in 2021.

Sunak was an investment banker before he turned to politics and rose to become the finance minister of UK. His wife Akshata Murty is the daughter of Infosys founder and billionaire Narayana Murthy. 

Akshata also faced public anger when reports suggested that her assets were more than the Queen of England.  Earlier this year, it emerged that Murthy benefited from her "non-domicile" tax status in the UK, shielding her overseas income from taxes at a time when they are rising for most Britons. 

Sunak was accused of hypocrisy for raising taxes for Britons in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, while his own family has seen millions of pounds in Infosys dividends shielded from his own ministry.

On the electoral front, Rishi Sunak is head-to-head with Liz Truss in the race to become the next prime minister of the UK. As the candidates continue to be grilled by Conservative Party members who will be voting in the election in hustings up and down the UK, the issue of soaring inflation and prices has dominated the agenda. 

"People can judge me on my record, reiterated Sunak in his BBC interview on Wednesday night, referring to his work as Chancellor through the Covid lockdown. Sunak also promised to "go further" than what he has already announced if elected Prime Minister.

“I know millions of people are worried about inflation, particularly the cost of their energy bills. What I've said if I'm Prime Minister I will go further in supporting those families who most need support because the situation is worse than when I announced those measures earlier this year," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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