Express & Star

Challenges mount as Rishi Sunak completes 100 days in office

If I was to put a rating on Rishi Sunak's first 100 days in power, it would be something along the lines of: 7/10 for effort, 2/10 for execution.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced a testing first 100 days in office

The Prime Minister often comes across as a hapless figure, stumbling from one political scandal to another while trying to deal with the most testing set of issues faced by any modern day UK premier.

While the cost of living crisis drags on, Mr Sunak is at loggerheads with union bosses demanding pay rises he says the country can't afford.

And as more and more workers jump on the strike bandwagon, the crisis in the NHS deepens and violent crime is going through the roof.

To some it already looks as if the PM may have bitten off more than he can chew – although it is hard to have sympathy for a guy who got into Number 10 through the back door after leading the charge to boot out Boris.

Mr Sunak, let us not forget, pledged "integrity, professionalism and accountability" when he got the big job, a phrase that sounds like he borrowed it from a team meeting during his time as a banker.

Yet the sleaze and scandal that Mr Sunak pledged to banish from the Tory ranks has been a notable feature of his time in office up to now.

There was the Suella Braverman appointment, Sir Gavin Williamson's resignation over bullying allegations and the sacking of Nadhim Zahawi over his tax affairs.

The PM's deputy, Dominic Raab, is under investigation over bullying, with civil servants seemingly lining up to report what a frightfully horrible man he is.

Far from closing the book on the Johnson years, Mr Sunak has merely started his own chapter.

On entering Number 10, Mr Sunak was widely viewed among senior Conservatives as a manager rather than a leader.

His supporters hoped he would act as a steady hand that would give the Conservatives a chance of regaining support in the run up to the next general election.

But according to latest opinion polls, the Tories are less popular now than they were at the start of Liz Truss's disastrous stint as leader.

The reality is that Mr Sunak's 'achievements' since he entered office are few and far between. There is a degree of unity among Tory backbenchers, albeit a fragile one. The British economy has stabilised.

His one major speech saw him address the nation like a primary school teacher at morning form, delivering five promises that were all things he expects to be eminently achievable.

The question remains: is Mr Sunak really cut out for the job, or is he just another politician with far more ambition than talent?

We will learn more in the weeks ahead, when crunch time arrives on key matters including the Northern Ireland protocol and new immigration laws.

Then comes his first challenge at the ballot box with May's local elections. If that goes badly wrong, then Mr Sunak's days in Number 10 may already be numbered.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.