Rishi Sunak today posted a glitzy pre-Budget video on Twitter detailing his first year as Chancellor in a move which will inevitably reignite speculation of a future Tory leadership bid.
Mr Sunak’s video, the latest example of ‘Brand Rishi’, clocks in at almost six minutes long and features clips from an informal sit down interview cut with footage of him in the Commons and out on official visits.
It also shows all of the financial support initiatives brought forward by the Treasury during the coronavirus crisis and sets everything against an orchestral soundtrack.
Mr Sunak said in the video that ‘at the heart of this Budget will be honesty and fairness’ as he also revealed ‘my face was a complete picture of shock’ when Boris Johnson offered him the job last February.
The Chancellor has also announced that ‘in a Budget first’ he will be holding a press conference on Wednesday at 5pm to answer questions from the public and the media about his proposals.
The publication of the video came as a new poll showed more than a third of 2019 Tory voters would approve of Mr Sunak replacing Mr Johnson as prime minister before the next general election.
An exclusive survey conducted for MailOnline by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found some 37 per cent of Conservative backers would support Mr Sunak getting the top job before 2024.
Meanwhile, a quarter (26 per cent) said they would disapprove of the switch in leadership.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak today posted a glitzy pre-Budget video on his Twitter page in a move which will reignite speculation of a future leadership bid
The video, which clocks in at almost six minutes long, details Mr Sunak’s first year as Chancellor
The video sets out all of the financial support measures brought forward by Mr Sunak during the pandemic as well as previous Budget announcements
A new poll showed more than a third of 2019 Tory voters would approve of Rishi Sunak replacing Boris Johnson as PM before the 2024 general election
The poll also suggested that Tory voters are fairly evenly split on which of the two politicians have performed better in their respective roles.
Some 45 per cent said they believed Mr Johnson had performed better in his role as PM while 44 per cent said Mr Sunak had performed better in his role as Chancellor.
The poll of people who voted Conservative at the 2019 general election was conducted between February 23-24, just one week before Mr Sunak is due to deliver his Budget on March 3.
Mr Sunak was relatively unknown to many outside Westminster when he was appointed as Chancellor in February last year.
He has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the Government and his stock has risen during the pandemic as he announced repeated waves of financial support for struggling families and businesses.
His rise has been aided by a well-oiled PR operation which has helped to cultivate ‘Brand Rishi’.
However, the Chancellor faced criticism from his political opponents last year after he included his own logo and signature on social media posts amid rising speculation that he could one day launch a bid for the Tory leadership.
Mr Sunak has previously insisted he does not want to be PM, saying in November last year: ‘I have enough of a struggle just trying to do the job that I have and keep my head above water, quite frankly.’
But the poll numbers suggest that Mr Sunak would have significant support in the Tory ranks if he does fancy a tilt at the top job.
Asked to what extent they would approve or disapprove of Mr Sunak replacing Mr Johnson before the next general election, some 25 per cent of Tory voters said they would approve and 12 per cent said they would strongly approve.
Some 32 per cent said they would neither approve nor disapprove while 18 per cent would disapprove and eight per cent would strongly disapprove.
Respondents were also asked how likely or unlikely they would be to vote Conservative if Mr Johnson was replaced by Mr Sunak.
Some 36 per cent of Tory voters said they would be very likely to vote Conservative at the next general election if Mr Johnson was replaced by Mr Sunak
Glossy PR from Mr Sunak has led to speculation that he is positioning himself to become PM after Mr Johnson
Some 36 per cent said they would be very likely to vote Tory and 29 per cent said likely.
Just six per cent said they would be unlikely to vote Tory and five per cent said very unlikely.
Asked to what extent they approved or disapproved of Mr Sunak’s performance as Chancellor, some 67 per cent said they approved or strongly approved.
Just nine per cent said they disapproved or strongly disapproved of his performance.