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Racism, statues, riots: Rishi Sunak is Chancellor of the Exchequer, and so has no immediate departmental responsibility for the events that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

So that he has made a statement about them at all is worth noting – wrapped up in the accessible declaration on Twitter that “I’ve had a lot of questions on what I think about last weekend’s protests so I thought it would be easiest to share my thoughts below”.

It got a bit lost between Boris Johnson’s own statement yesterday evening, and Priti Patel’s robust performance in the Commons yesterday afternoon.

But what’s especially interesting is that although his line of reasoning is much the same as the Prime Minister’s, he steers well clear of saying that “black lives matter” – unlike Johnson himself.

The core of Sunak’s statement is that change comes slowly but surely; a very conservative view and, in the context of present events, a radical one.  It’s striking that three Conservative ethnic minority Ministers – first Kemi Badenoch; then Patel, and also Sunak – have sounded clearer-headed than some of their colleagues.

Downing Street insists that talk of divisions between Johnson and Sunak is misplaced, but Sunak, who is reportedly “cultivating his brand”, certainly possesses a quality in short supply among top Tories: self-confidence.

179 comments for: What Sunak said about racism and riots. And what he didn’t say.

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