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Sunak says he’ll continue with ‘verve’ rather than resign over Covid fine

The Chancellor denied he was planning to quit.

27 May 2022

Rishi Sunak has insisted he is not considering resigning despite being fined for breaking coronavirus laws during a bruising period as Chancellor.

He did not rule out having agonised over whether to quit after the Metropolitan Police issued him with a fixed-penalty notice over Boris Johnson’s birthday gathering.

But Mr Sunak insisted he will continue with the same “energy and verve I’ve always had for this job” as he leads the response to the cost-of-living crisis.

The Chancellor and his wife Akshata Murty came under intense scrutiny in recent months after it was revealed she holds non-domiciled status, allowing her to reduce her UK tax bill.

Questions have also been raised about whether he can empathise with a nation suffering with soaring prices after the pair entered The Sunday Times Rich List for the first time with their joint £730 million fortune.

Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons
Rishi Sunak insisted he still had the ‘energy and verve’ to carry on as Chancellor (House of Commons/PA)

Asked if he was considering resigning, Mr Sunak told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “No.

“I am fully committed to helping get the country through what are some challenging months ahead and build a brighter future for the people that I’m very privileged to represent.

“And as you saw yesterday I have the same energy and verve I’ve always had for this job and I’ll keep at it.”

Prime Minister’s Questions
Both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak received a fine for breaking Covid-19 restrictions (House of Commons/PA)

The Chancellor was this week pictured in Sue Gray’s inquiry into Covid breaches when he attended a Cabinet Room gathering for Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday in June 2020.

In April, the pair, as well as the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson, were all fined over the event.

Mr Sunak reportedly spent hours agonising over whether to resign over the move, but ultimately decided to stay in Downing Street along with Mr Johnson.

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