London Diary: Rishi Sunak Has Never Loved India More

Good for business: A chat between Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and some Indian media showed just how much of an Indian Sunak is at heart, and at home. His daughter, he told us, is learning Kuchipudi. And that the daughter was among a group of Kuchipudi dancers who performed for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations at Westminster Abbey.

Rishi Sunak should be in India later this year, and he said he is looking forward to that very much. And to meeting up with family in their family home. The father-in-law is of course NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys. Sunak had much to say about his Indian connections, and how warmly he values them.

But why now? He has for long played down his Indian connections publicly. It’s been his view that these will not go down well with his constituents who want to elect a very British MP. Sunak accordingly has played up the British and downplayed the Indian in him. But now Britain is looking to a free trade agreement with India as a principal post-Brexit adventure. Britain is doing its PR with India and over India actively now. Which makes it politic for Sunak to now come across as more Indian than he ever has before.

Living up to his name: Some of Britain’s most controversial MPs have, as it turns out, been rather unfortunately named. The Conservative MP in a soup now for groping two males at a club in London is rather meaningfully named Chris Pincher. Mr Pincher has owned up to getting drunk and to groping the males. He has offered a resignation from his post as deputy chief whip of the ruling party.

Mr Pincher has pinched before. Several Conservative MPs are now telling the party that Mr Pincher called them to private meetings and groped — or pinched — them. They said they had complained to the party leadership but couldn’t take their complaints forward because Mr Pincher demanded evidence.

Pincher was investigated over “inappropriate conduct” back in 2017 but was cleared because the inquiry found no evidence. He was accused of making an unwanted pass at Olympics rower Alex Story, whose story was not accepted.

Back in April, a Conservative MP, Neil Parish, resigned after being caught watching hard porn within the parliament chamber. From Mr Parish, not the kind of conduct the vicar of his parish might have expected.

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