Rishi Sunak denies he is like a ‘quinoa salad’

Nick Robinson told Rishi Sunak 'a lot of people think you're a quinoa salad' compared to Nigel Farage
Nick Robinson told Rishi Sunak 'a lot of people think you're a quinoa salad' compared to Nigel Farage

Rishi Sunak has denied he is like a “quinoa salad” as he insisted he was conservative enough when compared to Nigel Farage.

The Prime Minister said he was the only party leader capable of reducing immigration and adopting a sensible approach towards net zero in an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson.

The exchange came as Reform rises in the polls under Mr Farage’s leadership, with the party outflanking the Conservatives to the Right on a number of major policy issues.

Asked by Mr Robinson about many voters thinking the Reform leader “is more of a Conservative than you are”, Mr Sunak said: “Well, at the end of the day, on July 5th, there is only going to be one person that’s Prime Minister. It’s Keir Starmer or myself.

“A vote for anyone who’s not a Conservative candidate is just making it more likely that Keir Starmer is that person…”

Mr Robinson replied: “So you won’t talk about Nigel Farage at all. You see, a lot of people looking at him and you, they think these Conservatives, he’s a kind of Sunday roast with all the trimmings and you’re a quinoa salad.”

Insisting that “policies” and “substance” were what mattered during the campaign, the Prime Minister said a vote for Reform would only make it more likely that Sir Keir Starmer entered Downing Street on July 5.

“You said to me, ‘Well, are you Conservative enough?’ Well, here’s what we’re offering – lower taxes, protected pensions, increase in defence spending, a more sensible approach to net zero and a clear plan to both stop the boats and bring down the levels of migration.

“That is what I’m talking to the country about. That’s the choice.”

Mr Sunak has come under fire from the Tory Right throughout his premiership, with critics claiming a record postwar tax burden and high net migration levels show that he is not sufficiently conservative.

Richard Tice, Mr Farage’s predecessor, labelled both Labour and the Conservatives “two sides of the same socialist coin”, while Mr Farage himself has dismissed Mr Sunak as a “social democrat”.

But Mr Sunak has insisted he is bringing taxes down, pointing to National Insurance cuts at the last two fiscal events, while also pledging to end illegal immigration through the Rwanda deportation plan.