UK PM, Labor Leader Clash over Cost of Living, Local Elections

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Labor leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday accused British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of not listening to the people of the country, despite last week’s local elections showing that the entire country had “rejected his government.”

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Starmer accused Sunak of prioritizing the protection of oil and gas profits over freezing bills, Anadolu Agency reported.

The opposition leader also asked rhetorically why Sunak cared more about protecting his “precious non-dom (domiciled) tax status” instead of using the money to train National Health Service (NHS) staff. The status in question allows UK residents whose permanent homes are abroad not to pay British taxes on their overseas income.

The Labor leader suggested that Sunak scrap the non-dom tax status and use the funds to train NHS staff, a step that would have been in line with the priorities of the people of the country.

The heated exchange came after it was revealed last year that Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, paid thousands of pounds a year to maintain her non-dom status, which meant she was not liable for UK tax on income earned abroad.

Starmer’s comments were met with applause from the Labor benches, while Sunak defended his policies, saying that he was committed to protecting the economy and jobs.

The exchange highlighted the ongoing tensions between the government and the opposition over the government’s handling of the economy and its priorities.

In his first electoral test since he took office last year, Sunak acknowledged some “disappointing” results in last Thursday’s local elections, in which the Tories lost 10 key councils across England, in what some commentators called a precursor to a defeat in the next general elections.

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