Why has Rishi Sunak been reported to the police?

Rishi Sunak is facing yet another controversy hot on the heels of Britain’s new high-speed railway failure.

Rishi Sunak reported police
© Anthony Devlin / GETTYIMAGES
Rishi Sunak reported police

The Conservative Party conference has been the source of a lot of drama this week. Suella Braverman memorably stepped on a blind man’s dog and Rishi Sunak - as expected - announced he would be axing the Manchester leg of Britain’s new high-speed railway, HS2. This comes as the Prime Minister claims he cannot give his WhatsApp messages to the covid inquiry because he has changed his phone ‘a number of times’.

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One day later and the drama continues: Rishi Sunak has now been reported to the police following a badly-judged joke about Nicola Sturgeon. Here’s what he said.

What Rishi Sunak said at the conference

The Tory conference took place from 1 to 4 October. During Sunak’s speech to his fellow Conservatives, he took a swing at the former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader:

Nicola Sturgeon wanted to go down in the history books as the woman who broke up our country… but it now looks like she may go down for very different reasons.

This jibe may have earned him a few chortles from his colleagues, but Sunak is probably regretting it now as it has been flagged to the Scottish police.

Why Rishi Sunak’s joke got him reported to the police

Nicola Sturgeon is subject to a live police investigation into the SNP’s finances. Sturgeon stepped down from her role as Scotland's First Minister in February 2023, after over eight years of leading the government.

Sunak’s joke refers to her later being arrested and questioned by police in June. This followed the detentions of SNP treasurer Colin Beattie and former party chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also Sturgeon’s husband. All three were released without charge - but the case is ongoing.

Who filed the report?

Interestingly, it was Chris McEleny, the general secretary of the SNP’s rival pro-independence Alba Party, who reported the PM. He told Sky News that he has asked the police to investigate:

The prime minister is commenting on, and making an assumption about a live Police Scotland investigation.
It is too important a matter to allow interference from the prime minister in this act of contempt when many people await the facts of Police Scotland’s investigation.

Ironically, just before this controversial dig, Rishi Sunak called the UK a ‘family’:

There is another family that matters to us all. Our family of nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Today, our union is the strongest it’s been in a quarter of a century.

Read more:

Rishi Sunak: This is where the Prime Minister went to school and how much it cost

Rishi Sunak didn't always want to be Prime Minister, here's what he said in 2020

Sources used:

Metro: Rishi Sunak reported to police for joke he made at Tory party conference

Express: Rishi Sunak reported to police over Nicola Sturgeon prison joke in Tory conference speech

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