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Snippets from UK: Sunak Secretive with Boris in a Bind

Rishi Sunak has been UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. (Reuters/File)

Rishi Sunak has been UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. (Reuters/File)

From the developments linked to the Boris Johnson partygate row to Vijay Mallya's setback, a roundup of what's making news at this time.

Not saying much: The guessing game around Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s plans gets busier and busier. Particularly when he got up and left an interview abruptly through questioning about his support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He said he “of course” supports Boris Johnson but, clearly, he did not wish to sit around and be probed on this much further.

Kidding aside: Five-year-old Lyla in Leicester is becoming more popular by the day over suggesting forcefully on video that Boris Johnson has done the wrong thing and must resign. The little girl from a Gujarati family said as much in an interview to her parents on a phone. The point was not lost on anybody. Even a five-year-old can see what the right thing to do would be, but not the PM. It is of course easier for a five-year-old to say this than for a PM to give up his position and walk away.

Numbers piling up: By several estimates, MPs who want Boris Johnson out are about halfway to their first step. Fifty-four MPs must write to the 1922 committee of the party, as it is called, to trigger a leadership contest. Six have come up publicly, and BBC reports that 20 others have also opposed him, without declaring this openly immediately. It is not known how many more have asked for a contest since this is confidential. But the Indian-origin MPs are said to be sticking with the PM.

Lot on the plate: India and Britain are talking food together, though the cuisines of the two countries are dramatically different, with no one in any doubt who the winner is. Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh has addressed an India-UK meet on sustaining food production under environmental stress. This can no doubt become one of the more promising elements of a trade deal between the two countries being negotiated.

Mallya loses house: Vijay Mallya finally lost his case to hold on to his house in London’s Regents Park. The Swiss bank UBS on Tuesday won its case to evict him. The bank had loaned Mallya 20 million pounds with the house as surety. Mallya failed to pay by the due date in 2017, but did manage to hold on to the house another five years.

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first published:January 20, 2022, 00:08 IST