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Rishi Sunak squirms as he's confronted with the one word people most often say about him

Mega-rich Rishi Sunak has been confronted with words the voters associate with him in an awkward moment as the Tory conference kicked off.

They included "rich", "himself", "the rich", "money", "not sure", "no idea", "upper class", "greed", "don't know", "Britain'', and "elite".

Last year Mr Sunak became the first frontline politician to join the Sunday Times's Rich List, alongside his super-wealthy wife, Akshata Murty. It estimated their joint fortune to be over £700million, driven largely by Ms Murty's stake in Infosys - an Indian IT company her father founded.

Appearing on the first day of the Tory conference, the PM was presented with the word cloud by the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, who told him: "You can see there - rightly or wrongly - what many people associate you with is your personal wealth." Asked whether it worried him that people believed he was out-of-touch, Mr Sunak said his job was "to deliver for people" and save families on their bills.

Rishi Sunak was shown a word cloud visualising what people most often say about him (



It also came as Mr Sunak was grilled on the BBC about his failure to announce a decision on the future of the mammoth HS2 rail project. The PM is considering scrapping the northern leg of the line - between Manchester and Birmingham - due to the spiralling cost.

Sitting in a studio in Salford, Greater Manchester, the Tory leader declined to comment on "speculation" despite being urged by former PMs not to scale it back. Just as the four-day conference kicked off, the PM was also dealt a major blow as the boss of the Iceland supermaket chain revealed he had quit the party.

Richard Walker accused the Conservatives of being "out of touch" and accused Mr Sunak of having "no real interest in green issues" after watering down net zero targets. He also hit out at the UK's "sluggish" economic growth and said he "remained open" over which party to support at the next general election. In an article for The Guardian, he said: "That is all for another day. For the moment, there's one party card that's in the shredder, and it's blue".

The word cloud shown to Rishi Sunak on the BBC on the first day of the Tory conference

Mr Sunak also rejected calls to cut taxes ahead of the next general election as Tory divisions erupted on Sunday. A group of 33 rebel Tory MPs has already said they won't support the Autumn Statement if it contains tax rises.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove used a Sky News interview to say he would "like to see the tax burden reduced before the next election", which is due to be called next year. But moments later, Mr Sunak told the BBC: "When it comes to taxes, I'm a Conservative. Of course I want to cut taxes, the best tax cuts that I can deliver for the British people right now is to halve inflation."