He is perhaps the most polite politician in the Conservatives. And he might even be a future prime minister.
But there is one area where Rishi Sunak definitely falls flat: making jokes.
In his 64-minute budget speech on Wednesday, the Chancellor attempted a few gags.
The side dividers, they were not. Instead, MPs were peppered with lines from the school of humor “Christmas cracker”.
There were moans all around as Sunak paid tribute to new Treasury number two Simon Clarke, who was promoted in last month’s reshuffle.
Shedding light on her own slightly shorter height, Sunak praised Clarke – who is 6ft 7in – for her quick job in preparing for today’s announcements.
“Completing the expenditure review under such difficult circumstances was a high order, ”radiated the Chancellor. “And luckily we just had the man for the job! ”
Sunak then sought to increase the laughing gas with a dig at Labor.
Announcing that the tonnage tax would be more advantageous for ships that choose to fly the flag of the “Red Ensign,” which sports the Union Jack, he joked: “I’m sure the opposition will be happy to see red flags fly. still somewhere in this country. . Even if they are all at sea!
After announcing that cheaper sparkling wines and draft beer would be cut by 3 pence a pint, Sunak made one final joke.
“I can’t wait for the opposition to accuse me of beer keg policy!” “
The jokes were not accepted for the carefully crafted social media posts posted by Sunak’s team during the speech.
One showed a relaxed Sunak laughing as he held a soccer ball, in addition to text announcing funding to support a bid to host the 2030 Men’s Soccer World Cup. Sunak a Also posted threads on Twitter with emojis announcing all the flagship measures. The links to these will be sent to MP WhatsApp groups, encouraging them all to retweet him, which will undoubtedly help to increase his 480,000 followers on Twitter.
There was even an “explainer” presented by the man himself about the change in the rate of universal credit degression, released when the announcement was made in the House of Commons.