London Diary: The mystery of Rishi Sunak’s short trousers

The shrinking length of Rishi Sunak’s trousers is the big news. Why are they so short? An attempt by a diminutive man to create an illusion of height on the world stage?

British PM Rishi Sunak
British PM Rishi Sunak

Hasan Suroor

When the economy is tottering, the cost of living is going through the roof, and the immigration crisis is threatening to sink Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s prospects of returning to Downing Street after next year’s elections, guess what the big news is? The shrinking length of Sunak’s trousers. Why are they so short? An attempt by a diminutive man to create an illusion of height on the world stage?

As The Times noted: “Every time he sits down and shows his shins, someone somewhere is probably asking: Why can’t a multi-millionaire buy a suit that fits?”

The controversy was stoked by the celebrity American menswear guru, Derek Guy. He told his 460,000 X (Twitter) followers that it seemed like an attempt to look trendy—though 20 years too late! ‘Lots of conspiracy theories on why Sunak wears such short trousers and sleeves, but my theory is simple—Sunak is a vaguely trend-aware guy, but just a little behind the times,’ he wrote.

It was not unusual to see wealthy guys wear such shrunken suits. In fact, this was ‘the dominant silhouette’ in downtown districts of major cities. ‘It’s the fashion,’ he said.

Fashionistas found it ‘baffling’, as one put it: ‘How the UK’s wealthiest prime minister in history could live just steps away from Savile Row, the single greatest concentration of skilled bespoke tailors and end up paying $2k for an MTM [made to measure] suit with sleeves and trousers 2-4 [inches] too short.”

A botch-up on the barge

Forget trouser-gate, one of Rishi Sunak’s much-adumbrated projects to crack down on illegal asylum-seekers has very nearly derailed thanks to his government’s own incompetence.

The idea was to move them to a hastily refurbished disused cargo barge berthed in Dorset, south-west England.

It was meant as much to make the immigrants’ lives difficult as to save millions of pounds now spent on putting them up in hotels while they wait for their claims to be processed.

But barely hours after the first batch of 39 asylum-seekers was marched into the barge amid much media hype, lo and behold! they had to be evacuated after a rare bacteria, which can cause a serious lung infection known as Legionnaires’ disease, was found in the water on the barge.

No wonder ministers are facing questions about when the tests were carried out and who knew what and when. Some of the sharpest criticism has come from within the ruling party with one former cabinet minister, David Davis, calling it a case of “startling incompetence”.

But no word until the time of writing from that great anti-immigrant warrior, Suella Braverman, the hardline home secretary, whose brainchild this embarrassingly botched-up operation was.

Asian students lead the way

For the first time in a decade, Asian and black applicants to British universities have outstripped white aspirants, according to official figures. School-leavers from British Asian backgrounds increased by 4 per cent to 52,460 while black British applicant numbers grew by 6 per cent to 24,370. The number of international applicants, of all ages, has increased by 2.4 per cent in the last year, which is driven by interest from India, the Middle East and Africa.


Enough of veganism?

The vegan fad appears to be over. At least in Britain. And it’s as official as it could get. A leading vegan burger company, Beyond Meat, that supplies McDonald’s has seen its revenue slump by a third as consumers shun meat-free products amid a growing cost of living crisis.

It’s the latest vegan food manufacturer to report falling sales with ‘analysts saying the hype about veganism is now well and truly over’, as The Times put it.

Over the past year, several prominent British food outlets, including Pret A Manger, have shut their branches. Supermarkets have also been reducing the number of vegan products on their shelves as shoppers search for better value products.

The Grocer magazine reported that the number of meat alternatives on sale had shrunk by 10 per cent as shoppers tired of products they perceived to be too expensive and retail executives lost faith in ‘gimmicky ideas’ that did not sell well, according to market analysts.

And, lastly, a class war has broken out over accents after Labour leader Keir Starmer said “oracy” was one of his party’s main education missions as being articulate would help poorer pupils succeed. But educationists have warned that this could lead to more children being judged unfairly on their accents.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines