Rishi Sunak's Henry Herbert suit ignites Conservative leadership race style war

Liz Truss camp turns on former chancellor's 'suit by scooter' fashion choices

Rishi Sunak wearing a £3,500 Henry Herbert suit during his campaign to be prime minister. AFP
Powered by automated translation

The race to be UK prime minister descended into a style war on Monday, as Rishi Sunak was criticised from within his own party over his expensive suits from a Savile Row tailor that promises to deliver on a liveried scooter.

Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries, a Liz Truss supporter, hit out at Mr Sunak for the wearing a Henry Herbert suit — worth a reported £3,500 ($4,218) — and Prada shoes.

In a tweet which contained two spelling mistakes, the Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said Ms Truss would campaign wearing £4.50 earrings from a popular high street shop.

Mr Sunak has faced flak for being too wealthy to be in touch with ordinary voters. He has also been in trouble — ethically but not legally — over his wife’s claiming of non-domicile status for tax reasons.

The former chancellor was seen wearing the Henry Herbert suit before the vote in which he and Ms Truss were selected by Tory MPs as the final two candidates to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister.

His choice of Prada shoes to visit a building site in Redcar also caught Ms Dorries' attention.

She said Ms Truss would "be travelling the country wearing her earrings which cost circa £4.50 from Claire [sic] Accessories".

“Meanwhile … Rishi visits Teeside [sic] in Prada shoes worth £450 and sported £3,500 bespoke suit as he prepared for crunch leadership vote,” she wrote.

Guildford MP Angela Richardson, a supporter of Mr Sunak. questioned the need for the attack, while Cabinet Office minister Johnny Mercer said the leadership contest had become an embarrassment.

He warned Conservatives that “on current trajectory” the party would be out of power in two years' time.

“The puerile nature of this leadership contest is embarrassing,” he said. “Time to raise the standards.”

Updated: July 25, 2022, 11:45 AM