Rishi Sunak insisted he ‘stands by my commitments’ today after Piers Morgan warned he cannot back out of their £1,000 bet on the Rwanda plan.

During clashes at PMQs, Mr Sunak seemed to confirm he will honour the charity wager with the TalkTV host that flights will take off before the election.

And he swiped that Keir Starmer is so indecisive the only bet he would make would be ‘each way’. 

The comments came after Morgan said the challenge was a way of ‘flushing out’ whether the premier really believed in his flagship policy.

Mr Sunak was left floundering over the episode yesterday, as critics said gambling on whether flights will get up and running before the election was ‘grotesque’.

The PM insisted he was ‘not a betting person’ and had been ‘taken by surprise’ when he shook hands with Morgan in an interview aired on Monday.

But Downing Street then faced a grilling over resurfaced comments by Mr Sunak on Test Match Special last year, when he joked about developing a ‘dangerous’ spread betting habit during the 2005 Ashes series. 

Opening hostilities in the Commons this lunchtime, Sir Keir said: ‘A year ago, the Prime Minister promised to bring NHS waiting lists down. Isn’t he glad he didn’t bet a grand on it?’

But Mr Sunak shot back: ‘At least I stand by my commitments. He is so indecisive, the only bet he would make is an each-way bet.’

Rishi Sunak has bet Piers Morgan £1,000 he will get refugees on planes to Rwanda before the general election

Rishi Sunak has bet Piers Morgan £1,000 he will get refugees on planes to Rwanda before the general election

During clashes at PMQs, Mr Sunak seemed to confirm he will honour the charity wager with the TalkTV host that flights will take off before the election

During clashes at PMQs, Mr Sunak seemed to confirm he will honour the charity wager with the TalkTV host that flights will take off before the election

Mr Sunak has put the Rwanda policy at the heart of his push to stop Channel crossings

Mr Sunak has put the Rwanda policy at the heart of his push to stop Channel crossings 

On his TalkTV show last night, Morgan dismissed the backlash over the bet, saying it must be honoured.

‘I do think that some people may have lost the plot in the maelstrom of pearl-clutching in the last 24 hours and forgotten actually that I did start the process of this wager by saying the bet proceeds would be going to a refugee charity,’ he said.

‘I was actually trying to flush out the Prime Minister’s conviction on a policy that I believe has always been doomed for failure and is bad for this country. He was trying to underscore his genuine belief that it could work.’

In the original interview, Morgan goaded Mr Sunak that his Rwanda plan is ‘not going to work’

Challenging him to a £1,000 bet, with the money going to a refugee charity, Morgan put out his hand – which the PM shook, without verbally confirming that he was taking the bet. 

Mr Sunak told the BBC yesterday: ‘Being totally honest, I’m not a betting person, and I was taken by surprise in the middle of that interview. 

‘The point I was trying to get across… was actually about the Rwanda policy and about tackling illegal migration. 

‘I just was underlying my absolute commitment to this policy and my desire to get it through Parliament, up and running, because I believe you’ve got to have a deterrent.’ 

However, in his interview on BBC Radio’s Test Match Special last summer Mr Sunak told an anecdote about how he enjoyed spread betting in 2005.

He said he had been doing a masters in the US, and was back in the UK for the summer doing an internship as a banker when the ‘quite dangerous’ pastime emerged.

‘I think it was around that time that spread betting had become a thing online,’ he said. 

‘I had certainly never done it before. I was sitting there working on one side doing my investing finance job, and on the other screen – it is quite helpful in those jobs you have multiple screens – I was doing next wicket partnership, next wicket fall, innings total.

‘I just discovered this thing and it was great, so I had the summer doing that as well.’

Mr Sunak was unwavering during the heated exchange insisting he is 'working incredibly hard to get the people on the planes'

Piers Morgan said the lose of the bet should pay £1,000 to a refugee charity

Mr Sunak was unwavering during the heated exchange insisting he is ‘working incredibly hard to get the people on the planes’

Downing Street was grilled over resurfaced comments by Mr Sunak on Test Match Special last year (pictured), when he joked about developing a 'dangerous' spread betting habit during the 2005 Ashes series

Downing Street was grilled over resurfaced comments by Mr Sunak on Test Match Special last year (pictured), when he joked about developing a ‘dangerous’ spread betting habit during the 2005 Ashes series

The PM’s spokesman said: ‘In the interview last year he was obviously referring to when he was younger and he’s obviously talked more generally about his love of cricket.

‘But in relation to the interview that aired yesterday, the PM is very focused and confident on getting flights off the ground and that’s why we’re introducing the legislation that we are.’

No10 refused to say if Mr Sunak considered his handshake with Piers Morgan ‘binding’, with the PM’s spokesman saying the premier was ‘slightly surprised by what happened in the interview’. 

The Safety of Rwanda Bill is due back in the House of Lords next week, having passed second reading stage last month despite an attempt to kill it off. 

Post source: Daily mail

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