April 22, 2024

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Rishi Sunak off-leash dog sparks police warnings and scandals


LONDON – Who set the dog free? It was apparently British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and this led to a very British scandal, known by some as the “dog gate”.

It started innocently enough. a The video appeared On TikTok over the weekend the British leader is shown walking around one of London’s most popular parks with his family and a red Labrador fox named Nova. But, as the video notes, something was wrong with the picturesque landscape. Sunak and Nova were in a park-controlled area Strictly states that dogs had to be kept on a chain to protect the nearby swans and ducks, and Nova was roaming free.

In many other countries, this would probably be seen as a small incident, nothing to get tongues wagging. But this is Britain, where people can take breaking the rules seriously, particularly when those in power break the regulations. This implied that the police were involved, and it became a hot topic of discussion in the media and among politicians.

In a statement to the British press, the Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of a video showing a dog walking off the lead in Hyde Park.” “An officer who was present at the time spoke to a woman and reminded her of the rules. The dog was returned to the lead.” The incident seemed to agitate many British sensibilities, with one Briton complaining Social media About being “one base for us, another base for them.”

Leading the country after years of political turmoil was no walk in Sunak’s park. His government has come under pressure on several fronts this year, on issues including a controversial proposed asylum policy, historic strikes from inflation-affected British workers, and ethics investigations into members of his own party.

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However, it is often the single, perhaps most connected, incidents of rule-breaking that have captured the nation’s attention. On Wednesday, social media users hinted at previous times Sunak has been in hot water, including in January, when he was fined by police after a video showed him traveling in a car without wearing a seatbelt, and last year, when He was fined. To attend parties at 10 Downing Street, and breach coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

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British attitudes towards rule-breaking, particularly rules seen as part of a social contract, can be draconian. Jumping ahead in the queue is considered an outrage by many. Similarly, research into social attitudes indicates that only 31 percent of Britons disagree with the statement: “The law must always be obeyed, even if a particular law is wrong.” Opinions can be particularly harsh about politicians breaking the rules. The same 2021 survey found that 67 percent agreed that there was “one law for the rich and one for the poor.”

Sky News reported that Downing Street said it would not comment on the latest footage, and a spokesperson for the prime minister told reporters: “I will not comment on the filming of the prime minister’s family and individuals. You can watch the video, it speaks for itself.” But critics of Sunak and the Conservative Party in general exploited the incident to portray the prime minister as elitist and out of touch with reality.

On a British radio station on Wednesday, an editor at the Daily Mirror, a left-leaning tabloid, told the show’s host that Sunak “seems to be unaware of the rules and laws around him”. “Shut up your party and seat belts and now the dog is leading you!” deputy David Lamy of the opposition Labor Party on Twitter on Tuesday. “Why @employee Do you think our laws never apply to him? “

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On TikTok, hundreds of people have left comments criticizing Sonak for failing to play by the rulebook. “Rules are for you, not for me,” one person wrote. “Forget he’s supposed to lead by example… again,” wrote another. Meanwhile, a confused Briton said local radio That the incident served as a good metaphor for how Sunak was able to fight to keep his party members, including his colored predecessor, in line.

“If Rishi Sunak can’t keep his dog on a leash, how is he going to keep the big dog Boris Johnson?” the caller asked, letting the radio host laugh. Sunak has, in the past, been a self-declared dog lover, saying that while getting a dog wasn’t his idea, Nova is “the best thing to happen to our family in a long time.”