Rishi Sunak licked his lips during the PM’s speech in a gesture of ‘reassurance’
Rishi Sunak’s inaugural speech as prime minister lacked “emotion and conviction”, said a speech pundit.
The ex-chancellor’s address to the nation marked a new chapter for the Conservative Party after weeks of infighting and political chaos.
Mr Sunak pledged to “put economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda”.
He also spoke about Liz Truss’ brief tenure in Issue 10, adding: “I admired her restlessness to create change – but some mistakes were made.”
She has previously been criticized for ‘wooden’ speeches during her short time as prime minister.
Mr Sunak faced similar criticism after his first address to the nation as the country’s new leader.
Body language and speech expert Darren Stanton, who has worked alongside Derbyshire Police to interview hundreds of suspects, called the speech “hollow”.
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He said: “After his meeting with King Charles, Rishi Sunak again addressed the media and the public outside of number 10, but he still seemed to lack emotion and conviction in his delivery.
“He didn’t seem to speak with passion or from the bottom of his heart and again Rishi made little to no hand gestures that should accompany his verbal speech to reinforce the points he is making, as well as the belief that he has in his own words.
“When people give an impassioned speech, you’ll notice that they continually move their hands, often stopping them mid-air in a jerky motion to emphasize every sentence they say – this demonstrates complete congruence between mind and the body.
“Rishi showed no body movement suggesting he was more focused on what he said rather than how he delivered it, which caused his speech to become hollow.”
Mr Stanton added that the new Prime Minister repeatedly licked his lips for reassurance during the monumental policing.
This movement is known as the “peacemaker” expression.
Mr Stanton said: “When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, we rely on gestures of self-reassurance to overcome moments of insecurity. Rishi uses a certain self-reassurance gesture – or teat as we call them – where he sticks his tongue out and licks his lips.
“It reminds David Cameron, who was doing the same thing. It signifies a change in emotion and reveals that at that time they are not completely comfortable. While I don’t doubt his integrity or his will to do well, Rishi’s body language at the moment shows that his non-verbal communication and verbal communication are not consistent.
Mr Sunak’s speech lasted five minutes and 56 seconds – longer than any equivalent speech by prime ministers in decades past except Boris Johnson in 2019, who spoke for 11 minutes and 13 seconds.
The ex-Chancellor’s decision to speak of ‘mistakes made’ by Ms Truss may not have had the intended effect, Mr Stanton also theorized.
He said: “In referring to mistakes made by Liz Truss, Rishi was neither vindictive nor sarcastic. Instead, he paid tribute to the former prime minister, but the monotonous delivery of his lyrics meant he lost gravity.
“He made sure to blame the Truss Gate in order to distance himself from his mistakes.
“Interestingly, Rishi used the phrase ‘you know me’ when discussing Covid, trying to link his behavior to the current situation, in an effort to build trust and familiarize himself with the UK public.
“It was a move to build trust with the nation, but only time will tell if he is able to do that.”
Darren Stanton spoke on behalf of MyBettingSites.
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