Rishi Sunak has a body language problem, expert says – and Liz Truss needs to fix a key problem | UK News



Body language expert Judi James has offered fascinating insight into the mannerisms of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – and the issues they must solve to convince people they should be the next prime minister.

She says Mr Sunak is ‘smart, shrewd, always using Tony Blair gesticulation, we get the thumbs up all the time’ – but that looks better next to Boris Johnson.

“By itself it doesn’t work as effectively,” she said, before outlining a number of issues the former chancellor faces.

Photo: Jonathan Hordle/ITV
Mr Sunak uses posturing similar to Tony Blair’s, while Ms Truss can be “quite snappy”. Photo: Jonathan Hordle/ITV

“He has a huge disadvantage as a politician, which is big expressive eyes. And I think in the other debates you could see those times when a point hurt him. You could see when he looked annoyed. So , a big tell with Rishi will come with that.

“He also forgets at the end that you should keep smiling. You can actually see his expression change. And watch out for too much power.

“He has to be careful not to come across as a little condescending to the public.”

Mrs Truss has her own issues if she wants to run as prime minister, the body language expert said.

“She has a tendency to be what I would call incongruous. She wants to look and look tough,” Ms James said, before adding that an accelerated blink can betray the Foreign Secretary.

Ms James sees attempts to ‘channel Thatcher’ but it’s not always convincing.

“She looks and sounds, under the harshness, quite fragile. Her body language and vocal tone has a kind of fragility to it. And I think it would be great for her to take it down a notch. He has to lose some of the fragility and it could be much more effective.”

Ms James also analyzed Boris Johnson’s latest PMQs yesterday – and while we get to his thoughts on the outgoing Prime Minister, his views on Nadine Dorries deserve mention first.

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The Johnson loyalist was a “pure romantic heroine” when her boss said goodbye on Wednesday, with a “hand up to her neck”.

“It was a real fiddling moment there as far as she was concerned.”

Nadine Dorries (R) was a
Nadine Dorries (right) was a ‘pure romantic heroine’ when her boss left

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Boris Johnson thanks everyone in the House of Commons – including his ‘right hon. friend opposite’.

On Mr. Johnson it was “the most painful farewell moment for Boris… I saw signs of emotion under the bluster.”

These included:

  • Leaning heavily on the shipping box
  • “Self-Comfort, Self-Soothing”
  • “He was constantly tucking his shirt into the back of his pants, which he normally does. But it was pretty much an over-the-top ritual”
  • “Fist-to-heart gesticulation… far too exaggerated”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.  Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.
Mr Johnson showed ‘signs of emotion under the bluster’
Boris Johnson leaves to applause
Boris Johnson leaves to applause during ‘most painful moment of goodbye’

Ms James concluded: “We can see the moment when Tom Brown school days turned into goodbye, Mr Chips. And he looks distraught. He looked really upset at that exit point, I must say.”


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