FACT CHECK: Did Rishi Sunak Perform A Hindu Ritual Before Taking Office?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak performing a Hindu ritual before taking office in October 2022.

Verdict: Misleading

The video’s caption is misleading. A keyword search generates the original video from Getty Images in which Sunak lights candles on Downing Street ahead of the Hindu religious festival, Diwali in 2020.

Fact Check:

Sunak won the Conservative Party’s contest to replace Liz Truss as the Conservative Party’s leader, also making him the U.K.’s new prime minister after Truss had only served 44 days, Axios reported. He delivered his first speech as prime minister after being sworn in Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

The Facebook video appears to show Sunak performing a Hindu ritual days before officially taking office as prime minister. “Rishi UK new PM doing his Hindu rituals some days ago to invoke the spirit of success,” the video’s caption reads in part.

The video’s caption is misleading. A keyword search generates the original video from Getty Images, dated November 2020. In the video, Sunak can be seen placing candles outside Number 11 Downing Street, the official address of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunak served in the role prior to becoming prime minister, according to BBC News.

Sunak urged the Hindu community at the time to observe the holiday while still following and observing COVID-119 guidelines during the time, according to The Guardian. He delivered his first speech as prime minister after being sworn in Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

There are no credible news reports suggesting Sunak performed any religious rituals before taking office. The claim is not mentioned on Sunak’s verified social media accounts or his website, though the video of him placing candles appears on his Twitter from November 2020. (RELATED: Did The Ugandan President Say That Supporting Ukraine Would Be ‘Disgusting’?)

Check Your Fact has contacted Sunak’s office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter

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