'Congratulations Rashi Sanook:' Joe Biden mispronounces name as hails new PM

25 October 2022, 14:27 | Updated: 25 October 2022, 14:48

Joe Biden was speaking at the White House to mark Diwali
Joe Biden was speaking at the White House to mark Diwali. Picture: C-Span

By StephenRigley

US President Joe Biden awkwardly mispronounced Rishi Sunak's name as he congratulated the former chancellor on becoming the UK's new Prime Minister.

Speaking at the White House to celebrate the Indian holiday of Diwali, Mr Biden said the appointment of Mr Sunak, who is of Indian descent, was "significant".

Despite his well-wishes, Mr Biden awkwardly got his words mumbled and appeared to pronounce the new prime minister's name as "Rashi Sunook" as audience members clapped.

Joe Biden awkwardly mispronounces Rishi Sunak's name

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Mr Biden went onto say Mr Sunak's ascension to power was a "groundbreaking milestone". The former chancellor is the first practising Hindu and the first person of colour to be handed the keys to number 10.

In another awkward moment, Mr Biden appeared to get lost in the White House garden after commemorating the groundkeeper's 50th anniversary yesterday.

In a video shared online, Mr Haney and the First Lady share a hug as Mr Biden watches on. The President then walks away from his wife and the groundkeeper, and appears confused as he turns around to see the pair still behind him.

Joe Biden appears to get lost in garden

Mr Biden asks 'where do we go?' before pointing the other way. Mr Haney responds by saying 'you're going back up that way', with Mr Biden appearing to suggest he wanted to go the other way.

Mr Biden is then led forwards by White House staff across the south lawn as he is told by multiple people he can go 'whatever way he wants'.

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