Rishi Sunak has confessed to being a “massive fan” of Christmas music, having listened to it for weeks already while writing “thousands” of Christmas cards.

The Prime Minister, who switched on the lights of the Downing Street Christmas tree this week, said he has been listening to festive tunes since mid-November.

Speaking to reporters travelling with him to Dubai for the Cop28 climate summit, Mr Sunak said: “I am a massive fan of Christmas music.”

He recounted being “outed” on his passion when he was chancellor when a journalist walked in on him singing Michael Buble before an interview.

“I had the Christmas music on about two weeks ago, and everyone shouted at me,” the Tory leader joked.

“I do a lot of Christmas card signing in this job,” he said, “so I sign all these cards and I do it in the night, and basically that is my time, I put the Christmas music on and I just sit there and sign away, and I’ve been doing that for about 10 days already.”

Shane MacGowan death
Mr Sunak called the death of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan ‘a great loss’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

Asked how many he signs, he replied “thousands”.

“I called my mum last year when I did it and I said, ‘Thank God you named me a name that only has five letters in it.’

“If it was a 10-letter thing this would probably have taken twice as long.”

Mr Sunak said the death of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan was “a great loss”, as his festive song Fairytale Of New York is “on every Christmas playlist” he has listened to over the years.