UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised over an awkward exchange with a homeless person while volunteering at a soup kitchen in front of television cameras, according to a media report.

Sunak visited a shelter on Friday, where after a brief exchange he asked the man whether he worked in business, The Guardian reported.

The man replied that he was homeless. Sunak then discussed his background in the finance industry and asked if it would be something the man would "like to get into".

The man replied: "I wouldn't mind, but I don't know, I'd like to get through Christmas first," The Guardian reported.

He explained that he hoped a charity would find him some temporary accommodation so that he is not on the street for Christmas.

Labour's deputy leader, Angela Rayner, described the exchange as excruciating, while Labour MP Stella Creasy said: "Watching this, I am concerned that the Prime Minister thinks homeless means �doesn't have a country pile at the moment'."

Sunak used the trip to outline that the government had pledged 2 billion pounds to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over three years.