Liz Truss casts lead on Rishi Sunak after taking major Tory endorsement
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The frontrunner to become the next prime minister, Liz Truss, reduced her lead over rival Rishi Sunak, as she admitted she was “playing catch-up”.
As ballots in the Tory leadership prepare to leave through members’ letterboxes this week, the foreign secretary is believed to be in pole position to replace Boris Johnson at No.
But Truss has insisted it is a “very, very close race”, even as his campaign was further buoyed by the support of party veterans this weekend, including PM Tom Tugendat. The former claimant to the U.S. had supported him with Brandon Lewis, the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
During a campaign stop in Bromley, he was asked whether his advantage over Sund in a poll of Conservative members meant the contest was meant to be lost, but he told reporters: “It’s a very close race, and I’m going to vote every vote.” I’m fighting for.”
She said she was “absolutely pleased” to have Tugendat’s support, but it was “extremely premature” to say whether she would appoint him to replace her as foreign secretary in her cabinet if she were to win.
Truss said, “He is a very talented man and I am very grateful to have the support from all parts of the Conservative Party as we need to reunite after this leadership election.”
His latest policy announcements include a six-point plan on education, under which he promised that top A-level students would receive an automatic invitation to apply to Oxbridge and other prestigious universities.
Branding himself an “Education Prime Minister”, he also vowed to replace failing academies with “a new wave of free schools” and to improve math and literacy standards.
Reiterating her claims about her own experience, she said that she learned first hand how children fail and have low expectations during her time in Leeds, despite criticism from political leaders and former students and staff in the city. disappointed”. Roundhay School.
Former education minister Truss also said he aims to provide working parents with access to childcare during the school day, and expand the range of providers who accept government entitlements.
Meanwhile, Sunak, who is facing an uphill battle to win over Tory members, visited several major southern constituencies yesterday, tweeting a photo of himself with supporters, saying: “Busy meeting hundreds of members on Saturday. There would be no other way than this!”
Although a poll by BMG Research, a party loyal to the Eye newspaper, put Truss ahead with a double-digit lead, he was buoyed by a poll of Tory councillors, which put the two contenders almost neck and neck.
The Savanta Comeres poll put Truss at 31% and Sunak at 28% among 511 local Conservative politicians, leading a spokesman for the ex-chancellor’s campaign to say the contest is “for everyone to play,” adding: ” The race has only just begun.”
He also unveiled a new policy blitz designed to revive his flag-bearing campaign, including reducing the number of shops closed on Britain’s high streets, allowing stricter punishment for graffiti and litter, and tackling anti-social behavior. Expanding police powers for
“I want to reduce the number of vacant stores by 2025 and ensure that they turn into local assets, ancillary skills, local businesses, economies and job creation.”
“They will connect to important public services – such as police stations and job centres.
“I will also support covered markets and farmers markets, which will make it easier for them to do business on our high streets and sell their fabulous produce to the locals.”
Sunak also promised an end to “wake nonsense”, while also disputing claims from his supporters that his unpopularity was due to “covert racism”.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph he said: “I don’t think it’s a factor in anyone’s decision. I don’t think it’s right.”
Sunak also revealed that his plan to reform the NHS will include a temporary £10 fine for patients who fail to attend a GP or outpatient appointment.
“If we have people who aren’t visible and are taking those slots away from people who need it, that’s not right,” he told the newspaper. “I’m all for a health care system that is free at the point of use, but not one that is free at the point of abuse.”
He continued: “Yes, that means we have to do something brave and something different, but that’s what I’m doing. I want to be a transformative prime minister.”
Earlier he attempted to take a truce on issues of the so-called Culture War, appealing for the right of the party to stop “left-wing agitators” from taking “a bulldozer to our history, our traditions and our fundamental values”. .
But Sunak has been hit by allegations that have blocked efforts by Brendan Lewis to resolve the Brexit standoff with the EU as he declared his support for the truss.
The ex-Northern Ireland secretary said she has more confidence in the foreign secretary to secure a speedy return to power in Stormont if she becomes prime minister.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, one of Truss’s high-profile cabinet backers, has criticized Sunak for retweeting an image of Boris Johnson stabbing him in the back.
It was termed “alarming” by fellow Conservative MP Greg Hands, who told Sky News that the social media post was “horrifying”, especially after Sir David Ames was stabbed to death in his constituency last year.
But an aide to Doris, who is backing Truss in the leadership race, said: “This is clearly a satirical image of Brutus and Caesar that has been photoshopped to provide explicitly political commentary.”
This isn’t the first time the culture secretary has sparked controversy on social media by tweeting about the leadership contest, comparing Sunak’s expensive suit to Truss’s earrings from Claire’s accessories.
In an excerpt on Saturday for the Daily Mail, she said the post was “to alert Tory members that this should not happen to many of us who served with the chancellor in the cabinet.”
Doris said: “The killer’s sparkling smile, his soft voice and even his short stature had thoroughly fooled many of us.”
Meanwhile, Johnson, who lives in Downing Street for another five weeks, spent the weekend at a lavish party in the Cotswolds celebrating his marriage to wife Carrie at Tory donor Lord Bamford’s country estate.
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