London: In a quest to succeed Boris Johnson as the next leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said she wants the UK to be a nation of aspiration because she is pledged to seize Brexit opportunities and promised immediate tax cuts with a reversal of the National Insurance increase while former Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to reset EU relations and the United Kingdom if he becomes the next British Prime Minister.
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak explained their long-term visions for Britain as they came face to face in the 10th round of hustings in Birmingham on Tuesday.
The two contenders are to endure bouts of 12 national events with the first bout taking place in Leeds, northern England, as members elect a new leader. The result will be announced on September 5.
Truss indicated that she would strongly oppose “left-wing identity politics” as she considered legislation for single-sex spaces such as domestic violence shelters, while Sunak backtracked by proposing the idea of reducing VAT to revive the country’s economic situation.
Additionally, Truss promised to introduce a moratorium on the green levy and roll back the National Insurance increase, in response to which Sunak said direct financial aid was the best way to support people with disabilities. low income rather than tax cuts.
On Brexit, the two Conservative leadership candidates pledged to reset relations between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom and said the next leader would continue to create opportunities to restore ties.
“The EU and UK are ‘at loggerheads’ over the Northern Ireland protocol, but with a new prime minister we have a chance to reset that relationship,” Sunak said.
Addressing Tory members on the economy, the former chancellor said he would reform the NHS to avoid constantly throwing more money at it, while Liz Truss stressed the need for a tax event to deal with to the cost of living crisis and said his first priority would be to cut taxes.
“My first priority is to cut taxes because what I don’t believe in is taking money in taxes and giving it back to people in benefits,” she said, adding that growth of the country was the need of the hour.
Notably, corporation tax, policing and ethics were the main highlights of the Conservative party’s election campaign at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday.
Truss is currently leading surveys among Tory members after promising immediate tax cuts as Britain faces falling living standards.
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss exchanged blows over economic policy and foreign relations in the first-ever televised debate on July 25. The candidates are said to have clashed over Britain’s future relationship with China after cutting ties with Russia.
The second Tory leadership debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss was called off, however, after presenter Kate McCann passed out and collapsed live.
In July, Sunak and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss became the final two candidates in the leadership race for the ruling Conservative Party. International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt was eliminated in the last round of voting among Tory lawmakers. Sunak won 137 votes and Truss 113.
The competition to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister is now in the hands of Conservative Party members, who will select the winner on September 5 by postal vote.
Both candidates promised tax cuts as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. However, Sunak called his rivals’ promises of immediate tax cuts “fairy tales”, arguing that inflation must first be brought under control. Truss, on the other hand, promised to start cutting taxes from day one.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are in the running to replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s next prime minister. The Conservative leadership race was sparked after Johnson was forced to resign on July 7 amid a flurry of resignations from government officials, who protested his scandal-ridden leadership.
Johnson will continue to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Conservative leader succeeds him.