Boris Johnson news latest: Tory leadership rivals Nadhim Zahawi and Liz Truss ‘promising fantasy tax cuts’

Thatcher to Johnson: Prime ministerial resignations over the years

Tory leadership candidates have been criticised for promising “fantasy tax cuts” as they make their cases to be the next prime minister.

A former minister backing Liz Truss accused rivals of putting forward unachievable proposals while the Conservative Party was fighting to reassure the public of its “credibility”.

Robert Jenrick, the former housing secretary, said: “Announcing fantasy tax cuts to help get through a leadership election, I think, is unwise.”

It comes as a number of Tory leader hopefuls – including Ms Truss, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi – promise to slash taxes if they win the race.

Mr Zahawi suggested on Monday government department running costs could be slashed to help fund tax cuts.

There are now 11 MPs fighting the contest, including Grant Shapps, Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt.

As well as tax cuts, candidates have been setting out their positions on Brexit, the economy and trans rights.

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Zahawi on how to fund tax cuts

Nadhim Zahawi has said he would force every Government department to cut running costs by 20 per cent to fund tax cuts.

The newly-appointed Chancellor told Sky News that he managed to reduce costs at the Department for Education by close to this amount.

Nadhim Zahawi is setting out his pitch for the next Tory leader (James Manning/PA)

(PA Wire)

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Jenrick defends Sunak over US green card

Robert Jenrick has defended Rishi Sunak for previously holding a US green card, which would have allowed him permanent residence in the country.

The former housing secretary said he thought it was “quite refreshing” the UK could have a prime minister who has “lived and worked around the world”, mentioning how Mr Sunak spent time in California.

He added: “I think, in fact, he will be a very positive force for the UK, if he’s elected. I think you can imagine him quite quickly establishing himself as a major figure on the international political and financial stage.”

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Former minister worried about ‘fantasy tax cuts’ promised by candidates

Former housing secretary Robert Jenrick has voiced concern about promises of “fantasy tax cuts” put forward by hopefuls in the Conservative Party leadership race.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “I think there’s a risk in a leadership contest of announcing tens of billions of pounds of unfunded tax cuts, much as though we would like to see those.

“At this moment in time, the credibility of the Conservative Party is being tested – let’s be honest with ourselves – and what the public wants to see now is professionalism, seriousness of purpose and a proper plan as to how we’re going to shepherd the economy and their households through the months ahead.”

He added: “Announcing fantasy tax cuts to help get through a leadership election, I think, is unwise.”

Former housing secretary Robert Jenrick is worried about ‘unfunded tax cuts’ being promised’ (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(PA Archive)

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Tugendhat pitches himself as candidate with ‘real world’ experience

Tom Tugendhat has said he brings “real world” experience to his Tory leadership bid.

“It’s from Afghanistan and Iraq, where I served in the military, and it’s from around the world where I’ve worked in different ways,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today show.,

“What I’m bringing here is, of course, I’m bringing the experience of foreign affairs but, as you know, we’ve been warning about the war in Ukraine and the threat of Russia since before 2018.

“What I’m bringing here is the experience of wider diplomatic and military work, but, of course, also the experience of actually having run organisations in some of the hardest places in the world.”

Tom Tugendhat says he offers ‘real world’ experience

(PA)

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‘Thanks Grant, I think you probably can help me win my seat’

A Labour MP replies to Grant Shapps’ video:

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Starmer in Newcastle

Sir Keir Starmer is up in Newcastle today.

He met Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner and the city council leader this morning, ahead of a speech outlining Labour’s plan to fight the next election:

Sir Keir Starmer walks with Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness (L) and Newcastle City Council leader Nick Kemp across the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle

(Getty Images)

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Eustice on why he is backing ‘good communicator’ Shapps

George Eustice, the environment secretary, has already said he is backing Grant Shapps for leader.

He explains why to Sky News, saying Mr Shapps has Cabinet experience, is a “very good communicator” and calling him a “good campaigner”.

“He has got all of the strengths and experience we need at this particular time,” the environment sectretary said.

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Shapps releases 13-second campaign clip

And now we’ve got a campaign video from Grant Shapps. It’s pretty different from some of the other lengthier ones – such as Liz Truss’ – at just 13 seconds long.

His pitch is: “I can plan, I can communicate, I can deliver, I can campaign, I can help you win your seat.”

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Key points from Truss campaign clip

Liz Truss has said she is a Tory leadership candidate who can “drive change and get things done”.

She said she would be committed to “core Conservative principles” as prime minister, which she lists as:

  • Low taxes
  • Firm grip on spending
  • Growing economy
  • “Giving people the opportunity to achieve anything they want to achieve, regardless of their background”

The foreign secretary’s campaign clip – which showed her meeting officials from around the world – said the UK needed a new PM with experience who can “hit the ground running from day one”

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Former Remainer Tugendhat wants to ‘deliver Brexit benefits’

Tory leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat has said Britain should “take advantage” of Brexit and tear up EU regulations to do new trade deals.

“There are any number of different policies and regulations that are … fixed in Brussels that can now be fixed in Westminster, that can now be changed, and we need to take advantage of that,” he told the Today programme.

“Frankly, we just haven’t yet done it.”

“Boris has quite rightly got Brexit done. What we now need to do is deliver the benefits,” the former Remainer added.

He listed changing policies in the Treasury, liberating regulatory controls, changing the way investment is done around the country and opening up the economy and trade agreements.

Amber

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