Tory leadership latest: Penny Mordaunt criticised for supporting homeopathy on NHS

‘Borrowing your way out of inflation is a fairytale’: Sunak and Truss clash over economy plan

Tory leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has been criticised for her support of homeopathy on the NHS.

Homeopathy is a treatment based on using diluted amounts of natural substances, but is not currently funded by the NHS due to its “lack of effectiveness”.

Ms Mordaunt has advocated the practice according to an analysis of her parliamentary record and past comments, and was one of 16 supporters of a motion in the House of Commons criticising the British Medical Association for withdrawing NHS support for homeopathy, in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss has pledged that families could receive tax breaks of up to £2,500 to help them take time out of work to look after children or other family members.

Ms Truss has promised a radical overhaul of the taxation system if she gets into Downing Street that would also include ditching green levies on energy bills and reversing an increase to national insurance.

It comes after the five contenders to become the UK’s next prime minister clashed over tax cuts and Boris Johnson’s honesty in a debate on Friday night.

A snap Opinium poll found 36 per cent of viewers believed Tom Tugendhat performed best – while just 10 per cent of Tory voters said the same of Ms Truss.

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We are pausing our live updates for the afternoon, come back tomorrow for more leadership race coverage.

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Rishi Sunak dismisses question about Boris Johnson’s Chequers party amid heatwave emergency

Rishi Sunak dismisses question about Boris Johnson’s Chequers party amid heatwave emergency

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Penny Mordaunt refuses to say if she trusts other Conservative leadership candidates

Penny Mordaunt refuses to say if she trusts other Conservative leadership candidates

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Remainer Tugendhat committed to delivering Brexit

Tom Tugendhat, the one candidate without ministerial experience, said on Saturday that he was committed to delivering on Brexit, despite having been a strong Remain supporter in the 2016 referendum.

He said there were still important issues relating to the working of the Northern Ireland Protocol which needed to be resolved with the EU.

“One of the other things I’ll be making sure is delivered is Brexit,” he told GB News.

“What Boris Johnson has done is delivered most of Brexit, let’s be honest there’s still Northern Ireland, and that’s a really big issue. Let’s not kid ourselves that it’s going to be easy because it’s not.”

Despite having seen his tally of votes fall in the second ballot of MPs, in which he finished fifth, the former Army officer said he had no intention of dropping out.

“I have never turned down a challenge because the odds were against me. I don’t plan to start now,” he said.

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Sunak’s Tory leadership odds shorten after first leadership debate

Rishi Sunak’s odds have shortened to 7/4 from 11/4 after the first leadership debate, but Penny Mordaunt remains the favourite to become the next Tory leader at odds-on 10/11 to replace Boris Johnson, according to Betfair Exchange.

Odds for the next Conservative leader:

Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Public reaction to the debate has continued to be favourable for Rishi Sunak and his Tory leadership odds suggest he is picking up momentum at a key time.

“The former Chancellor is now the clear second favourite on Betfair Exchange at 7/4 from 11/4, ahead of Liz Truss who is drifting in the betting. Penny Mourdant remains the frontrunner, marginally odds-on at 10/11.

“Another candidate to watch is Tom Tugenhadt, as the rank outsider continues to see his odds shorten, as they plummet to 33/1 from 119/1 in 24 hours.”

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The Conservatives face their ‘wrong brother’ moment

Is this going to be the Conservative Party’s David Miliband moment? It looks as if the final two candidates will be Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, with the main uncertainty in the next few days being the battle for third place between Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch.

Then it will be up to Conservative members to make the final choice. A YouGov poll of members this week suggested that Mordaunt was preferred to Sunak by a large margin, 67 to 28 per cent, and she is consequently the betting favourite, writes John Rentoul.

The Tories are in danger of rejecting their David Miliband: the well-qualified leader tainted by his association with the old regime. Mordaunt is their Ed: the new face appealing to a party that yearns to be liberated from the constraints of reality.

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Rishi Sunak says he told Boris Johnson ‘enough is enough’ before resigning

Rishi Sunak says he told Boris Johnson ‘enough is enough’ before resigning

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Blair calls on Western nations to develop strategy to counter rise of China as ‘the world’s second superpower’

Sir Tony Blair has issued a rallying call to Western nations to come together to develop a coherent strategy to counter the rise of China as “the world’s second superpower”.

Delivering the annual Ditchley lecture the former prime minister called for a policy towards Beijing of “strength plus engagement” as he warned the era of Western political and economic dominance was coming to an end.

He said Western powers needed to increase their defence spending in order to maintain their military superiority while extending their “soft power” by building ties with developing nations.

On China, Sir Tony said that it had already caught up with the United States in many fields of technology, while President Xi Jinping had made no secret of his ambition to return Taiwan to Beijing’s rule.

At the same time, President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal and unjustified” invasion of Ukraine showed they could no longer automatically expect major world powers to abide by accepted international norms.

“As a result of the actions of Putin, we cannot rely on the Chinese leadership to behave in the way we would consider rational,” he said.

“Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying in the near term, that China would attempt to take Taiwan by force. But we can’t base our policy on the certainty that it wouldn’t.

“And even leaving to the side Taiwan, the reality is China under Xi’s leadership is competing for influence and doing so aggressively.”

He said Beijing would compete “not just for power but against our system, our way of governing and living” and that the West needed to be strong enough to defend its systems and values.

“The biggest geo-political change of this century will come from China not Russia,” he said.

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Boris Johnson misses heatwave crisis meeting to ‘host Chequers party’

Boris Johnson is skipping a crisis meeting on the looming life-threatening heatwave to host a party at his luxury Chequers rural retreat.

Ministers and experts are gathering in the Cabinet Office on Saturday afternoon, for a Cobr meeting to prepare for temperatures hitting an unprecedented 40oC on Monday.

But the prime minister will be 30 miles away in Buckinghamshire at a party for friends and family, ahead of being kicked out of his country retreat at the start of September.

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Tugendhat says Sunak agreed to National Insurance rise because ‘the boss wanted it’

Tugendhat says Sunak agreed to National Insurance rise because ‘the boss wanted it’

Amber

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