Rishi Sunak calls for focus on inflation before tax cuts after attacking leadership rivals’ ‘fairytale’ plans – UK politics live - The Guardian

  1. Rishi Sunak calls for focus on inflation before tax cuts after attacking leadership rivals’ ‘fairytale’ plans – UK politics live  The Guardian
  2. Sunak tells Tory rivals inflation must be beaten before taxes can be cut  Evening Standard
  3. Rishi Sunak 'will focus on income tax cuts, not corporation tax'  The Times
  4. Rishi Sunak: I'm not too rich to be prime minister  The Telegraph
  5. UK's Sunak says judge me on my record, not my wealth  Reuters UK
  6. View Full coverage on Google News


From 2d ago

12.15

Sunak insists inflation must be controlled before tax rises during Teesside trip

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak has again insisted that inflation must be brought under control before the government can consider cutting taxes.

In the first TV leadership debate on Friday, the former chancellor attacked calls by his rivals for immediate tax cuts paid for by increased borrowing as a “fairytale”.

Speaking during a visit to Teesside, where he secured the backing of the region’s mayor, Ben Houchen, he dismissed accusations that he had been a “socialist chancellor”, PA reported.

He said:

I think the number one economic priority we face as a country is inflation. I want to get a grip of inflation because inflation is what makes everybody poorer.

If we don’t get a grip of it now it will last longer and that is not a good thing. Once we’ve done that, I will deliver tax cuts.


Rishi Sunak (centre) with Ben Houchen and supporters during a visit to Teesside Freeport. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Sunak also said he believed he would be the best leader to take on Labour at the next general election.

He said:

I am going to continue making the positive case for my candidacy and I believe I am the best possible person to help our party defeat Keir Starmer and defeat the Labour party in a general election.


Rishi Sunak and Ben Houchen. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

 

Summary

Here is a roundup of all the day’s top news stories from Westminster:

  • Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak has again insisted that inflation must be brought under control before the government can consider cutting taxes. Speaking during a visit to Teesside, where he secured the backing of the region’s mayor, Ben Houchen, he dismissed accusations that he had been a “socialist chancellor”.
  • Conservative leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has been forced to defend her time in government as her rivals step up attacks on her ministerial record. The bookmakers’ favourite to win the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister has accused other campaigns of running “black-ops” briefings against her to damage her chances of reaching the last two of the contest.
  • Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse has warned that transport services face “significant disruption” owing to the heatwave as he urged people to avoid travelling on Monday and Tuesday. He said steps have been taken to ensure hospitals and ambulances that may come under pressure were prepared.
  • Tom Tugendhat, the one Tory candidate without ministerial experience, said on Saturday 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.
  • Boris Johnson is threatening to set an “early test” for his successor by ensuring they have to face two early byelections as the new Tory leader, the Observer has been told. The prime minister is planning to elevate at least two current MPs to the House of Lords well before the next election, triggering two contests that will test public support for whoever replaces him in Downing Street.
  • 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.

That’s it from me, Tom Ambrose, and indeed the politics live blog for today. Thanks for following along. You can keep across all the latest news from the Tory leadership race and Westminster here.

Goodbye for now.

Sunak insists inflation must be controlled before tax rises during Teesside trip

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak has again insisted that inflation must be brought under control before the government can consider cutting taxes.

In the first TV leadership debate on Friday, the former chancellor attacked calls by his rivals for immediate tax cuts paid for by increased borrowing as a “fairytale”.

Speaking during a visit to Teesside, where he secured the backing of the region’s mayor, Ben Houchen, he dismissed accusations that he had been a “socialist chancellor”, PA reported.

He said:

I think the number one economic priority we face as a country is inflation. I want to get a grip of inflation because inflation is what makes everybody poorer.

If we don’t get a grip of it now it will last longer and that is not a good thing. Once we’ve done that, I will deliver tax cuts.

Rishi Sunak (centre) with Ben Houchen and supporters during a visit to Teesside Freeport. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Sunak also said he believed he would be the best leader to take on Labour at the next general election.

He said:

I am going to continue making the positive case for my candidacy and I believe I am the best possible person to help our party defeat Keir Starmer and defeat the Labour party in a general election.

The five candidates still standing for the leadership of the Conservative party were in action in a TV debate broadcast on Channel 4 on Friday night. Here are the five key takeaways:

Tom Tugendhat was the only one able to answer freely

Given the opportunity to answer “yes” or “no” to the question “is Boris Johnson honest?”, Tom Tugendhat was the only person able to do it. He got warm applause for simply saying: “No.”

Kemi Badenoch came closest, saying “Sometimes”. Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss all refused to be drawn into the one word answer, and prevaricated.

Τugendhat essentially played the role of the minority party candidate in a multiparty debate, free to just speak his mind, call out the hypocrisy in everybody else, all the while safe in the knowledge there’s virtually zero chance he will end up elected.

Truss has a delivery mantra problem

Truss tried to focus again and again about delivery in every department, saying that her trade deals with Australia and Japan had been considered impossible, and that she had stood up to Vladimir Putin. But it all felt heavily scripted from her.

Badenoch and Tugendhat felt more off the cuff, and Sunak was a more fluid performer here than he has been on the radio over the last 48 hours. Truss felt rigid and dogmatic.

Sunak’s Treasury experience is a potential asset – but not with party members

In a crucial exchange that was mostly Sunak v Truss, the foreign secretary told the former chancellor that Covid was a once-in-a-century occurrence, and that the government should look accordingly at paying it back over a longer term. Sunak was clear, saying: “The best way for people to have money in their pocket is to get a grip of inflation.”

Again and again during the debate he demonstrated a better command of the numbers and Treasury brief, but you still ended up with the feeling that a man instinctively fiscally conservative is being pushed into a corner and portrayed as a leftist for not wanting to cut taxes

Five key takeaways from the first Conservative leadership debate

Here is what we learnt as the five challengers to be prime minister were tested for the first time on live television



Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak during the live television debate for the candidates for leadership of the Conservative party, hosted by Channel 4. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

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