Conservative leadership race latest: Liz Truss opens up 24 pt lead on Rishi Sunak in new Tory members poll

Conservative leadership race latest: Liz Truss opens up 24 pt lead on Rishi Sunak in new Tory members poll

Liz Truss has opened up a commanding 24 point lead over Rishi Sunak among Tory members, with 62 per cent giving their backing to the Foreign Secretary, according to a new poll.

The YouGov poll underlines the scale of the challenge faced by Mr Sunak, with just 40 per cent of members saying they could trust him - compared with 62 per cent for Ms Truss.

A total of 730 Conservative party members participated in the poll and were asked their preferred candidate between Ms Truss and Mr Sunak.

The survey revealed that Kemi Badenoch was the most popular candidate in the race as a whole, with 24 per cent of support. Penny Mordaunt took second place on 20 per cent, with Ms Truss in third on 13 per cent.

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are setting out their stalls to win over the Tory party membership after successfully making the final ballot to become the next prime minister.

In an interview with Radio 4’s Today on Thursday morning, the Foreign Secretary was grilled about her decision to back Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“I was wrong and I am prepared to admit I was wrong,” she said.

And she denied modelling herself on Margaret Thatcher, insisting “I am my own person”.

But ex-chancellor Mr Sunak insisted he was a “Thatcherite” as he sought to address the concerns of Tory members that he backed a high-tax, large state approach.

Truss and Sunak set out stalls for party members’ vote

07:33 , Josh Salisbury

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of all the latest in UK politics and the Tory leadership race.

Overnight, both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have set out their stalls to the Tory party membership on why they should be the next PM.

In her pitch in the Daily Mail, Ms Truss vowed to "hit the ground running by immediately cutting taxes, growing our economy and unleashing the potential of everyone".

And she attacked the Government's tax record as going “in the wrong direction”, which was overseen by Mr Sunak until he resigned, triggering Mr Johnson's ultimate downfall.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak said he was the candidate best place to beat Keir Starmer in a general election.

He also wowed that he would govern as a Thatcherite were he successful in winning the leadership.

Sunak backer makes veiled criticism of Truss’s student Lib Dem membership

07:46 , Josh Salisbury

A Rishi Sunak backer has made a veiled criticsm of Liz Truss’s student membership of the Liberal Democrats in an interview on the Today programme.

Former Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said Mr Sunak was a “traditional Conservative” - saying he had never been a member of the Lib Dems.

Ms Truss was a Liberal Democrat activist while a student at Oxford University.

Mr Jenrick said: “I’ve known Rishi for a long time and rightly he’s a traditional Conservative.

“He joined the Conservative Party early in his life, he was never a member of the Lib Dems, he was a conviction Brexiteer, he’s an entrepreneur and business person.

“He wants to drive growth in this country just like Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s.”

Tory councillor tells candidates: Stop bickering

07:47 , Josh Salisbury

A Tory councillor has told the leadership candidates to focus on policies rather than attacking each other.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Cheshire East councillor Liz Wardle said: “I can’t even tell you how much it annoys me.

“I don’t find it entertaining and I don’t think those at the grassroots find it entertaining. My message is: ‘get over it’.

“You need to be focused on your own policies. You need to focused on persuading me, and others like me, why you have the right to be prime minister of this country.

“I don’t want to hear any bickering, mudslinging.”

Don’t give Tory members a vote in leadership contests because it’s ‘miserable’, says MP

08:00 , Josh Salisbury

Tobias Ellwood, the senior backbench MP who recently lost the party whip over failing to back the Government in a confidence vote, has suggested the Tory membership should not have a vote in a future leadership contest because it has been “miserable”.

Speaking on Times Radio, the MP said: “There’s been an awful lot of blue-on-blue over the past couple of weeks, I do hope we can raise the bar.

“There is an argument that if we are to repeat this exercise again, or have to in government, that maybe we don’t take this process to the membership as well, that we have a more detailed and controlled process.

“This has been a miserable couple of weeks for the party itself.

“We’ve not showcased the ideas, the vision, and expressed to the electorate any justification for us to remain in Government right now.”

Truss backer slams Sunak as ‘irresponsible’ Chancellor

08:06 , Josh Salisbury

A Liz Truss backer has slammed Rishi Sunak as an “irresponsible” Chancellor.

John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, said: “He went on printing money all through 2021 after lockdowns giving us high inflation.

“We need a change of economic policy and more value for money from spending."

Mr Redwood, who worked under Thatcher, also said Mr Sunak was not a Thatcherite.

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Truss: My biggest fear is loss of freedom around the world

08:20 , Josh Salisbury

Giving her broadcast interview in the Tory leadership campaign, Liz Truss has said her biggest fear is freedom and democracy being rolled back.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme about her fears, Ms Truss said: “What I worry about is the future of our country and the future of freedom and democracy.

“I think we’re at a critical stage in world affairs. We’ve never had a threat like this on European soil for a generation. So my biggest fear would be that aggressors would have some kind of success and I think that would be a disaster.

We’re in a fight between democracy and freedom and autocracy … My biggest fear is that could be rolled back.

I think every day when I get up in the morning, ‘What can I do to change things?’ I'm compelled to do that. I’m pretty hard working, I’m pretty direct. I will bulldoze through, frankly, the things that need to be done.”

Truss: I am not modelling myself on Thatcher

08:23 , Josh Salisbury

Liz Truss has denied modelling herself after Margaret Thatcher in her first broadcast interview.

Pressed by Today Programme host Nick Robinson that she models herself after the Iron Lady, Ms Truss said: “I don’t accept that. I am my own person.

“I’m from a very different background, I grew up in Yorkshire, I went to a comprehensive school.

“I am somebody who has worked all my life to get things done and that’s what I want to in the job”.

Truss says she was ‘wrong’ to back Remain in 2016 Brexit referendum

08:29 , Josh Salisbury

Liz Truss has said she was wrong in backing Remain in the 2016 Referendum.

When played a clip of her backing Remain and warning of the negative consequences of Brexit, Ms Truss said she accepted she was wrong about some of the “portents of doom” predicted during the referendum campaign.

She told the Today Programme: “When people voted for Brexit in 2016, I fully embraced the choice people had made.

“I was wrong, and I’m prepared to admit I was wrong.

“Some of the portents of doom didn’t happen and instead we’ve actually unleashed new opportunities and I’ve been one of the leading figures driving those opportunities.”

Truss says she has been on political journey since Lib Dem and Remain past

08:36 , Josh Salisbury

Liz Truss said she has “developed her ideas” when asked about her past as a Liberal Democrat and Remain voter.

Ms Truss said her student past as a republican and a Liberal Democrat campaigner showed she had been on a political journey.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I have developed my political views and ideas. The iea that someone should have the same views and ideas aged 17 as aged 56 is completely ludicrous”.

She added: “What you’ll always get from me is someone who’s completely honest about what they’re thinking, what you see is what you get, when I make a promise I deliver on that promise.

“And I’ve done that every single time, and when I make a mistake as I did supporting Remain in 2016, I admit that and I move on”.

Truss: I argued against national insurance rise

08:42 , Josh Salisbury

Liz Truss has denied changing her mind on the corporation tax rise when asked by host Nick Robinson why she sat in a Cabinet which backed it.

Ms Truss has vowed to scrap the policy if she is successful as PM, and has criticised opponent, Rishi Sunak, who was then Chancellor, for raising the tax burden.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Let’s be clear: When I was sat at that Cabinet table I opposed the National Insurance rise before it happened and tried to stop it because I thought it was a mistake.

“I thought it was a mistake to miss our manifesto commitment and break our manifesto commitment and I thought it was a mistake to raise taxes in these very difficult times”.

Truss insists tax cuts are not a gamble and will decrease inflation

08:45 , Josh Salisbury

Truss has also insisted her economic plan of immediate tax cuts is not a gamble and that it wouldn’t fuel inflation.

The promise was criticised by Rishi Sunak during a televised debate, who called it “something for nothing” economics, and even suggested it was socialism.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme she is challenging the economic “orthodoxy” that has prevailed for the past few decades.

Asked what the current level of debt interest is, Ms Truss said: “I know we’ve got significant debt interest... tens of billions of pounds.”

But she added: “We have got the highest taxes for 70 years and we have got lower debt than the United States, than Japan, than Canada.

“No other countries are raising taxes.”

Truss says she is committed to NHS spending

08:50 , Josh Salisbury

Liz Truss has added she is "completely committed" to Government promises for NHS spending.

The Foreign Secretary was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme what happens to Government proposals for new hospitals and NHS spending if her plan to cut taxes does not succeed in generating growth.

Rejecting the suggestion it is a "gamble", she said: "I'm completely committed to that NHS spending, to the hospitals, to the doctors.

"What is a gamble is what we're doing at the moment.

"What is the gamble is what we're doing at the moment because, currently, the United Kingdom is projected to head for a recession. So we need to do something different in order to get growth going, in order to put money in people's pockets."

Truss says she had wanted Boris Johnson to stay on as PM

08:54 , Josh Salisbury

The Foreign Secretary has said she had wanted Boris Johnson to carry on as prime minister.

Liz Truss, who some have labelled the continuity candidate, was grilled on BBC Radio 4's Today programme about her own judgment in backing Mr Johnson.

"I wanted Boris to carry on as Prime Minister. I think he did a fantastic job with the 2019 election, winning us a massive majority. He delivered Brexit, he delivered the vaccines.

"Regrettably, we got to a position where he didn't command the support of our parliamentary party," she said.

"My judgment was that he admitted that he had made a mistake, or several mistakes, over the course of the last year, but the positive side of the balance sheet was extremely positive."

Asked whether she is the continuity Johnson candidate, she said: "What I am not is the continuity economic policy candidate, because I think that is where we didn't get it right."

Ruth Davidson backs Rishi Sunak

09:06 , Bill Mcloughlin

Former leader of the Scottish Tory party, Ruth Davidson, has pledged her support for Rishi Sunak.

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Rishi Sunak’s tax hikes are ‘inflationary’ says Tory MP

09:20 , Bill Mcloughlin

Marcus Fysh, MP for Yeovil and Somerset has attacked Rishi Sunak’s tax plans, while praising Liz Truss.

Following Ms Truss’ pledge to cut taxes, Mr Fysh said: “Rishi’s tax hikes on employment and business are inherently inflationary.

Liz Truss is quite right to want to reverse them to increase supply, against what is supply shock driven inflation.”

The Times backs Rishi Sunak

09:39 , Bill Mcloughlin

The Times has announced its support for Rishi Sunak, the newspaper said on Thursday.

Ahead of the regional husting to determine the Tory party’s next leader, The Times concludes: “Only Rishi Sunak has proven himself willing to confront the compromises and sacrifices this difficult moment demands.

“Tory members must recognise that the choice before them is between hard reality or consoling fiction.

“Voters will not forgive the party another fit of self-indulgence.”

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Liz Truss to attack Sunak over raising taxes, says former minister

09:49 , Bill Mcloughlin

David Gauke, the former justice secretary, has said that Liz Truss will attack Rishi Sunak on raising taxes but is vulnerable over her perceived lack of popularity.

He told Sky News: "I think the main challenge for Liz is to convey to the Conservative membership that she can win a general election.

"Where Rishi Sunak will look to, if you like, attack her is to point to any evidence that exists that suggests that he is more popular with the electorate, and he is more likely to retain power at the next general election.

"I think Sunak's big difficulty is that he is seen as a person who has lifted taxes.

"There are good arguments for why taxes have had to go up but they might not be arguments that persuade Conservative members.

"So that is why I think Liz Truss will focus on taxes and the economy, and Rishi Sunak will focus on who can win the next general election."

Liz Truss jokes over replacing Downing Street’s wallpaper

10:09 , Bill Mcloughlin

Liz Truss has joked that, if elected prime minister, she would not have time to think about changing the wallpaper in No10 - a reference to Boris Johnson’s controversial refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat.

Appearing on GB News, she was asked if she plans to remove the infamous gold wallpaper.

“I’m not going to have the time to be thinking about the wallpaper in No 10, because we’ve only got two years until the general election - we need to hit the ground running,” the Tory leadership hopeful said.

She told the programme she is a fan of 1980s music, with I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston her go-to karaoke song.

Boris Johnson to give oral evidence to Privileges Committee

10:26 , Bill Mcloughlin

A report from the Privileges Committee has confirmed Boris Johnson will give evidence at the inquiry into his statement regarding the parties held in No10 during the pandemic.

The Privileges Committee also insisted its inquiry will go ahead despite Mr Johnson's resignation as Tory leader and his expected departure from No 10 in September.

The committee said "some have suggested" the inquiry is no longer necessary.

"Our inquiry, however, is into the question of whether the House was misled, and political developments are of no relevance to that.

"The House charged the committee with this task and we are obliged to continue with it."

Labour MP pokes fun at Liz Truss

11:00 , Bill Mcloughlin

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy poked fun at Tory leadership contender Liz Truss by saying she ignored warnings that trade deals would shrink the food and farming sectors, and “that is a disgrace”.

The MP Bristol East said: “It’s been revealed that when Ms Truss was trade secretary, the now Foreign Secretary ignored advice from her own officials that the Australian and New Zealand trade agreements would shrink our food and farming sectors. I think we can all agree that that is a disgrace.”

Following laughter from the Opposition benches, following the reference to a video of Ms Truss branding high imports of food a “disgrace”, she said: “I’m glad someone got the joke.”

The Labour MP then added: “The food and farming sectors are already hurting due to severe labour shortages and rising costs, and these rushed trade agreements could be the final nail in the coffin.

“If the Foreign Secretary couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing for farmers, can she be trusted to run the country?”

Boris Johnson holds a roundtable meeting with senior business leaders

11:21 , Bill Mcloughlin

Boris Johnson held a roundtable meeting with senior business leaders to mark the start of the retail partnership’s launch as part of the Help for Households campaign on Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a roundtable meeting with senior business leaders (PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a roundtable meeting with senior business leaders (PA)

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak arrive for hustings event in London

11:46 , Bill Mcloughlin

Rishi Sunak arrives to attend a hustings (Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak arrives to attend a hustings (Getty Images)
Liz Truss arrives for hustings (PA)
Liz Truss arrives for hustings (PA)

Rishi Sunak provides merchandise at hustings

12:10 , Bill Mcloughlin

Ahead of his appearance at a hustings event, Rishi Sunak provided lobby journalists with a range of goodies.

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‘Stop killing badgers'

12:43 , Miriam Burrell

Liz Truss’s car was surrounded by badger-cull protesters as she left a hustings with the Conservative Councillors’ Association.

The demonstrators rushed to the vehicle and shouted “stop killing badgers” as the Foreign Secretary left the Local Government Association building via a side exit.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Liz Truss: ‘I was wrong to be a Remainer'

12:55 , Miriam Burrell

Liz Truss told BBC Radio 4 she was “wrong” to vote to remain in the European Union.

“I have developed my political views and ideas,” the leadership candidate said.

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Rishi Sunak wins over councillor in private husting

13:08 , Miriam Burrell

A Tory councillor has been won over by Rishi Sunak in private hustings with the Conservative Councillors’ Association.

Ben Mabbett from Vale of White Horse District Council in Oxfordshire said Mr Sunak has a “more realistic plan for the country” than his rival Liz Truss.

He told the PA news agency he was “was very much a floating voter before this time” but is “ready for Rishi now”.

“He had some great answers to questions, he has a sensible plan and actually, I think he’s got a more realistic plan for the country and something that I think will go over better with the electorate.”

Lib Dems share image of Liz Truss speaking at party conference in 1994

13:47 , Bill Mcloughlin

The Liberal Democrats have released an image of a 19-year-old Liz Truss making a speech during the party’s conference in 1994.

Ms Truss was a member of the Lib Dems until 1996 and was president of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats.

Accompanying the picture of Ms Truss, the Lib Dem statement read: “You never know when you might miss at Lib Dem conference.”

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Boris Johnson presents written statement to the House of Commons

14:02 , Bill Mcloughlin

Boris Johnson has made a written statement to the House of Commons.

In his statement, he praised the Government for delivering Brexit, the way it has guided the country through the pandemic, in leveling up the country, supposedly growing the economy at the fastest rate in the G7, and now “embracing the freedom we now have to chart our own course”.

Concluding, he said: “I am proud of our record in office since 2019.

“I remain determined that we continue to deliver in our final weeks.

“And I know that the Conservative Government that follows after us will do what its predecessors have always done and meet the challenges of the day by serving the British people.”

Rishi Sunak wins over Tory councillor following husting

14:23 , Bill Mcloughlin

Councillor Ben Mabbett from Vale of White Horse District Council in Oxfordshire said Mr Sunak has a “more realistic plan for the country” than his rival Liz Truss.

He told the PA news agency: “I was very much a floating voter before this time because there were so many good candidates in the leadership election, so I was really open-minded.

“I’m ready for Rishi now. He had some great answers to questions, he has a sensible plan and actually, I think he’s got a more realistic plan for the country and something that I think will go over better with the electorate.”

Mr Sunak was more convincing on topics including social care, housing and environment, Mr Mabbett said.

He believed Tory members would also get behind Mr Sunak, saying: “I think once they get to see him out in the country, they’ll start to support him.”

A Tory councillor said leadership contender Rishi Sunak won him over in private hustings with the Conservative Councillors’ Association.

'If I become PM, I will deliver the radical set of reforms needed to unleash growth,’ says Rishi Sunak

14:43 , Bill Mcloughlin

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Liz Truss ambushed by animal protesters

15:15 , Bill Mcloughlin

Liz Truss was ambushed by a group of badger cull protesters as she arrived for a hustings with Conservative councillors in London earlier on Thursday.

The Tory leadership hopeful, fittingly dressed in black and white, was met by the noisy demonstrators as she walked up to the Local Government Association’s offices in Westminster.

Protesters chanted “Save our badgers, stop the cull”, drowning out any questions from journalists hoping to gauge Ms Truss’s mood ahead of her grilling by local government politicians.

Read our story here.

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Badger cull protesters outside the Tory leadership hustings event (Sophie Wingate/PA) (PA Wire)
Badger cull protesters outside the Tory leadership hustings event (Sophie Wingate/PA) (PA Wire)

Northern Ireland Secretary refuses to reveal favoured candidate

15:29 , Bill Mcloughlin

Northern Ireland Secretary Shailesh Vara has declined to say whether he is backing Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Speaking to media in Lisburn, Co Antrim, Mr Vara said he believes they are “both excellent candidates”.

“Whoever is the ultimate winner will, I’m sure, serve the United Kingdom very well,” he said.

“With both of them I have raised the issue of Northern Ireland and the importance that they place upon the people here and they have made it absolutely clear to me that Northern Ireland is uppermost there and they want to make sure that they get the Executive up and running and that we can move forward so that Northern Ireland, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, benefits from everything that is going in terms of economic development and prosperity.”

Liz Truss meets children in Peterborough

15:56 , Bill Mcloughlin

Liz Truss has visited children at the Little Miracles centre in Peterborough.

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Truss vows to bulldoze through ‘endless government bureaucracy’

16:46 , Daniel Keane

Liz Truss vowed to "bulldoze" through "endless government bureaucracy" as prime minister and would not "take no for an answer".

Asked how she would confront the Treasury, which she has labelled as resistant to change, the Tory leadership hopeful told reporters in Peterborough: "What I would do and I've done this as Foreign Secretary, I've done this as trade secretary, is I've bulldozed through the blockages.

"I get stuff done, whether it's the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, whether it's the dozens of trade deals, whether it's the sanctions regime on Russia - we've now got the toughest sanctions - because I don't take no for an answer and I go in and I fight for what is right, I hear what people say."

She said "endless government bureaucracy" is a "waste of taxpayers' money" and "causing real pain to people in very, very difficult circumstances".

Ms Truss added: "I'm the person who is prepared to be bold, to take on the status quo and say let's do things differently."

Truss: What you see of me is what you get

17:00 , Daniel Keane

Liz Truss was asked if a prime minister can win back trust from the British people if they have received a fine for breaking their own Covid laws.

In response, she told broadcasters: "The thing about me is what you see is what you get.

"I've always been honest with people about what I can deliver, I don't make promises I can't keep and I will completely level with the public about first of all how tough things are going to be, but also the hope that they can have about the future because I have a positive vision for Britain and I will be helping families immediately with the cost of living."

Breaking: New poll gives Truss commanding 62% lead among Tory members

17:06 , Daniel Keane

A new YouGov poll has given Liz Truss a commanding lead over Rishi Sunak, with 62 per cent of Tory members backing the foreign secretary.

The poll, released this evening, highlights the scale of the challenge for the former Chancellor - backed by just 38 per cent of members.

Forty per cent of members polled said they could not trust Mr Sunak, compared with just 18 per cent for Ms Truss.

Sixty-two per cent said that they could trust Ms Truss.

Badenoch most popular candidate among members overall - YouGov poll

17:27 , Daniel Keane

The YouGov data also reveals some interesting preferences among Tory members, with Kemi Badenoch emerging as the most popular candidate overall on 24 per cent.

Penny Mordaunt took second place on 20 per cent, with Ms Truss in third on 13 per cent.

Mr Sunak, meanwhile, has 11 per cent of the members’ support.

Truss could ‘seek private funding for royal yacht'

17:41 , Daniel Keane

Liz Truss suggested she could seek "private sector funding" to buy a royal yacht as prime minister.

The Tory leadership candidate told reporters in Peterborough: "I do support the idea of promoting our trade around the world.

"What I would be seeking is to get investment into a yacht, looking to the private sector to assist with that to make it financially viable."

She added: "Global Britain is a very effective and successful brand and I'm proud of the role that I've played as trade secretary and Foreign Secretary in leading on the world stage."

Truss admits ‘mistake’ over monarchy comments

18:01 , Daniel Keane

Liz Truss suggested a speech she made calling for the monarchy to be abolished as a teenager was a "mistake" that she regretted "almost immediately" after making the remarks.

It comes as footage resurfaced of a young Ms Truss questioning the necessity of the monarchy at a Liberal Democrat conference in the 1990s.

Asked when she realised she did not want to scrap the monarchy, she told reporters in Peterborough: "Almost immediately after I'd made that speech.

"I was a teenager at the time and I do believe that people who never change their mind on anything and think the same at 16 as they do at 46 are, well, first of all they're not normal people like I am, and secondly, you know, I've got the ability to learn from mistakes I've made, things that I've done that are wrong and move on."

I am best placed to defeat Keir Starmer, says Sunak

18:06 , Daniel Keane

Rishi Sunak is speaking to Andrew Marr on LBC.

He says he is “best placed” to win the next election.

“If you look at the polling evidence we have, it’s clear that I am the person that is best placed to defeat Sir Keir Starmer.

“The choice is between two people so you can be more definitive... we’ve been in power for a while and we need to keep delivering change for the British people.

“But we also have to win a historic General Election.”

Speaking to Tory members, he says he “shares their values”.

Sunak: We have to live within our means

18:09 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak refuses to be drawn on why Liz Truss could not deliver a general election victory, saying he would rather discuss policy.

Asked what the inflationary impact of immediate tax cuts will be, Mr Sunak says it is a “Conservative value that we have to live within our means”.

“Debt and borrowing is not a good thing, we should try and have less of it if we can,” he says.

He claims that Ms Truss’ promised tax cuts would be inflationary.

“If the Government goes on a borrowing spree, that is only going to make the situation worse. It means the problem will last longer and make families poorer in the long run.”

Mr Sunak says he is worried about the current inflationary period “becoming embedded”.

Sunak defends corporation rate rise

18:11 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak says he is proposing “common sense Thatcherism” and pledges to create a system that “drives growth”.

“Corporation tax will go up but it’s entirely reasonable. We spent a lot of money protecting businesses during the pandemic.”

Freeports can help drive growth, says Sunak

18:15 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak points out that the corporation tax increase will not apply for smaller businesses.

He says that despite the rise, Britain’s corporation tax rate is still lower than countries including France and the US.

Asked how he could drive economic growth, Mr Sunak says that freeports created through Brexit can act as a stimulus.

Sunak says ministers ‘need to make Rwanda plan work'

18:23 , Daniel Keane

Asked what needs to be changed about Britain’s immigration policy, Mr Sunak says that ministers “need to make the Rwanda plan work”.

“This country welcomed my family as immigrants, but we need to have control of our borders,” he says.

“People are seeing on their screens that boats are arriving, we haven’t got a grip of it and one of my priorities would be to make the Rwanda policy work.”

Sunak: We need innovation to tackle climate change

18:25 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak says his approach to combatting climate change does not involve the “destruction” of capitalism.

Instead, he says his approach to bringing down emissions will focus on “innovation”.

Sunak: I regret having to resign to oust Boris Johnson

18:30 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak says he regrets having to resign to oust Boris Johnson.

“I worked closely with the PM for two years and I’m proud of our achievements in Government.

“I’m sorry I had to resign, it’s not a decision I took lightly. But now I’m looking forward.

“It got to a point where enough was enough.”

He denies knowing about the Ready4Rishi website being registered months before the launch of his campaign.

Sunak claims he flew back from US to prevent lockdown last Christmas

18:42 , Daniel Keane

Mr Sunak says he flew back from the US last December to prevent Boris Johnson from implementing another national lockdown during the Omicron surge.

“We were hours away from a national lockdown but I came back and challenged the system,” he told LBC.

Channel 4 sell-off under fire after strong financial performance

18:52 , Daniel Keane

Channel 4 privatisation plans have come under fire again after it published its report showing its strongest ever financial performance.

Revenues topped £1 billion for the first time in its history and it enjoyed a record-breaking tax surplus of £101million.

The Government is seeking to privatise Channel 4, arguing that it will struggle to survive in a media landscape increasingly dominated by big streaming giants such as Netflix and has an overreliance on declining TV advertising to support its business.

Labour's shadow spokesperson for culture, media and sport in the House of Lords questioned the Government's failed attempt to alter Channel 4's report to "suit the privatisation agenda".

Lord Bassam of Brighton called on the Tories to “finally admit that neither the public, nor for that matter the Parliamentary Conservative Party want Channel 4 flogged off?"

Watch: Truss says it will be hard for Sunak to win general election with economic policy

19:08 , Daniel Keane

Sunak says a Truss premiership will lose the next election

19:41 , Robert Dex

Rishi Sunak has claimed the current evidence suggests the Tories would suffer a defeat at the next general election under Liz Truss’ leadership.

The former chancellor, one of the two remaining candidates vying for the top job in No 10, also warned that going on a “huge borrowing spree” would only “make the situation worse” when it comes to inflation.

He told Tonight With Andrew Marr on LBC: “If you look at all the polling evidence that we have, and you see what that says, it’s pretty clear that I am the person that is best placed to defeat Keir Starmer in the next election.”

Pictured: Sunak all smiles as he leaves LBC studio

21:40 , Daniel Keane


22:51 , Matt Watts

Thats it for our coverage for this evening.