'I Stood Up To Putin And Will Lead The Free World' – Liz Truss Sets Out Her Stall

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss launches her campaign to become the next Prime Minister on July 14, 2022. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images)
Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss launches her campaign to become the next Prime Minister on July 14, 2022. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images)

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss launches her campaign to become the next Prime Minister on July 14, 2022. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images)

Liz Truss today vowed to stand up to Putin and “lead the free world” as she set out her stall to become the next prime minister.

The foreign secretary said she was “ready to be prime minister on day one” just hours ahead of another round of voting.

She launched her bid in central London with the backing of Boris Johnson loyalists such as Nadine Dorries and cabinet ministers Kwasi Kwarteng and Therese Coffey in the crowd.

Truss said: “I stood up to Vladimir Putin by targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions his regime has ever seen.

“And I would continue to lead the free world in opposing Putin and making sure that Ukraine prevails.”

In her attempt to unite the Tory right wing behind her campaign, Truss has promised to reverse National Insurance and corporation tax rises.

The South West Norfolk MP spoke about attending a comprehensive school and said her mission was to make the country an “aspiration nation” where every child has the best opportunity to succeed.

She said the Labour Party and Lib Dems were “beatable” and that Brits wanted a “modern and united” Tory party.

The foreign secretary said she did not quit Johnson’s cabinet because she was “loyal” to him and supported his aspirations.

“I am a loyal person. I am loyal to Boris Johnson. I supported our prime minister’s aspirations,” she said.

Truss also dodged questions about fears she could be outflanked by rival Penny Mordaunt and instead stressed the wide array of talent the leadership contest is displaying.

The cabinet minister secured her place in the next round of the contest, receiving the third-highest number of votes in the first ballot of Tory MPs on Wednesday, behind rivals Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV via Getty Images)

Truss’s supporters are urging backers of other candidates on the right - Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch - to throw their weight behind the foreign secretary.

Therese Coffey, the pensions secretary, told Sky News: “The reason why I think that supporters of Suella and Kemi should come and join Liz is because a lot of their policies are in a very similar direction, about having a free economy, about making sure we stand up for the United Kingdom and be proud of our country.”

The 46-year-old, who has transformed from a Remainer to an ardent Brexiteer, added: “We are at a critical moment for our country. Now is the time to be bold, we cannot have business-as-usual economic management, which has led to low growth for decades.”

The second round of voting by Tory MPs will take place between 11.30am and 1.30pm, with a result announced at 3pm.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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