Rivals to succeed Johnson as UK PM clash over tax in TV debate | Politics News

The next televised debate will take place on Sunday as the ruling party looks to choose two candidates for party members to vote on.

The five remaining candidates to become Conservative leader and Britain’s next prime minister clashed over tax and political honesty in the first televised debate, as they vie for a seat. in a two-man fight.

An initial field of 11 was curtailed in two days of voting by MPs from the ruling party, but no one has emerged as a clear successor to Boris Johnson, who has declared him as the step down after a wave of government resignations over the handling of month of scandals.

Former finance minister Rishi Sunakwho was among those who left Johnson’s government, was top two votes, followed by former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Polls show Mordaunt as the most popular with party members who will decide the winner, while Truss has the backing of a number of party right-wing figures as well as those in the party. loyal to Johnson.

The 90-minute debate on Friday night – the first chance the candidates had to present their credentials to a national television audience – saw relatively few face-to-face confrontations. next.

But when they broke out, it was largely due to taxation, with Sunak forced to defend its tax plan against opponents who wanted immediate tax cuts.

The wealthy politician, whose status has been affected by revelations that his wife has so-called “non-resident” status and has not yet paid taxes, has urged caution and patience as the UK struggling with The worst inflation in 40 years.

“Borrowing money to get out of inflation is not a plan, it’s a fairy tale,” Sunak told Truss, as she advertised her tax relief plan.

“You can’t tax your way to growth,” says Truss. “I think raising taxes is wrong.”

Question about trust

The five candidates for the top job initially faced hostile questions about trust and integrity.

That has given outsiders hope – Tom Tugendhat, a prominent backer and chair of the foreign affairs committee, and Kemi Badenoch, a former equality minister – a chance to show himself as no contaminated and an opportunity for the party and England to start over.

“Are you serving the people of the UK or are you serving your cause? Because that’s the real question tonight,” said Tugendhat, repeatedly drawing applause from the audience.

A quick poll of 1,159 voters watching by Opinium found that 36 percent said former military officers performed best, followed by a quarter who cited Sunak. Mordaunt and Badenoch are 12% each, while Truss is only 6 %. Voters have no say in the election, which is decided in a postal vote by some 200,000 members of the Conservative party.

In a sign of Johnson’s shadow, candidates were asked if they thought he was honest.

Tugendhat shook his head, Badenoch said “sometimes” while the others looked confused.

Mordaunt was annoyed by his direct criticism of the outgoing leader of the party.

“There were some really serious problems and I think he paid the price for that,” she said.

A second televised debate will take place on Sunday before another vote by Conservative MPs on Monday will further narrow the field.

The lawmakers’ votes will end on Wednesday, with grant and profile party members choosing from two finalists in a postal vote after campaigning and grouping across the country. .

Winner will be announced on September 5.

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