Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss neck and neck after first TV debate clash


PTI, Jul 26, 2022, 3:37 PM IST

Image credit: Reuters

London: There was no clear winner between former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday after the UK’s prime ministerial candidates went head-to-head in their first television debate as finalists and clashed fiercely on their economic policies and tax plans.

A snap Opinium poll of who performed best in the BBC debate on Monday night found Sunak just slightly ahead at 39 percent, compared to Truss at 38 percent.

However, 47 percent of Conservative Party voters quizzed thought it was the Foreign Secretary who was the better performer, with 38 percent preferring Sunak.

Overall, the survey of 1,032 British adults held that voters could not decide between Sunak and Truss, with just one point dividing the pair.

In a reflection of what a general election might throw up, data showed that 41 percent of Opposition Labour Party voters in the survey thought 42-year-old Sunak did better while 30 percent preferred Truss.

Of those surveyed, 43 percent also said the Conservatives should elect Sunak while 41 percent said they should elect 47-year-old Truss, with 12 percent either choosing ”do not know” or abstaining.

“You’ve promised over 40 billion pounds of unfunded tax cuts – 40 billion pounds more borrowing,” said Sunak, repeatedly confronting his opponent on her pledge to cut taxes from day one as a new Prime Minister.

”That is the country’s credit card, and it’s our children and grandchildren, everyone here’s kids will pick up the tab for that. There’s nothing Conservative about it,” he said.

The former Chancellor insists the UK’s tax burden is the result of the unprecedented levels of government spending needed to keep the economy afloat during the COVID pandemic and that getting a grip on inflation is a priority before any tax cuts.

He warned that Truss’ tax cut plan would ”tip millions of people into misery” and cost the Tories the next general election, expected around 2024.

The Foreign Secretary, meanwhile, insisted that no other country was putting up taxes and accused Sunak of having no plan for growth.

”This Chancellor has raised taxes to the highest rate in 70 years, and we’re now predicting a recession. The truth is in the figures,” she said.

The debate got heated at several points as the economic policy remained the key dividing line during the fiery program entitled ‘Our Next Prime Minister’, which also saw the pair grilled on their tough stance on China and even their dress sense after jibes on social media over Sunak’s expensive tastes.

Sunak was defiant and said he was ”not going to apologize” for his background, adding that his parents had worked hard and saved for him and his siblings to get a good, if expensive, education.

”Such aspirational values are Conservative,” he declared, attracting a round of applause from the audience in Stoke-on-Trent in central England.

Truss sought to downplay her camp’s jibes at the British Indian ex-minister’s choice of attire, saying she did not have ”any issue with how expensive anybody else’s clothes are” and is ”not going to give Rishi fashion advice”, adding that she is a ”great admirer of his dress sense”.

During the more mellow moments of the debate, Sunak said he admired Truss and that they were ultimately on the same team. Asked if he would work in a government headed by her, he answered in the affirmative. Truss also said she would ”love” to have Sunak on her team if she becomes Prime Minister.

The pair will continue their intense campaigning up and down the country as they appear at a series of hustings organized by the Conservative Campaign Headquarters.

The winner will be elected by an estimated 180,000 Tory members, who are now making up their minds before casting their postal ballots from early next month. The ballot will close on the evening of September 2 and the winner will be announced on September 5.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Bihar Police detain six from Jharkhand’s Deoghar in NEET ‘paper leak’ case

Toddler dies after tin shed collapses on her in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara

YSRCP’s under construction office demolition: TDP says construction illegal

Seat-sharing talks for Maharashtra polls yet to begin in MVA; all are equal stakeholders: Sanjay Raut

Noida: Crackdown on public drinking, 497 booked for nuisance

Amid paper leak controversy, Centre brings into force stringent law to curb irregularities in exam

Hoax bomb threat to Air Arabia flight in Kerala’s Calicut airport

Related Articles More

1985 Air India Kanishka bombing: Probe still active & ongoing, say Canadian police

Domestic workers exploitation: Hindujas ‘appalled’ by Swiss court’s jail term order; File appeal

INDUS-X defence initiative between US, India marks 1st anniversary

Eight Indian crew members of cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore bridge finally leaves for India

Sikh extremists on Canada’s no-fly list lose appeal, court sees ‘reasonable grounds’ for terror concern

MUST WATCH

Chikmagalur

mundrapady temple puttur

Dr RajKumar

Taranga Magazine

Gururaj Gantihole


Latest Additions

KSNDMC issues very heavy rainfall warning

Amit Shah launches special programme to fast-track immigration services

India, Bangladesh ink pact to boost ties in maritime sphere, blue economy

Bihar Police detain six from Jharkhand’s Deoghar in NEET ‘paper leak’ case

Expired Delhi EV Policy yet to get extension

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.