British Prime Minister hopefuls clash over tax cuts in TV debate

British Prime Minister hopefuls clash over tax cuts in TV debate
Written by admin

  • Five challenges to succeed Johnson Boris as British Prime Minister
  • Second of three television debates on Sunday
  • Tax plans at the center of heated competition
  • Polls show a mixed picture of who is winning

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – The five Conservative contenders still vying to be Britain’s next prime minister clashed over tax cuts in a second televised debate on Sunday, with the two favorites, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, intensifying their battle in the economy. .

With no clear candidate to succeed Boris Johnson, who resigns after a series of scandals, the battle to be the next leader remains unpredictable and increasingly contentious, exposing divisions in the ruling Conservative Party.

Former finance minister Rishi Sunak has emerged as the favorite among 358 Conservative lawmakers, who will hold further votes this week to narrow the field of contenders to two finalists.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

He said Sunday night that his No. 1 priority would be to tackle inflation and not make it worse before applying tax cuts.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who has proposed plans to reduce payroll tax and corporate tax increases at a cost of more than 30 billion pounds ($36 billion) a year, said Sunak had raised taxes to the highest level in 70 years.

“Raising taxes at this time will stifle economic growth,” he said in the debate, presented by broadcaster ITV.

Sunak countered by saying that he “would love to cut taxes” but that it would come at the cost of higher inflation. “This something-for-nothing economy is not conservative, it’s socialism,” he said.

Junior Minister Penny Mordaunt, currently ranked third, also took aim at Sunak, saying the public needs “immediate action” to address the rising cost of living.


A JL Partners poll for the Sunday Telegraph suggested that nearly half of Conservative voters thought Sunak would make a good prime minister, ahead of Truss and Mordaunt.

Yet Truss also commands widespread support, even from Johnson’s loyalists, and Mordaunt has topped the polls of the party’s 200,000 members who will ultimately choose who becomes Conservative leader and thus Prime Minister.

In a demonstration of how open the race is, a poll of party members for the Conservative Home website on Saturday suggested that former Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch was now ahead of the others, with Truss second and Mordaunt, currently the bookies’ favourite, falling to the spot. third.

That came after the fifth candidate, Tom Tugendhat, chairman of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, led a poll of viewers after Friday’s first television debate.

Whoever wins the job will face soaring inflation and low economic growth, as well as a lack of public confidence in politics after Johnson’s scandal-plagued period in power.

Opinion polls also suggest the Conservatives are falling far behind the opposition Labor Party.

When questioned by the moderator, all the candidates said they would not hold an immediate election if they won. There is no need to hold national elections in Britain until 2024.

A candidate will be eliminated every day in the next three days, leaving the last two to face the verdict of the members of the Conservative Party. They will vote for the winner to be announced on September 1. 5.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by Michael Holden and Paul Sandle; Edited by Daniel Wallis and Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About the author


Leave a Comment