Rivals will challenge Johnson to be the UK PM | Politics News

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Next televised discussion set for Sunday, when the ruling party will choose two candidates for final votes by its members.

The five remaining candidates to become Conservative party leader and Britain’s next prime minister have clashed over tax and honesty in politics in their first televised debate, as they fight for a place in the two-person runoff.

A initial field of 11 candidates has been narrowed down by MPs of the ruling party in just two days. However, no one has emerged as the obvious successor of Boris Johnson, who declared he was retiring. stepping downFollowing a wave government resignations regarding his handling of Months of scandals.

Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, who was among those who quit Johnson’s government, has TopThe votes were followed by Penny Mordaunt, former defense secretary, and Liz Truss (foreign minister). Polls suggest Mordaunt is the most popular with party members who will decide the winner, while Truss has the backing of a number of figures on the party’s right as well as Johnson loyalists.

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

However, when they did burst, it was mostly over taxation. Sunak had to defend his tax plans against rivals who want to see tax cuts immediately.

The wealthy politician, whose standing was damaged by revelations that his wife had so-called “non-dom” status and had not been paying tax, urged caution and patience as the United Kingdom grapples with the Worst inflation in 40 Years.

“Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan, it’s a fairytale,” Sunak told Truss, as she touted her tax-slashing plans.

“You cannot tax your way to growth,” Truss said. “I think it is wrong to put taxes up.”

Trust is a question

In the beginning, five of the five top candidates were confronted with hostile questions regarding trust and integrity.

That gave the outside hopefuls – Tom Tugendhat, a prominent backbencher and chair of the foreign affairs committee, and Kemi Badenoch, a former equalities minister – an opportunity to pitch themselves as untainted and a chance for the party and Britain to start afresh.

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

Opinium conducted a snap poll of 1,159 viewers and found that 36 percent believed the ex-army officer performed the best. Another quarter blamed Sunak. Truss was at six percent, while Mordaunt & Badenoch both polled 12 percent. The contest is decided by about 200,000 Conservative party members via postal ballot. Voters are not allowed to vote.

In a sign that Johnson cast a shadow, Johnson asked the candidates if they believed Johnson to be honest.

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

Mordaunt appeared uneasy about directly criticising the party’s outgoing leader.

“There have been some really severe issues and I think he has paid a price for that,” she said.

On Sunday, a second debate will be televised before another vote by Conservative MPs. This should further narrow the field.

Legislator ballots will end on Wednesday, with the party’s rank-and-file members choosing from the two finalists in a postal ballot following nationwide campaigning and hustings.

The winner will be announced at September 5.

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