The five candidates in the conservative party leadership race continue to prove their worth as the next PM’s face of the UK. On Sunday, the five MP’s debated each other over several issues in the hope of winning the leadership. The debate was the second round of voting in the contest for the UK prime minister, which got underway last week and has a third round scheduled for Monday.
On certain debate subjects, like taxes, there was agreement among the contenders. Still, on others, including not wanting Prime Minister Boris Johnson on their teams if they were to become the next Prime Minister, there was disagreement.
In response to a query on whether she would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit going to be held in November, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, one of the candidates for prime minister, said that if she were elected British prime minister, she would be willing to do so. She claims that if she were elected British prime minister, she would be willing to meet with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in November.
She remarked that she believes it is crucial that Vladimir Putin hear the voices of the free world. I’m ready to speak to Putin personally and call him out in front of those important swing countries like India and Indonesia. I was prepared to face down [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov. So I would go there and confront Putin, “she declared.
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If Truss is elected to the position of UK prime minister, one of her key objectives will be “Russia’s defeat” in Ukraine.
While the other candidates responded to this.
“Not under current circumstances,” said Penny Mordaunt.
Rishi Sunak said he walked out of the G20 meeting that was held in April when the Russian Foreign Minister took part in it.
Rishi Sunak tops the voting list
Last week, Rishi Sunak won with 101 votes, followed by Penny Mordaunt, the junior trade minister and betting favourite, with 83 votes, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with 64 votes.
After one contender, Uella Braverman was removed, Rishi Sunak, a former British finance minister, received the most votes to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.
So far, no individual has yet appeared to be the obvious successor to Boris Johnson, who stepped down as the PM of the UK following a series of scandals and a call for resignation. Sunak has won those two votes, but he has strong competition from Truss, who has the support of several influential people, and junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt, who polls indicate is the most well-liked among the party members who will ultimately select the winner.
A clash between Truss and Sunak over tax policy
While the election results are set to be declared on September 5 and the final two candidates going further for the conservative votes will be decided after much-sought elimination rounds by July 21st, the competition over the candidature posts continues.
On Friday, a disagreement between former finance minister Rishi Sunak and British foreign minister Liz Truss was around tax policy. In a post-election debate broadcast by Channel 4, the two sparred over economic policies.
At a cost of over 30 billion pounds ($36 billion) a year, eliminating Sunak’s proposed increases to the payroll tax and company tax. This would be paid for by a more progressive paydown of the government debt held during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Sunak said to Truss, “We have to be honest; borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan, and it’s a fairy tale.”
Tax increases, according to Truss, would prevent company investment at a time when the economy was already in trouble. She answered, “You cannot tax your way to grace.”
Whoever wins the election would be accountable for dealing with high inflation, low economic growth, and political instability currently enshrined in the UK’s politics.
The event’s moderator, ITV’s Julie Etchingham, stated at one point that Mr Sunak’s judgement on both his wife’s tax status and his own “green card” status—Mr. Sunak was a permanent resident of the U.S. while serving as the Chancellor of the U.K.—had been questioned. He replied, “Her wife has resolved the issue.” He also commented that there had been comments about his in-laws’ wealth. Mr Sunak’s wife is an Indian national who owns 0.91 per cent of the software giant Infosys, and he admires his in-laws’ parents’ efforts to build a successful company.
Who is Rishi Sunak?
The Indian-origin Tory leader who announced his bid to become the UK’s next Prime Minister and leader of the Conservatives was a former chancellor under Boris Johnson’s government. The Tory leader of Indian descent emphasised the traditional conservative values of “patriotism, justice, and hard work” and stated that his goals were to “establish trust, rebuild the economy, and reunite the country.”
His mother managed a neighbourhood pharmacy, and his father worked as a medical practitioner for the National Health Service (NHS). His grandparents moved from East Africa to Britain in the 1960s after leaving Punjab, where they supposedly held administrative positions. He attended Stanford University, where he obtained his MBA and won the renowned Fullbright scholarship, and Oxford University after finishing his studies at the prestigious private school, Winchester College.
In 2015, Sunak began his political career when he was chosen as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Richmond, Yorkshire.
While holding the post of chancellor he faced many challenges during his tenure. He announced a £350 billion financial rescue plan after promising to “do whatever it takes” to aid UK citizens amid the pandemic and the, according to the BBC. This caused his approval ratings to skyrocket. He received acclaim for both this plan and his pricey job retention programme, which prevented mass unemployment, according to Reuters. Although he received critiques from the opposition and the general public, the UK also had its most significant rate of inflation in 40 years in April of this year, when consumer prices increased by 9%, with predictions from the Bank of England that they would rise by a further 11%.
Several prominent Conservative MPs have openly endorsed Sunak’s bid and supported his “Ready for Rishi” campaign. He began his campaign by posting a polished video on social media in which he highlighted his Indian origins and stated that his “family is everything” to him.