Rishi Sunak and Liz Terrace, the two candidates to succeed outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, kicked off the first of 12 campaign events across the country on Thursday evening to woo members of the Conservative Party.
Members of the party, which holds the majority in the House of Commons, will vote by post in August to choose a successor to Johnson, who was forced to announce his resignation in early July following a series of scandals in his government. The poll results are expected to be out on September 5.
Opinion polls have shown the Trust in the lead and on Thursday night it received strong support from Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who wrote in The Times that the Trust’s experience put it in the best position to defend the UK in these difficult times.
Although polls showed Ben Wallace as the front-runner to succeed Johnson, he backed out three weeks ago, saying he wanted to focus on his current job of ensuring the nation’s security.
In the Leeds area of northern England, Sunak and Terrace first appeared separately, then the two were subjected to a question-and-answer session, which resulted in no direct confrontation between them, and both worked to reconcile. By presenting their programs to the audience.
Both candidates focused on their proximity to area residents; Tross insists he grew up in Leeds; Sunak said she belongs to a close circle, where her parents still live.
In an attempt to differentiate himself from Johnson, whose three years at the helm of government have been marked by scandal, Sunak stressed the need to restore confidence.
Asked if he had “backstabbed” Johnson, Sunak was keen to thank the prime minister, insisting it was differences over economic policy that prompted him to quit the government. “I had no choice,” he said. The 42-year-old former finance minister emphasized his family’s history, which he says embodies “conservative values”, describing inflation as “an enemy that impoverishes everyone”. As for his lifestyle, the former banker said it’s about more than his expensive uniforms and what he “does for the country” is important.
He reiterated his refusal to cut taxes before inflation returns to reasonable levels, while Terrace promised to reduce the tax burden “from day one.” Sunak insisted he would fight for “every vote”.
Terrace, for its part, managed to draw attention by touching on topics such as the transport sector, British support for Ukraine and support for local farmers. On foreign policy, the two rivals pledged to extend Johnson’s staunch support for Ukraine and counter China’s rise, while seizing “Brexit opportunities”.
Both candidates pledged to support Johnson’s agenda to stimulate growth in neglected areas of England, including areas around Leeds.
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