Tory leadership – live: Sunak accused of betraying PM as Truss wins backing from Ben Wallace

Rishi Sunak says Margaret Thatcher best Tory leader in history

Liz Truss’s campaign for No 10 was boosted by a major endorsement after she and rival Rishi Sunak faced a grilling from voters in the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace threw his support behind Ms Truss, as he criticised Mr Sunak for “walking out the door” of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

The former chancellor was hit with accusations he “stabbed Boris Johnson in the back” while facing a series of tough questions from Tory party members.

During Thursday’s hustings, Mr Sunak was confronted by a Tory named Matthew, from West Yorkshire, who told the former chancellor: “You’re a good salesman and you have many strong attributes, but many people continue to support Boris Johnson who has delivered consistently through treacherous waters.

“He is the man who made you as a senior politician. And some people don’t want to see that in No 10.”

Mr Sunak responded by saying that it had become clear that there was “a significant difference of opinion” between the pair on the economic direction of the country.

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An unscripted TV moment that may have sealed the fate of the next prime minister

Neither of the contenders in the battle for the Conservative leadership could be accused of overlooking the importance of presentation, writes Andrew Woodcock.

Continuing a practice long-honed at the Treasury, Rishi Sunak’s team has pumped out slick and glossy videos featuring lingering footage of the well-groomed former chancellor as prominently as his messages.

And Liz Truss has missed no opportunity as foreign secretary to pose for pictures featuring her riding on tanks or wearing a fur hat in Red Square, often selecting her poses and outfits in apparent homage to Margaret Thatcher.

All of this effort is clearly necessary in a modern image-driven election, where clips shared on social media are likely to have more impact than screeds of policy on printed pamphlets. But it can leave the voter uncertain of what the candidates are really like, behind the images burnished by their teams.

The one moment in the contest so far to grant a glimpse into the candidates’ “natural” behaviour came with the thoroughly unscripted interruption to the Talk TV debate, when – without warning – moderator Kate McCann fainted and collapsed.

Read more:

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Boost for Truss after crucial backing from Ben Wallace

Liz Truss’s campaign for No 10 was boosted by a major endorsement after she and rival Rishi Sunak faced a grilling from voters in the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace threw his support behind Ms Truss, as he criticised Mr Sunak for “walking out the door” of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.’

It came after the candidates were quizzed separately on a vast array of policy areas – as well as their predictions for the Women’s Euro 2022 final – as they sought to woo northern voters in the race for the top job.

Read more:

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Tory leadership debate and energy prices dominate newspaper front pages today

The front pages today look at the Tory leadership debate, energy profits and the cost of living.

The Independent, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror lead on “outrage” about the “soaring” profits of energy firms while the cost-of-living crisis continues.

While the Tory leadership debate is the front page of the i and the Daily Express, with the former reporting ministers are anxious about leaks from within the party.

Check out more front pages here:

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‘We are far too soft on foreigners’ says Sunak as he vows to double number of foreign criminals deported

Rishi Sunak has vowed to double the number of foreign criminals deported from the UK if he becomes the prime minister.

The Tory leadership contender and former chancellor told the Express newspaper that he would cut crime and expand prison capacity.

I will cut crime by locking the most prolific offenders up, keeping them locked up, and building the prison space needed to do so

Rishi Sunak

Mr Sunak was quoted as saying: “We are far too soft on foreigners who commit crimes in our country so I will double the number of foreign offenders we deport.

Read more:

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Can the new prime minister solve the Northern Ireland protocol problem?

Rishi Sunak may be slightly more likely to find a solution to the impasse over the Northern Ireland protocol than Liz Truss, experts at The Independent’s online event held on Wednesday believe.

Here are the highlights from the virtual event hosted by our chief political commentator John Rentoul:

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Key moments from the first official hustings

From applauds for Boris Johnson to criticism of the windfall taxes, here are all the key moments from the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds yesterday:

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Government announces plans to boost accessibility standards in new homes

The government has announced plans to raise the accessibility standard in new homes in order to better support older and disabled people.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced on Friday that it is committing to raising the minimum standard in England.

This move means all new homes will need to have step-free access to all entrance level rooms and facilities.

Homes will also need to include further features to make homes more easily adaptable over time.

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Watch: Liz Truss says she is ‘completely horrified’ by reality show Love Island

Liz Truss says she is ‘completely horrified’ by reality show Love Island
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Voices: The Tory war of words will damage the party – and the UK

All is fair in love and Tory leadership contests, writes Salma Shah.

The blue-on-blue attacks are worrying many, who rightly question how the party can possibly repair itself once the contest is over. The contestants have tried to mitigate their own excessive disagreements by circulating photos of friendly embraces – but the issue, sadly, is far deeper.

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‘You stabbed Boris in the back’: Rishi Sunak accused of betraying PM at first Tory leadership hustings

Rishi Sunak faced accusations he “stabbed Boris Johnson in the back” as he addressed grassroots Conservatives in the first member hustings in the race to replace the prime minister.

There was applause from the crowd of more than 1,000 Tories at the suggestion Mr Johnson should be on the ballot paper alongside his former chancellor and his rival Liz Truss.

But Mr Sunak denied he had betrayed the PM while being grilled at the event in Leeds. Rather, he said he resigned because of differences over economic policy.

Colin Drury and Andrew Woodcock report:


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.