Bracknell MP assesses Sunak and Truss leadership campaigns

The two remaining candidates in the Tory leadership race have ‘inconsistencies in policy’, the MP for Bracknell Forest said in an interview with GB News.

James Sunderland MP has been asked to give his assessment of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss’ plans to become the next Prime Minister after his preferred choice, Penny Mordaunt, was knocked out of the race last week.

Anxious it wouldn’t come across as ‘sour grapes’, Mr Sunderland said the candidates ‘offer merits’ but ‘being brutally candid’ both have ‘inconsistencies in policy areas’.

The latter two have clashed over differences in economic policy, particularly on taxation, as voters grapple with the cost of living crisis – largely due to high inflation and soaring oil prices. ‘energy.

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Ms Truss is running on a platform of immediate tax cuts, she is proposing to reverse the National Insurance hike, reverse planned increases in corporation tax and the temporary abolition of levies on electricity bills for green energy.

The current Foreign Secretary plans to pay for these £30billion in tax cuts with new borrowing, which she says will not be inflationary and will instead boost growth.

Mr Sunak pledged to return to “traditional conservative economic values” and denounced what he sees as “something for nothing” policies described by Ms Truss.

He too said he was aiming to cut taxes, but only after battling inflation – which hit 9.4% in June.

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Mr Sunderland told GB News that while the policies extended ‘way beyond’ the economy, he accepted it was ‘acute’ for candidates to focus on the economy in the current climate.

He defended “pragmatism” and raised issues with the promise of tax cuts due to the current level of inflation.

“Countries £2.2bn in the red at the moment and so it is fair in my view that the election is won and lost on economic issues.

“My concern with Lizz’s policies is that they could be inflationary. At this point the jury is out, and I urge people to listen to what the candidates are saying and vote accordingly,” he added.

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Tories also fear that the anger over Boris Johnson’s ousting – either that he was forced to quit or remained in office for as long as he did – will prevent the party from continuing. .

Mr Sunderland said MPs are ‘damned if they do and damned if they don’t’, referring to the ‘vitriol’ he has seen in his inbox on both sides of the row at the course of the last 12 months.

” It is true that [he] resigned, we cannot continue to give oxygen to the opposition and to the media and I think that we have come a long way in terms of moral authority. […] We left Boris Johnson,” he said.

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak will continue their campaigns by locking horns in the first one-on-one debate tonight at 9pm on BBC One. The next Prime Minister will be chosen by members of the Conservative Party, with the result announced on September 5.

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