Both contenders have to undergo bouts of 12 nationwide events and the first bout took place in Leeds, Northern England as the members elect a new leader. Truss is leading in surveys of Tory members after vowing immediate tax cuts as Britain confronts a slump in living standards.
Sunak in his speech, after Truss announced immediate tax cuts, said, “In the face of challenges, understand to get a grip of inflation and borrowing first,” adding that the government has already tried having low corporation tax to get businesses to invest and it hasn’t worked.
His support shrunk as his party members believed that Sunak has stabbed Boris Johnson in the back.
Tory members who back Truss and want her to build the cabinet include Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries and Boris Johnson. On the other hand, Tory members who support Sunak include Tom Tugendhat, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, according to the latest YouGov survey.
Notably, Truss and Sunak who are fighting for the UK Prime Minister post have gone head-to-head in a debate in their first official grilling in the presence of Conservative Party members in Leeds on Thursday. Former Chancellor Sunak faced a tough evening during the hustings for his lifestyle and dishonesty towards PM Boris Johnson whereas Truss had a fairly good time as she was backed by maximum support for the prime ministerial candidature.
Earlier, the YouGov survey also revealed that Truss extended her lead over Rishi Sunak as she gained 24 points. Now, the two had finally announced their summer campaign, a new YouGov poll of Tory members suggests that Truss retains her strong advantage.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss traded blows at each other over economic policy, and foreign relations in the first-ever TV debate on July 25. The candidates reportedly clashed over Britain’s future ties with China after cutting ties with Russia.
The second Tory leadership debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, however, got cancelled on Tuesday (local time) after presenter Kate McCann fainted and collapsed live on air.
The leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to step down on July 7 amid an avalanche of resignations of government officials, who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership. Johnson will continue to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.