Rivals to succeed Johnson as UK PM clash over tax in TV debate

by | Jul 15, 2022 | World

Next televised debate set for Sunday as ruling party looks to choose two candidates to put to a final vote by party members.The five remaining candidates to become Conservative party leader and Britain’s next prime minister have clashed over tax and honesty in politics in their first televised debate, as they fight for a place in the two-person runoff.
An initial field of 11 has been whittled down in two days of votes by MPs from the ruling party, but none has yet emerged as the obvious successor to Boris Johnson who announced he was stepping down after a wave of government resignations over his handling of months of scandals.
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak, who was among those who quit Johnson’s government, has topped the two votes, followed by former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt and foreign minister Liz Truss. Polls suggest Mordaunt is the most popular with party members who will decide the winner, while Truss has the backing of a number of figures on the party’s right as well as Johnson loyalists.
The 90-minute debate on Friday night – the first chance the candidates have had to pitch their credentials to a national television audience – saw relatively few direct confrontations.
But when they did erupt, it was largely over taxation, with Sunak forced to defend his tax plans from rivals who are keen to see immediate cuts in taxation.
The wealthy politician, whose standing was damaged by revelations that his wife had so-called “non-dom” status and had not been paying tax, urged caution and patience as the United Kingdom grapples with the worst inflation in 40 years.
“Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a pla …

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