Great Britain: Hot TV battle between Truss and Sunak

Status: 07/26/2022 08:40 am

The race to succeed British Prime Minister Johnson is straight. Yesterday was the first TV fight between Sunak and Drus candidates. It became particularly heated when it came to taxes and private property.

Merrick Aden, ART Studio London

Who will be “our” next Prime Minister? With this question, moderator Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak begin the debate at 9pm UK time on BBC Television. But for the next six weeks, the entire country is not allowed to vote – only approximately 150,000 to 180,000 Conservative members decide by postal ballot. The party keeps to itself how many there are.

A heated debate

As expected the debate quickly heats up when it comes to taxes. Secretary of State Truss promises immediate action as people in the country face the biggest crisis in generations due to the high cost of living. And he noted: “I will reverse the increase in social security contributions.”

Sunak has lashed out at his promises of immediate tax cuts. First, inflation must be brought under control. “Almost £40 billion in unfunded tax cuts. And another £40 billion in debt. At the expense of the country, our children and grandchildren, everyone here, will pay. This is not Conservative politics.” The two of them often interrupted each other, especially Sunak often interrupting Truss.

Private property debate

Culture Minister Nadine Dorries, a supporter of Truss, had already fueled the intra-party conflict many Conservatives feared on Twitter during the day. He shared a report from the Daily Mail which criticized Sunak for its expensive luxury branded clothing. Truss, on the other hand, wears five-pound earrings.

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When asked about this in a TV debate, Truss reiterated his humble origins compared to Sunak, who with his wife has a fortune of around £730m. “I went to a government school and saw my classmates dropped out and some academics doing poorly. That’s what inspired me to go into politics.”

Will Johnson stay in government?

The debate took place in Stoke-on-Trent, once a Labor stronghold. But more recently Boris Johnson helped the Conservatives win there too. Truss, loyal to Johnson, avoided giving a straight answer when asked if he would give him a role in his government. You wouldn’t think the question would arise. Sunak, who came to Johnson’s conclusion with his resignation, responded with an emphatic no.

Sunak failed to turn the tide

In another former Labor stronghold, Workington, which recently swung towards Brexit and the Conservatives, residents are following the debate very closely – and have mixed opinions. “I have to have a choice, I’m not attracted to either of them,” says one. Another resident explains: “Truss was quiet and restrained. Sunak was a bit rude, he often interrupted her, which annoyed me. But he had a lot of charm.”

By the end of the evening, it didn’t look like Sunak’s performance had provided the face he needed against poll favorite Dress. In the next six weeks, both will again appear in debates and before party members. But the first ballot will be sent out in a few days.

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