Rishi Sunak responds to criticism over levelling up comments
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Sir Keir Starmer and his Labour colleagues watch on as the race to replace Boris Johnson continues to grip the Conservative Party. Liz Truss currently leads Rishi Sunak among Tory Party members by as much as 20 percent, recent opinion polls have indicated. However, a Labour Party source has suggested the former Chancellor poses a far greater threat to Starmer than the Foreign Secretary.
They told Express.co.uk: “In terms of the Conservatives, we are definitely more worried about a Sunak-led party, with Truss not being a massive concern at this stage in the polls.
“He’s seen as the more classic Tory that will get the economy under control, although should he win we do have plans to go on the attack following the recess to actually make people realise he was the man who was looking after the economy as it all went wrong.”
The comments come after a survey conducted by IPSOS found Sunak is more likely to be seen as having what it takes to be a good Prime Minister compared to Truss.
He also fairs better than Ms Truss when up against the Leader of the Opposition, with the pair tied on 39 percent.
However, a separate opinion poll by Techne suggested Ms Truss has an 11-point lead over the former Chancellor among general voters.
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Despite the Techne poll, Mr Sunak stressed his electoral capabilities in a leaflet to Tory members.
He also warned Conservative Party members that Brexit could be under threat if Starmer enters Number 10 propped up by the Liberal Democrats or SNP.
Sunak said: “This is a critical moment for our country, a critical moment for our Party. A moment that requires serious leadership.
“Because let’s just think about the alternative. An economy with inflation spiralling out of control.
“And a General Election result that sees a Labour-led coalition propped up by the Liberal Democrats and SNP.
“A coalition that would conspire to reverse the result of the EU referendum.
“A coalition that would wreck the economy, abandon our values, erase our history and destroy the Union.”
Mr Sunak’s leadership pitch is predominantly focused on the need to tackle inflation.
Speaking at a leadership hustings event in Eastbourne last night, the former Chancellor said: “The first thing we need to do in order to make sure we can win that election is have got through this inflation problem by then.”
He added: “And if we don’t get a grip of this thing and get a grip of it fast, then we can kiss goodbye to winning that next election.”
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Mr Sunak’s comments come after the Bank of England warned the Consumer Price Index could exceed 13 percent by the end of 2022.
However, the Foreign Secretary has stressed that “bold” action is needed to prevent a recession.
Ms Truss has pledged a package of tax cuts worth as much as £30billion and claimed her plan will “help people with the cost of living” and “also drive growth in the economy”.
In a slight boost to Ms Truss, the Southside insider said: “We are always conscious of the Brexit effect and the big populist names she has behind her; but also her endorsements from Tom Tugendhat and Ben Wallace are concerning as she is being rationalised by these kinds of names.”
Supporters of the Foreign Secretary also believe she has what it takes to defeat Labour at the next general election.
A Truss-supporting MP told Express.co.uk: “Only Liz will do what it takes to get our economy going, unite the party and stop Starmer.”
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