Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Sunak appeals to Tory members’ values ​​of ‘honesty and family’ in a veiled smack at Truss

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Among the nearly 200,000 members, polls suggest the Foreign Secretary has a well-established lead over the former Chancellor after offering £30billion in tax cuts

The ex-Chancellor appears to be questioning the family values ​​and honesty of his rival Liz Truss on business as he seeks to erase her strong lead at the Tory’s grassroots.

Rishi Sunak will begin his six-week battle to win over Conservative Party members by making a personal pitch on their values ​​of “honesty and family”.

Mr Sunak is making his first speech in the second phase of the Boris Johnson succession campaign with a major policy announcement on the NHS, but is also expected to speak about his own personal qualities when he auditions for Prime Minister.

The emphasis on the themes of “family” and “honesty” is seen not only as a dig at Mr Johnson, who was forced out of office for his integrity, but also as a thinly veiled taunt at Ms Truss.

The Foreign Secretary had a well-documented affair with a married Tory MP nearly 20 years ago when she was bidding for a secure Tory seat.

The revelation nearly prevented her from running as a candidate in South West Norfolk when the local Conservative Association rebelled, but she was ultimately chosen after then-leader David Cameron intervened.

However, that connection is in the past and she remains married to her husband and father of their two children.

The ex-Chancellor has also accused Ms Truss of “fairytale economy” by promising tax cuts that he says will spiral inflation.

A spokesman for Mr Sunak said: “Rishi’s pitch to members will be about his sharing their values ​​- hard work, honesty, the importance of family, but most importantly he also demonstrates that he is the only candidate who is Labor beat and get a conservative majority in the next federal election”.

Mr Sunak’s camp is keen to discuss issues other than taxes and spending during the campaign, as polls suggest Ms Truss’ tax cut pledges are winning over members.

When asked if the issues of “honesty” and “family” were attacked in Ms. Truss, a Sunak campaign source said it was “more rishi — it’s who he is.”

A source on the Foreign Secretary’s team said they did not think it was a blow to them.

According to polls, Ms Truss has a well-established lead over Mr Sunak among the nearly 200,000 members after offering £30billion in tax cuts.

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