6pm Campaign Update: Day 5

  • Another quiet day for Rishi, though that hasn’t stopped him from accruing a swathe of new backers, continuing to enjoy a comfortable first-place positioning on our tally chart.
  • Has functioned as a punch bag for other candidates, all complaining about his proposed tax rises and competing to be the ‘anti-Rishi’ candidate.
  • Was spotted schmoozing MPs in Portcullis House, not somewhere he usually hangs out.
  • Was revealed that Lee Cain’s comms firm, Charlesbye, is seconding staffers to his campaign – raising eyebrows after accusations from Nadine Dorries he’s in cahoots with Dominic Cummings.

  • A quiet day for Penny also
  • Gained just three MP backers, though remains five MPs higher than her third-place rival Tom Tugendhat

  • Released his first campaign video this morning. Was the first to start advertising online. A very different tone to the stock footage-filled ones of his competitors. Quite serious.

  • Released her first campaign video; high quality, glossy, comes across well.
  • Had to see down accusations she’d stolen Civil Service-filmed footage for the advert, claims we now believe to be irrelevant, the permanent secretary has OK’d things.
  • One of the few candidates to specify how their tax cuts will be enabled: lower taxes accelerating economic growth and paying back debt at a slower rate than Rishi planned
  • Received a triple by-line endorsement from three ministers: Wendy Morton, Ranil Jayawardena and Vicky Ford

  • A quiet day for Hunt, who’s backer numbers briefly saw him fall behind Priti, who has yet to declare her candidacy.

  • A busy day for Nadhim. Began with a difficult interview with Kay Burley – brave – in which he attacked competing candidates over smears about alleged investigations into his tax affairs
  • Committed to publish his tax returns if elected PM
  • Spoke at the Conservative Way Forward relaunch event, where he detailed planned tax cuts:
    • Cutting base rate of income tax to 18p by 2024
    • A review of business rates
    • Cancelling the planned corporation tax rise
    • Abolishing VAT on energy bills for two years
    • “Tax as a percentage of GDP will fall year on year if I become prime minister”

  • Made a good speech at Riverside Advisory’s “Parliamentary Event in Support of Freedom of Expression”, in which she came out against the Online Safety Bill’s anti-free speech clauses
  • Went into today in a strong position after Michael Gove came out for her in The Sun last night

  • Still yet to declare
  • Made an eleventh hour pitch to be the right-wing candidate in a private meeting of the ERG, though her team say there are fears she could split the vote and help Rishi
  • Warned the party that the country risked returning to the 1970s if the government failed to “grip” the cost of living crisis
  • Embarrassed as an member of her campaign team fessed up to sharing the anti-Rishi dossier circulated over the weekend, after his name was discovered on the PDF metadata

  • Got a warm reception at the Conservative Way Forward event
  • Told them “Don’t vote for me because I’m a woman, don’t vote for me because I’m brown.”
  • Set out a plan to “improve the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill” by setting VAT, excise and medicine regulation directly under UK law from day one

  • His big day, with a campaign launch
  • Main pitch based on his wide experience in a number of top government departments
  • Launch event was overshadowed by questions about his previous tax arrangements and the sweltering heat, which saw him continuously mopping up sweat
  • A continued weak showing in terms of backers

  • Launched his campaign focused on an ability to help MPs win their seats
  • Promised to improve party campaign, partly with a “Tory University”
  • Managed to publish a campaign video with no cock-ups, albeit that would have been a feat given it was just 19 seconds long
  • Gained no new backers over the course of the day

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

  • Rishi Sunak: 13/8 (n/a)
  • Penny Mordaunt: 3/1
  • Liz Truss: 4/1
  • Tom Tugendhat: 9/1
  • Kemi Badenoch: 12/1
  • Jeremy Hunt: 14/1
  • James Cleverly: 20/1
  • Claire Coutinho: 20/1
  • Sajid Javid: 25/1
  • Priti Patel: 33/1
  • Nadhim Zahawi: 33/1
  • Suella Braverman: 40/1
  • Grant Shapps 100/1

Latest polls:

SavantaComRes:LAB: 43% (+2) CON: 28% (-4) LDEM: 12% (+1) GRN: 4% (+1)

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