For the first time since last Wednesday, there’s basically no news you need to know about who’s backing who. There’s been very little change since yesterday’s vote, and thankfully for Guido and his spreadsheet, there won’t be much movement until after Monday’s knock-out stage.
Instead, today felt like the first time this contest finally poked its head out of SW1. A rather boring lunchtime hosting hosted by Conservative Home gave way to a rather more entertaining Channel 4 debate that’s just wrapped up.
Guido won’t dictate a winner, just review each candidate below…
A decent day for Sunak. He managed to come across as basically the only candidate during the Conservative Home debate that had any enthusiasm, and managed to win rounds of applause during the debate with his line that he won’t make unfunded spending plans.
Had a great ding-dong with Liz Truss over tax and spend, telling her to her face that her plans are a fairy tale, inevitably riling up Truss’s supporters
Had a stumble as Tom Tugendhat won laughs by revealing Rishi told him in a private meeting he was putting NI up ‘because the boss wants it’, though Guido’s not sure how credible that claimed motivation is
Recovered from an awkward typo on the backdrop behind him at the lunchtime debate
Hmm. The Lobby consensus seems to be that Mordaunt got lost in the weeds during this evening’s debate, and frankly Guido thought she came across as bored during her ConservativeHome offering
Had an interview with Beth Rigby – brave – in which she once again spent most of the time explaining her trans policy
Took an absolute beating during the Channel 4 debate, stuck between Kemi Badenoch and Liz Truss who basically accused her of lying over her record on Self-ID policy as equality minister
Who do you believe re the abandoned self ID policy?
Credit where credit’s due to Liz, she came across as the only other adult in the room alongside Sunak during the evening debate
Won an award during the ConservativeHome hustings by helping turn it into one of the most expensive Zoom calls in history. During the debate she committed to:
Reversing the corporation tax hike – £16 billion
Removing green levies from energy bills – £4.2bn
Failed to attract all ERG members into her camp. Leaked WhatsApp messages reveal Mark Francois’s request they all switch from Braverman to Truss. Many want to switch to Kemi instead.
Her ConservativeHome appearance was a bit of a write-off thanks to a dodgy internet connection. Her Channel 4 contribution, on the other hand, went down very well on certain quarters of Twitter, though Guido’s not sure if a poll of the general public would replicate that review.
Was labelled ‘Kemikazi’ by Seb Payne, an accurate description given she pulled no punches with Penny and Truss.
Seemed to lay the ground ahead of backing Rishi if she’s knocked out next Tuesday
Had a very good C4 debate, massively aided by playing the rebel at the back of the class having not ever served for Boris’s government
Tripped up Rishi, as mentioned above
Then had his bubble popped by the Kemikaze, who told him off for taking advantage of not having experienced the difficult responsibilities of ministerial office