“More U-Turns Than a DVLA Test Centre”

Hours after a brief campaign blip from Team Liz, which involved a somewhat humiliating climbdown from their regional pay boards policy, they’ve finally pulled their finger out for some return fire on the topic of u-turns. Team Rishi has spent the morning on cloud nine, joking that it turns out “The lady is for turning”, and accusing Liz of having a Mayite ‘Dementia Tax’ moment. In return Liz Truss’s team have compiled a list, which they allege shows Rishi has performed “more u-turns than a DVLA test centre”. A spokesperson for Liz says:

“This is all a bit rich coming from Sunak’s backers when they stayed schtum on the steady stream of u-turns from Rishi over the recent weeks. He’s flip-flopped on tax cuts, VAT, grammar schools, China , EU regulations, Northern Ireland protocol and planning to name a few.”

So, who has been accused of u-turning on what? Guido takes a look…

Liz Truss

1. Remain

  • We know she vocally campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum
  • She’s since said she was wrong on Brexit, and if the question was put again she’d vote Leave

2. LibDems

  • Liz Truss was, famously, a teenage LibDem until her university years, when she was tempted away from the dark side
  • Joked at a husting she eventually saw the “error of their ways” around the age of 21

3. The Royal Family

  • Liz’s most famous work in the LibDems was backing and vocally advocating a motion at their party conference in favour of abolishing the monarchy
  • She’s since joked the Queen has been “far too polite” to raise her past views on abolishing the monarchy whenever the two have met
  • “Almost as soon as I made the speech I regretted it”

4. Public sector pay

  • This, Rishi’s team argue, is the biggie. Not least because it is a u-turn on something announced during the leadership election.
  • On Monday night Truss announced she’d save £8.8 billion a year by moving from national pay boards to regional pay boards, a move widely interpreted as one that would lead to lower pay for public sector workers outside of wealthy London and the South
  • 12 hours later her team moved at a snails pace to say the policy will no longer be taken forward in government

Rishi Sunak

1. VAT & Energy

  • Rishi has promised to scrap VAT on energy when the price cap breaches £3,000 a year in October
  • He previously argued against this move in the Commons when Labour were proposing it, saying it would “disproportionately benefit wealthier households”

2. High tax

  • Rishi has repeatedly claimed he’s a “low tax conservative”, saying this “for the record” in a speech to Tory members last year
  • In office he has put up the tax burden to its highest level since the 1940s, and called large tax cuts “immoral”

3. Welfare

  • Rishi is pledging to increase the number of hours people on benefits have to look for work per week before being entitled to out-of-work benefits
  • DwP secretary Therese Coffey has accused Rishi of blocking this policy just months ago

4. China

  • During the leadership campaign Rishi has said China is “our number one threat”
  • A leak to The Times last Thursday, however, revealed Sunak was pursuing a 47-page deal with China to “deepen trade links”, coming very close to signing it and making the UK the “market of choice” for Chinese companies

5. EU regulations

  • Rishi says he wants to move faster to scrap EU regulations, “As prime minister, I would go further and faster in using the freedoms Brexit has given us to cut the mass of EU regulations and bureaucracy holding back our growth”
  • Bloomberg, however, has seen Treasury documents showing that a senior Treasury official working for Rishi when he was still Chancellor “privately demanded that EU-derived tax laws be exempted from legislation to scrap so-called retained EU law, or REUL”

6. Northern Ireland Protocol Bill

  • Rishi has praised the NIP Bill during the course of the campaign as the way to “fix it”, saying he’s confident the bill will do so
  • However Rishi reportedly put up “huge resistance” to the bill to “keep the EU happy” according to former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, speaking in The Telegraph over the weekend

7. Planning

  • Rishi says he doesn’t want to see any new developments on the Green Belt
  • However Rishi permitted some development on the Green Belt as a Local Government minister in 2018

8. Grammar schools

  • During one of the hustings Rishi said he supports the return of grammar schools
  • Just days earlier, however, he told hacks he would not overturn the ban on new grammar schools. The Telegraph reported, “Mr Sunak discussed other policy positions, indicating that he would not lift the ban on new grammar schools”

9. Northern Powerhouse Rail

  • Rishi backed Tees Valley Metro Mayor Ben Houchen’s five-point levelling up plan, including a commitment to “the full construction of Northern Powerhouse Rail”
  • Days later, however, he refused to back the project in its entirety. He instead committed to “work with Mr Houchen and other local leaders on the future of transport investments, including Northern Powerhouse Rail”

10. Rwanda

  • Rishi says he backs the current Rwanda policy, promising to “make the policy work and will do whatever it takes to implement it and pursue additional similar partnerships”
  • Senior sources told the Mail on Sunday, however, that Rishi tried to block Boris’s Rwanda policy as Chancellor on the grounds it was too expensive

How many more weeks of this are there?

mdi-tag-outline Tory Leadership 2022
mdi-account-multiple-outline Liz Truss Rishi Sunak
mdi-timer August 2 2022 @ 16:12 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
Home Page Next Story
View Comments