Good Thursday morning. Somehow there are still another 16 days left of the Tory leadership campaign.
Today’s new policy:
As Guido said yesterday, Team Liz aren’t planning to announce any more policies for the remainder of the campaign. Probably the best news Guido’s heard all week.
A decent showing with all the familiar talking points: reverse the national insurance rise, cut corporation tax, help the vulnerable this winter. Nothing concrete on the latter point yet because, once again, Liz said she wasn’t going to write a budget in the middle of a hustings.
Had a punchy encounter with a pro-life audience member who claimed Westminster had “undemocratically” forced abortion laws on Northern Ireland. Liz shot back with “I’m afraid I don’t agree with you. We are a United Kingdom and we need all our laws to apply across the United Kingdom. That is what a Union is.”
Was also asked if her “own personal integrity and honesty” should be questioned because she persistently supported Boris. She responded by saying “Boris Johnson has been an excellent prime minister [and] he delivered on Brexit, he delivered on the COVID vaccine and he delivered on standing up to Vladimir Putin and backing the Ukrainians and I’m proud of what he did.” A round of applause for that one…
In other news:
She’s now overtaken Rishi with her Parliamentary colleagues: at the time of going to pixel, 152 MPs support Liz, with 124 backing Rishi. Follow Guido’s spreadsheet here…
Today’s new policy:
Likewise, nothing new here from Camp Rishi. Instead, they’re reiterating their attacks on Liz’s economic plan, claiming “It is not credible or Conservative to spend £50 billion on tax cuts” given the OBR’s most recent fiscal outlook only gives £27.8 billion of headroom. Rishi once again claims “unfunded tax cuts are irresponsible”.
Same speech, different day. Another reminder that his mother was a chemist, he’s the responsible one, and he’ll defend “our women“. In case you forgot, there are another four hustings to go in this campaign, not to mention a two-hour debate on GB News this Friday…
Yet again insisted Liz’s economic approach “would be moral failure of the Conservative government“… despite previously claiming he’d serve in her Cabinet.