Campaign Update: Liz Prepares for Government

Good Monday morning. There are 12 days left of this leadership race.

Today’s news:

  • Liz Truss has reiterated her hints she’ll intervene with energy costs for businesses and households should she become PM
  • The news came from an interview given to the Sun on Sunday, where she appeared to soften her previous suggestion she does not want to give more “handouts” to families, though repeated her principle that tax cuts should always be the first port of call.
  • Liz dismissed Starmer’s energy price cap freeze policy as a “sticking plaster that will cost money, but isn’t actually addressing the root cause”
  • Kwasi Kwarteng, almost certainly the next Chancellor, also intervened at the weekend, writing in the Mail on Sunday that he understands the “deep anxiety” inflation and energy costs are causing: “I want to reassure the British people that help is coming”
  • While we’ve been promised an emergency budget, presumed to be landing on the 21st September, Liz’s team have revealed it won’t include an official economic forecast by the OBR as there won’t be time for them to do an appraisal in such a short turnaround. Team Rishi isn’t happy – see below…

In other news:

  • The same Sun on Sunday interview saw Liz commit to a review of IR35 tax rules, which force self-employed people to pay the same taxes as big businesses while enjoying few of the same benefits, such as paid holidays.
  • While insisting she’s absolutely not measuring up the No. 10 curtains, Liz has committed to slimming down the Downing Street operation, with the Sunday Times reporting she was horrified to learn that No. 10 has ballooned to 350-plus people. She’s already committed to moving away from the presidential-style PM model.
  • A poll for Ipsos Mori found the British public overwhelmingly agrees with Liz Truss that Britons need to “work harder” and stop shirking. 46% agreed with her comments with just 24% disagreeing. Presumably to the chagrin of Pippa…

Today’s headline:

  • Rishi has accused Liz of trying to “avoid independent scrutiny” of her emergency budget by not having the OBR do proper analysis.
  • A campaign spokesman says this is proof Truss knows she can’t deliver on her spending and tax cuts plans without “putting the public finances in serious jeopardy and plunging the economy into an inflation spiral”
  • Team RIshi now calculate Liz’s “unfunded” tax cut and spending pledges to be £61.5 billion. Guido can’t see why his team still believe this Brownite attack line will work with Tory members…

Over the weekend:

  • Rishi promised to crack down on “lawfare” politicising our courts, wasting time and taxpayers’ money, and slowing down government delivery
  • As PM Rishi said he’ll make it clear “vexatious claimants should not be wasting court time and will bring forward legislation as the ultimate backstop if this problem persists.”
  • The press release named Jolyon 10 times, unsurprisingly resulting in a Twitter hissy fit. Jolyon says the policy “reveals Sunak to be (at best) inept as well as having very nasty instincts”. Possibly Rishi’s most helpful endorsement of the campaign to date…

In other news:

  • The Times reported on Saturday that Liz is considering offering Rishi the role of Health Secretary in her government. The thought of watching Rishi have to fall in behind collective responsibility after the blood spilt during this campaign is highly entertaining to consider…

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

  • Liz Truss 1/25 (1/50)
  • Rishi Sunak 17/2 (10/1)

Over the weekend Professor Sir John Curtice put Rish’s odds of victory just 5%.

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