Campaign Update: Candidates Mark Ukrainian Independence Day as Liz Says She’s “Ready” to Launch Nukes mdi-fullscreen

Good Wednesday morning. There are 10 days left of this leadership race.

Hustings news:

  • If you want a flavour of the current state of Tory hustings, last night in Birmingham Liz Truss came out with the following two statements within 60 seconds of each other: “I’m not a massive fan of mice”, and asked how she’d feel in the event of having to launch a nuclear weapons strike, “I think it’s an important duty of the PM and I’m ready to do that.” A casually blasé statement committing the UK to potential nuclear armageddon…
  • Other, somewhat, new lines from Liz during the Birmingham event included:
    • Suggesting she won’t replace the government ethics adviser, saying: “The PM needs to take responsibility – you cannot outsource ethics to an adviser”
    • Suggesting she would redirect this year’s £12 billion extra funding for the NHS into social care
    • Asked why she cut funds to the Environment agency as DEFRA secretary she said “I think there’s a way with the way utilities are regulated. We were one of the first countries to regulate and privatise utilities but the world has moved on since then… some of those regulators get mission creep, they don’t necessarily keep the market as properly as they should. I certainly think it’s the case that water companies need to be better are stopping leaks, I think they should be better at dealing with pollution and we need to sort that out.” Sounds a lot like Guido’s story last Friday that she believes in a single utilities regulator

Ukrainian Independence Day

  • Talking of nuclear warfare, happy Ukrainian Independence Day.
  • Liz has an op-ed out this morning in The Telegraphin which she promises that under her leadership “President Zelensky will have no greater ally”
  • As PM she will declassify more Russian intelligence; and “intelligence strategically to reveal the Kremlin’s attempts to undermine and destabilise freedom-loving democracies”
  • There’s also a warning to other “potentially hostile states”, who she promises to also expose and call out their “barbarism
  • Liz reiterates her pledge to up UK defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030

“I will ensure the UK remains bold in support, galvanising our international coalition in our shared determination to see the Ukrainian people win the battle for their future. Together, we can show autocrats like Putin that they will never snuff out the flame of freedom.”

Husting news:

  • Rishi’s answers last night were less alarming albeit equally newsworthy. Primarily, he refused to commit to voting for Liz’s proposed emergency budget should he lose, saying it is a hypothetical question. He reiterated his belief that her tax cut plans will result in “millions of people facing destitution.” If even half of his parliamentary backers remain loyal to their condemnation of Liz’s economic plans when this contest is over, her policy of moving the Whips’ office back into No. 12 won’t even touch the sides…
  • Rishi suggested UK aid programmes should be cut in countries that refuse to accept deportations of “failed asylum seekers” from Britain
  • Rishi spoke movingly of yesterday’s horrific shooting of a nine-year-old in Liverpool, saying he reacted by calling his wife, and daughter who is the same age as the victim. Rishi says the government needs to finish the Tories’ 2019 policy of recruiting 20,000 policemen.

Ukrainian Independence Day:

  • Rishi has written a letter to the Ukrainian people to mark their independence day
  • Published in the Kyiv Post, Rishi pledges “unwavering support”, and promises that, “Whatever the changes here in our country, we Brits will always remain your strongest ally.”

“My family and I send love to yours, and our country will continue helping you to win this war and to rebuild your country no matter how long it takes. 

On this poignant Ukrainian Independence Day, know that the people of the United Kingdom will always remain by your side.”

  • Rishi has already promised that, as PM, his first foreign visit would be to Kyiv

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

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

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