Campaign Update: What Do You Think of the Pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre?

Good Thursday morning. There are days left of this leadership race. Single digits, finally.

Today’s announcement:

  • The candidates are heading to East Anglia ahead of tonight’s husting in Norwich. For Liz, as the MP for South West Norfolk, it means popping home after a gruelling few weeks. A fiver to any Tory member who asks the candidates what they think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich high street…
  • As ever Liz reiterates how her already-announced policy platform will help East Anglia, through tax cuts, supply-side reform, better regulation, and targeted Investment Zones
  • She will tackle trade union strikes at the Port of Felixstowe
  • She will cut EU red tape on farming, reform Treasury investment rules, and scrap top-down housing targets

In other news:

  • Liz received another boost last night as three of the MPs who helped run Kemi Badenoch’s campaign came out in support of her: Alex Burghart, Julia Lopez and Lee Rowley.
  • Richard Murray, the chief executive of the King’s Fund, has attacked her pledge from Monday night to re-allocate the £12 billion pledged this year from the NHS into social care, accusing the plan of being like “robbing Peter to pay Paul”
  • Allies of Liz’s have slammed Rishi over his “scorched earth” policy, saying it risks destroying chances of bringing the party back together again when the contest is over. They accuse him of “behaving like a wounded stoat” and “framing us as Tory scum” over the course of the campaign. Given he said the likely next PM’s plans would lead to mass homelessness, they’re arguably correct…

Today’s announcement:

  • Rishi also announces a tailored plan for East Anglia, pledging to “fix mental health services, to follow through on the delivery of new hospitals, and to review the decision to run 180 kilometres of electric cabling across the East Anglian and Essex countryside.”
  • Rishi also reiterates his impassioned words from Friday’s Manchester husting, where he said levelling up cannot just be about the North. Building on his self-proclaimed record in the region as chancellor he pledges to go further by:
    • Using the next Control period for rail investment to deliver enhanced capacity at Ely Junction and look at the case for improvements at Haughley Junction.
    • Ordering National Grid to consult again on innovative and alternative solutions to their current proposals to run 180 km of overhead cables and pylons across East Anglia and Essex.
    • Delivering on proposed improvements to local road infrastructure that he provided funding for as Chancellor
  • He is committed to delivering new hospitals in the region, including rebuilding West Suffolk hospital in Bury St. Edmunds; rebuilding James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth; and a new cancer hospital at Addenbrookes.

In other news:

  • On Today yesterday, Rishi repeated his refusal to say whether he’d vote for a Liz Truss budget
  • He went further last night, accusing Liz’s policy of being “complacent” about inflation:

“alternative plans that are complacent about the risk of inflation pretend that we can just borrow tens of billions of pounds and that there are no hard choices for Government, I don’t think are realistic.”

  • His renewed attack came on a visit to his parents’ old pharmacy in Southampton. His mother was a chemist you know…

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

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

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