Campaign Update: Liz Stands the BBC Up, Anyone Heard from Rishi?

Good Tuesday morning. There are, mercifully, three days left of this leadership raceHopefully you had a relaxing bank holiday weekend…

BBC Snubbed:

  • There was only one story on the lips of most of the Lobby last night – Liz’s last-minute decision to cancel her 1-on-1 BBC interview with Nick Robinson, set to be broadcast tonight.
  • The announcement that Liz had pulled out was made by the BBC, with a long period of silence then following from Team Liz.
  • The BBC said “Liz Truss has cancelled her BBC One interview with Nick Robinson which was due to air this Tuesday evening (30th August) at 7pm. Ms Truss’ team say she can no longer spare the time to appear on “Our Next Prime Minister”. The other candidate for the Conservative leadership, Rishi Sunak, was interviewed by Nick on 10th August. We regret that it has not been possible to do an in depth interview with both candidates despite having reached agreement to do so”.
  • Nick Robinson added, “Was pleased to secure an in-depth interview with @trussliz on BBC1. I am disappointed & frustrated it’s been cancelled”.
  • Guido understands Liz pulled out as she wants to focus on the campaign, winning as many votes and possible, as well as preparations for government. An interesting argument from a team insistent she’s not taking anything for granted…

In other news

  • The long weekend saw hacks scrabbling for any further crumbs of information about Liz’s planned package of support to counteract the energy crisis. Eventually they settled on reporting she’s leaning towards targeted support over universal handouts, as is Rishi’s and Labour’s approach. Though a 5% cut to VAT is also being considered…
  • Liz Truss is, according to The Times, set to declare China an official “acute threat” to national security for the first time. The move is planned alongside a series of other policies for a much tougher approach to Beijing, putting the country’s status on par with Russia.

Where’s Rishi?:

  • Has anyone heard anything from Rishi? Or seen him? Guido last received a press release from his team on Wednesday 24th, and his Flickr uploads seem to be drying out, only showing him visiting Leicester and Dudley two days ago.
  • He also popped back home to North Yorkshire yesterday, where he welcomed an announced £35.5 million investment in Northallerton’s hospital. The author of this campaign roundup, who was born in the hospital, is sure the announcement is a positive one – it’s just hardly a ‘three days until the ballot deadline’ announcement…
  • Guido presumes a call from his Holborn office went out to MP backers to put out explainers of why they’re backing him. Liam Fox, Fay Jones and Nigel Huddleston were all pushing out similar personalised endorsement videos last night.

In other news:

  • The main weekend story on Rishi came from the Sunday Telegraphwhich had a decent piece outlining “The moment Rishi Sunak’s team knew his leadership dream was over”. Tl;dr – he wouldn’t stop mentioning California.
  • Guido hears we may be treated to a new intro video at this Wednesday’s final London hustings. If it’s anything like his ‘underdog‘ video, we should be in for a treat…

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

  • Liz Truss 1/25 (nc)
  • Rishi Sunak 9/1 (17/2)

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