Campaign Update: One More Husting, Two More Days

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

Top news lines:

  • Things are really drying up as we head into the final two days ahead of the ballot deadline. This evening it’s the final husting at Wembley Arena, hosted by LBC. Just think, this time tomorrow night there’ll be no more forced jokes about ‘cancelling women’ or ‘hours of my life I won’t get back’…
  • While Guido criticised Rishi for disappearing over the bank holiday weekend, Liz may have overtaken him on the ‘blanket silence’ front. Not only did she cancel last night’s planned BBC interview, she’s not even got a press release out ahead of the London husting – unlike almost all other regional hustings.
  • Yesterday’s news was once again primarily composed of reactions: reactions to her rumoured VAT cut, reactions to her rumoured cabinet and reactions to her BBC interview cancellation.
  • Liz will reportedly sign off a push for more oil drilling in the North Sea if she wins. Environmental campaigners, NIMBYs and Labour don’t like it. Plus ça change.

Rishi’s big interview:

  • Rishi’s done a big interview with the FT – who back him – in which he says it would be “‘complacent and irresponsible’ to ignore the risk of markets losing confidence in the British economy”.
  • Rishi continued refusing to concede defeat, claiming many members had “waited until the last minute to vote.”
  • Rishi warns that the Tories losing fiscal discipline makes it very difficult to argue against Labour at the next election: “That has historically been one of the strongest points of differentiation we’ve had versus Labour when it comes to an election. I worry about the implications of ceding that territory down the line politically.”
  • Rishi says his campaign has “won the big arguments” on inflation and more. Where have we heard that line before?

London calling:

  • Rishi’s got a press release out tonight’s London husting, reiterating his “vision for the country”. 
  • It’s the main campaign lines we’ve heard countless times during this election, so Guido won’t bother printing it here. It does, however, raise the observation that at almost each of the regional hustings the two candidates have specified how their policy platform would help that area, plus any other specific promises. Neither have done so for the capital so far – if Guido was a London Tory member he wouldn’t feel very loved…

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

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

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