Sky News presenter Ian King has condemned the entire field of candidates running in the Conservative Party leadership race for throwing out a “load of rubbish” on the economy. The veteran broadcaster blasted the Tory leadership hopefuls for pledging “unfunded tax cuts” as the battle to replace Boris Johnson heated up on Monday with a string of runners officially launching their bids and setting out their policy platforms.
It comes as former British finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday it was not credible to promise both lower taxes and higher public spending, speaking at a launch event for his campaign to be the country’s next prime minister.
“It is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes,” Mr Sunak said.
At the same event, he received the endorsement of Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and transport minister Grant Shapps, with the latter abandoning his own bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
Mr Sunak said he did not want to distance himself from the financial decisions he made during the Covid pandemic and how to deal with the ensuing additional debt and borrowing.
“Whilst that may be politically inconvenient for me, it is also the truth. As is the fact that once we’ve gripped inflation, I will get the tax burden down,” he said.
“It is a question of when, not if.”
He promised a return to “traditional Conservative economic values” rather than “fairytales”.
At his campaign launch, the former chancellor said: “We need to have a grown-up conversation about the central policy question that all candidates have to answer in this election. Do you have a credible plan to protect our economy and get it growing?
Rishi Sunak defended after scattering background attacks [REACTION]
Can I vote in the Tory leadership race? [EXPLAINED]
Have Your Say: Is Brexit safe after Boris’s exit? [GET INVOLVED]
“My message to the party and the country is simply, I have a plan to steer our economy through these headwinds. We need a return to traditional Conservative economic values and that means honesty and responsibility, not fairytales.”
Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg have said they were backing Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the leadership contest as she is a “stronger Brexiteer” than the both of them.
Speaking to reporters in Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting, Ms Dorries said: “I have sat with Liz in Cabinet now for some time.
“[I’m] very aware that she’s probably a stronger Brexiteer than the both of us. She has consistently argued for low tax policies and I’m particularly concerned about the 14 million people who voted for a manifesto and voted for a Government that the candidate that we select, for me it’s Liz who I’m going to back, will continue with those manifesto policies and will continue to deliver for the Government and the Conservative Party moving forward.”