Boost for Truss after contenders in No 10 race by Tory members

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iz Truss’s campaign for No 10 was boosted by a major endorsement after he and rival Rishi Sink faced heavy criticism from voters at the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace threw his support behind Ms Truss, after he criticized Mr Sink for “walking out the door” of Boris Johnson’s cabinet.

It came as the candidates were quizzed separately on a wide array of policy areas – as well as their predictions for the women’s Euro 2022 final – as they tried to woo northern voters in the race for the top job. of

The event, hosted by LBC’s Nick Ferrari, was the first of 12 sessions for party loyalists across the country to question the final two candidates before voting for the next Tory leader and prime minister on September 2. went.

While they did not address each other directly, Tex remained an important dividing line between the pair.

Mr Sink hit back at Ms Truss by saying he would not “put tens and billions of pounds of unfunded commitments on the nation’s credit card”.

Meanwhile, Ms Truss criticized windfall taxes – which Mr Sink unilaterally imposed on energy companies as chancellor.

She said: “I don’t believe in windfall taxes, because they discourage future investment.

“What we should be doing is encouraging Shell and other companies to invest in the UK, because we need to increase our productivity, we need investment.”

But he avoided thinking about possible changes to inheritance tax.

“I think our tax system in the UK is not working. It’s too complicated. It’s even more complicated than the US tax system which we know is a nightmare.

“So what I would do is do a complete review of the tax system. I want to make it fairer for families, so people aren’t penalized if they take time off work to care for children or elderly relatives. And I will also look at inheritance tax as part of that review.

Both candidates opened the event with speeches to the audience, with Ms Truss capitalizing on her Yorkshire roots.

Referring to his upbringing in Leeds, he said it was “fantastic” to be in his “old stomping ground”, adding that he hoped none of his former teachers were in the audience.

Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Singh (Owen Humphreys/PA) / PA Wire

She also mentions her move from her constituency to Norfolk and the fact that she has become a supporter of Norwich City FC.

She said “I want us to carry on the spirit of Don Revie” – the former Leeds United and England manager – because “we need to win”.

“And, my friends, we can win against Keir Starmer, the plastic-patronizing patriot,” he added.

Mr Sink said he was “having the time of his life” campaigning for the top job.

He outlined his vision for tackling NHS waiting lists, “getting hold” of inflation and “restoring confidence, rebuilding the economy, reuniting our country”.

The former chancellor admitted she was trailing Ms Truss in the polls, but vowed to fight for every vote.

He said: “We have to appeal to swing voters in every part of our country. And I believe with all my heart that I am the person, I am the candidate, who will give our party the best chance to win.” does.

Recent YouGov polling has suggested Mr Sink has a significant lead over his rival among swing voters – Tory voters who are leaving the party in 2019, even as both candidates are “significantly unpopular” with the public as a whole. “are

He later denied that his promise to reduce VAT on energy bills was a U-turn, saying “it is fair that we can do more”.

Mr Sink also said he would not support moving the House of Lords, adding: “I don’t think it makes sense for the government to take action for us to secede.”

I want us to channel the spirit of Don Revie.

And he proposed a “cartel of buyers” where “everyone would agree to pay a fixed amount for Russian energy”, to deprive Moscow of “funding its war effort”. .

Ms Truss told Hastings that she would return the whips’ office to 12 Downing Street.

He also insisted that “single-sex spaces must be protected”, especially for young people.

Addressing the Foreign Secretary, an audience member called for a policy that guarantees girls can go to the toilet in a safe environment at any school in the country.

Ms Truss replied: “I agree with you completely. I have tried to make it clear that as Minister for Women I have been very clear that single-sex spaces must be protected, particularly For young people, as well as… vulnerable women in domestic violence shelters, for example.

“And I can assure you as prime minister that I will direct that, because our girls need to be…being a teenager, being a young girl, and you should be able to have privacy in your own home. So I agree with you 100 percent and I will do that.”

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace backs Liz Truss for Tory leader (Louiswood/The Sun) / PA Wire

Speaking to The Sun, Mr Wallace described the foreign secretary as “authentic, honest and experienced” with “integrity” for the top job.

He also wrote in The Times that Ms Truss was “a winner not because she is a clever salesperson but because she is authentic”.

Policy matters aside, the two leadership contenders were asked how they expect the Lionesses to fare in Sunday’s highly anticipated clash with Germany at Wembley.

Ms Truss said she thought it would be 2-0 against England, adding that she was planning to attend with the German foreign minister, so “if it doesn’t go my face But there will be big eggs.”

Mr Sink said the Tigers would “definitely” emerge victorious.