Other contenders for the Tory leadership faced a barrage of questions at the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.
Broadcast by LBC and hosted by Nick Ferrari, it was the first of 12 official hustings for party members across the country to face the final two candidates before voting for the next party leader and prime minister on 2 September. Ask your questions.
Both Rishi Sink and Liz Truss were introduced on stage by supporting MPs, with former Conservative minister David Davis introducing Ms Truss to Mr Sink and Education Secretary James Cunning.
Here are the key points raised during the two-hour hunger strike.
– Some members of the Conservative Party have expressed their support for Boris Johnson to be included on the ballot.
Parts of the audience broke into applause when the host mentioned his support for Boris Johnson being included in the ballot paper for the leadership.
Mr Ferrari cited reports that around 14,000 Conservative Party members wanted Mr Johnson’s name on the ballot, breaking into applause and cheers from some in the audience.
Asked what he would say to those members, Mr Sink said: “I would say to them that I think about 60 people in Parliament have resigned and it is the Prime Minister’s duty to get the parliamentary party Get the confidence of, and it was’. In the end there is no.
“So whether they’re on the ballot or not, ultimately you need to be able to earn the confidence of your MPs in Parliament, and we got to the point where about 60 of them resigned from the government.”
– Taxation remained an important dividing line between the two
Mr Sink told Hastings: “I will catch inflation and bring it back. We will also help people with living costs, energy bills this autumn, so we will reduce VAT on fuel.
“But what I won’t do is borrow tens and tens of billions of pounds of unfunded commitments and put them on the nation’s credit card, and pass them on to our children and our grandchildren to pick up the tab.
“It’s not right. It’s not responsible, and it’s certainly not conservative. But of course, once we get inflation under control and make sure that mortgage rates go up and people Don’t cripple, I’m going to cut taxes.”
Meanwhile Ms Truss criticized windfall taxes – which Mr Sink unilaterally imposed on energy companies as chancellor.
Ms Truss said: “I don’t believe in windfall taxes, because they stop future investment. What we should be doing is encouraging Shell and other companies to invest in the UK, because we need our Productivity needs to increase, we need investment.
“What I will do is create low-tax investment zones, encourage these companies to invest in our country.
“I think windfall taxes send the wrong message to the world. They don’t send the message that Britain is open for business. And really what we need to do now is make the most of our North Sea reserves. It’s about helping people with their living costs, and that’s what I’ll do to temporarily freeze the green energy levy as well as really help people with their bills.”
– Ms Truss avoided ruling out potential changes to inheritance tax.
Asked what she would do about inheritance tax, Ms Truss said: “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 it’s 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.
Emphasizing what she meant by “look”, Ms Truss said: “I mean I will look at the overall tax system in the round and make sure it’s fair. The theory is that we need to reward people who do the right thing, who work hard, who start businesses, who make money, and who want to pass it on to their children. So let me look at that again. Will, but I need to see it in the round.
– Mr Sink denied his plans to remove VAT on energy was a U-turn.
He was asked: “Last week it was unconservative, now it’s a policy, are you turning around and flopping?”
He said: “Oh God no. Of course not.”
“Now, as you can see in the news, people’s expectations about what energy bills are going to be in the fall are heightened. And so it’s reasonable that we have more than that. And that’s what it’s all about. There is a policy that I will implement when I am elected as Prime Minister. But this is a temporary and time-limited support,” he said.
He added: “What is unconservative is permanent unfunded tax cuts. There’s a big difference between things that are temporary to help a short-term problem and permanently £40 billion a year, £ Borrowing 50 billion and not paying for it.
– Ms Truss watched ITV’s Love Island and was “horrified”.
Ms Truss said: “I watched it for 10 minutes with my teenage daughter and I was completely horrified and I turned it off.”
– Rishi Sank supported grammar schools.
Asked if he would “support the return of grammar schools”, Mr Sink said: “Yes.”
He added: “I believe in educational excellence, I believe that education is the most powerful way that we can change people’s lives. But I also think that with the school system we do a lot. Some can do as we have.
“Now what Michael Gove did many years ago was going to change. And Michael embraced some vested interests, challenged the consensus, brought in some reforms that mean millions of our children are better off now.
“But it’s a conservative way to do it. It’s not about throwing more money at the problem, it’s about reforming the system to get better results. And that’s what I’ll do with education.” ‘
Mr Sink is understood to support existing grammar schools expanding in local areas.
– Ms Truss said she would return the whips’ office to 12 Downing Street.
Asked about the Owen Patterson affair and effectively voting to rework the rules to support the then Tory MP, Ms Truss said it was a “mistake”, adding Said: “No, I wouldn’t do it again if I had my time again.
“And what we do know is that there is a real need to improve discipline in the Conservative Party, but also to support the welfare of our MPs.”
She added: “I want to support my MPs more. But I also want to make sure that when there is a problem we deal with it quickly and we deal with it quickly. And the Prime Minister’s One of the things I will do is move the whips’ office back to 12 Downing Street.
“They were moved out of No. 12 Downing Street by Alastair Campbell, and replaced by the Press Office, reflecting the Blair government’s priorities.
“But we need to show that parliamentary democracy is what matters to us, and MPs who matter, and we need to maintain that quality, discipline but also support.”
– Mr. Sink said he would not support moving the House of Lords.
He said: “I don’t think it makes sense for the government to take action to separate us.”