Former finance minister Rishi Sunak entered the second round of voting on Thursday in the Conservative Party leadership election to determine the next British Prime Minister with relaxed leadership and has responded to criticism of the plan. his taxes.
Sunak, 42, is firmly placed as the candidate to beat in the race after he won the first round of voting on Wednesday with 88 votes and then secured the backing of the former Ministry Chief Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was placed last with 18 votes.
Tory MPs will once again have their say at the ballot box as six candidates remain – including Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt (67 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (50 votes), former Minister Kemi Badenoch (40 votes), opponents of Tom Tugendhat (37 votes) and Suella Braverman (32 votes) – were downgraded further, with those with the fewest votes being eliminated in the second round.
“I think our number one economic priority is to tackle inflation and not make it worse. Inflation is the enemy and makes people poorer,” Sunak told the BBC as he pushed for tax cuts, which were seen as the deciding issue among leadership candidates.
“I will reduce taxes in this Parliament, but I will do so responsibly. I don’t cut taxes to win elections, I win elections to cut taxes,” he said, in contrast to his closest opponents, who have pledged tax cuts.
Britain’s former India minister, who resigned as Prime Minister and kicked off events that ended with Boris Johnson stepping down as prime minister last week, insists he is the “best man” to defeat the Labor Party opposition in the next general. election – scheduled for 2024.
“I want to cut taxes and I will cut taxes, but we will do it thoughtfully. And the only way to really make it sustainable over time is to make sure the Conservatives win the next general election. And I believe I am the best person to defeat (Labour leader) Keir Starmer and secure victory in that election,” he said.
When challenged that he would struggle to connect with the poverty and cost of living crisis facing millions across Britain, Sunak pointed to his record as Prime Minister. as he introduced pandemic measures to help struggling families cope with the lockdown.
“As this country faced one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever seen, I stepped up and within weeks, regrouped and launched a furlough plan that protected over 10 million jobs and people’s livelihood. That’s a huge amount good for those people. I’m really proud of that achievement,” he said.
Sunak was also challenged about his long-term commitment to the UK and where he will “stay and retire”, a reference to his US Green Card which he held for months while working in the UK. UK Cabinet.
He told the BBC: “I was living and working and studying (Stanford University) in the US at the time, but I went back to the UK and decided to try to serve my country as a a congressman and then in government.
“And now hopefully if I’m lucky enough as Prime Minister, and that’s because I believe I’m the best person to lead us through the challenges we face, do do it honestly and responsibly. But beyond that, I know I have the energy, the experience and the vision to grow our economy,” he said.
When investigated for his broader plans in government, Sunak confirmed that he supported an immigration strategy to deport some illegal migrants to Rwanda for border control.
“I say it as a child and grandchild of immigrants. This country has a proud history of welcoming people, but it’s also true that we control who gets here. And, sadly, there is a collection of illegal criminal gangs that are killing people when chasing here. We have to stop that. He said.
Sunak has highlighted his immigrant background as the “personal story” behind his leadership campaign, with a focus on his Indian grandmother who immigrated to the UK from Tanzania in 1960s. He used that as an advertisement for the Conservative Party values of “hard work and fairness” which he hoped would connect with party members.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)