New poll gives Liz Truss 32-point lead in Tory leadership race – UK politics live

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Liz Truss is set to win the Tory leadership contest by a decisive margin next month, according to an exclusive Sky News poll.

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The foreign secretary has a 32-point lead over rival Rishi Sunak in the poll, which was published today.

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The gap between the two candidates to replace Boris Johnson has narrowed – Truss had a 38 point lead in the last poll – but the foreign secretary is still set to win by large margin.

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The YouGov survey suggests 66% of members are voting for Truss and 34% are backing Sunak, once those who do not know or will not vote are excluded.

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In news that will please Johnson, the survey shows that Tory members still prefer the outgoing prime minister and think ousting him was a mistake.

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In all, 55% say that Tory MPs were wrong to effectively force Johnson to resign, while 40% say they were right.

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If Johnson was still in the contest alongside Sunak and Truss, 46% would vote for Johnson, 24% for Truss and 23% for Sunak.

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Welcome to today’s politics liveblog. I’ll be covering for Andrew Sparrow today. Do drop me a line if you have any questions or think I’ve missed anything. My email is nicola.slawson@theguardian.com and I’m @Nicola_Slawson on Twitter.

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Liz Truss is set to win the Tory leadership contest by a decisive margin next month, according to an exclusive Sky News poll.

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The foreign secretary has a 32-point lead over rival Rishi Sunak in the poll, which was published today.

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The gap between the two candidates to replace Boris Johnson has narrowed – Truss had a 38 point lead in the last poll – but the foreign secretary is still set to win by large margin.

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The YouGov survey suggests 66% of members are voting for Truss and 34% are backing Sunak, once those who do not know or will not vote are excluded.

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In news that will please Johnson, the survey shows that Tory members still prefer the outgoing prime minister and think ousting him was a mistake.

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In all, 55% say that Tory MPs were wrong to effectively force Johnson to resign, while 40% say they were right.

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If Johnson was still in the contest alongside Sunak and Truss, 46% would vote for Johnson, 24% for Truss and 23% for Sunak.

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Welcome to today’s politics liveblog. I’ll be covering for Andrew Sparrow today. Do drop me a line if you have any questions or think I’ve missed anything. My email is nicola.slawson@theguardian.com and I’m @Nicola_Slawson on Twitter.

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The Tory leadership contest should be “wrapped up quickly” and future leadership election processes could be reviewed to hasten them, the education secretary has suggested.

Asked by LBC radio if it was appropriate to hold weeks of leadership election hustings while the energy crisis continues, James Cleverly said:

This is the system that is in place. I do think it is legitimate to look at reviewing that.

That is an internal party process rather than a government process, but as I say, government does continue, ministers are still working.

Pressed about whether it was a “bad look”, he added:

I would have been happy if this whole process was over more quickly, but as I say one of the people contending for this is a backbencher not involved in government at all any more, Liz is the Foreign Secretary and I know that she is still active in the foreign affairs side of things as well.

But yes, of course we would like to see this wrapped up quickly, but we are still working nonetheless.

The Education Secretary has defended Liz Truss’s plans for cutting tax after economists suggested they may not be sustainable.

Asked about the assessment, Truss campaign supporter James Cleverly told Sky News:

Frankly what we have seen is the growth of the UK economy not be as vibrant as we would like.

That is what Liz is pursuing, it is a growth strategy, and if you don’t have a plan for growth you don’t have a plan for government.

Larry Elliott

Larry Elliott

Britain’s first double-digit inflation in more than four decades has cast doubts on the plausibility of the tax cuts being promised by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during their leadership battle, one of the UK’s leading thinktanks has said.

Following news that the government’s preferred measure of the cost of living rose by 10.1% in the year to July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said higher inflation would mean extra spending on welfare benefits, state pensions and on debt interest.

The result of inflation being five times higher than a year earlier would be weaker public finances, making it harder for either of the two hopefuls to replace Boris Johnson to make good on their tax pledges, the IFS said.

Truss, the frontrunner to be the next prime minister, has said she would reverse the increase in national insurance contributions and not go ahead with the planned rise in corporation tax next year – with her package estimated to cost £30bn. Sunak has said he would cut taxes but only when inflation is back under control.

But the IFS said in the next financial year – 2023–24 – borrowing was likely to increase by £23bn, because the government would need to uprate benefits and pensions in line with a higher inflation rate at a cost of £4bn and also pay £54bn in higher debt interest on inflation-linked bonds. The spending increases would only be partly offset by a £34bn increase in tax revenues as a result of rising inflation.

The thinktank said there would be additional pressures, probably running into tens of billions of pounds, to continue to support households struggling with higher energy bills and to compensate public services for the impact of higher than expected inflation.

In a new report published today, the IFS said Truss and Sunak needed to recognise the even greater than usual uncertainty in the public finances. Pressures on public services would be more acute, higher spending than planned looked “inevitable” and tax revenues would depend on the length and depth of the recession being forecast by Threadneedle Street.

The thinktank said additional public borrowing in the short term was not necessarily a problem – and might be appropriate to fund targeted support, but large permanent tax cuts on the scale being mooted during the Tory party’s hustings would exacerbate “already substantial pressures” on the public finances unless matching spending cuts were also implemented. In reality, “significant” spending increases were likely to be needed in face of high inflation, it added.

Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the IFS and an author of the report, said:

The reality is that the UK has got poorer over the last year. That makes tax and spending decisions all the more difficult. It is hard to square the promises that both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are making to cut taxes over the medium-term with the absence of any specific measures to cut public spending and a presumed desire to manage the nation’s finances responsibly.

Read more from this story here:

Liz Truss set to win Tory leadership race by decisive margin, according to poll

Liz Truss is set to win the Tory leadership contest by a decisive margin next month, according to an exclusive Sky News poll.

The foreign secretary has a 32-point lead over rival Rishi Sunak in the poll, which was published today.

The gap between the two candidates to replace Boris Johnson has narrowed – Truss had a 38 point lead in the last poll – but the foreign secretary is still set to win by large margin.

The YouGov survey suggests 66% of members are voting for Truss and 34% are backing Sunak, once those who do not know or will not vote are excluded.

In news that will please Johnson, the survey shows that Tory members still prefer the outgoing prime minister and think ousting him was a mistake.

In all, 55% say that Tory MPs were wrong to effectively force Johnson to resign, while 40% say they were right.

If Johnson was still in the contest alongside Sunak and Truss, 46% would vote for Johnson, 24% for Truss and 23% for Sunak.

Welcome to today’s politics liveblog. I’ll be covering for Andrew Sparrow today. Do drop me a line if you have any questions or think I’ve missed anything. My email is nicola.slawson@theguardian.com and I’m @Nicola_Slawson on Twitter.

The Guardian