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UK PM race: Rishi Sunak wins over voters in TV debate

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PM candidate refutes allegations that tax burden is the reason for recession

PTI | London | Published 05.08.22, 08:45 am

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak confided in an audience of Conservative Party members in a face-to-face televised debate with rival Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in a leadership contest to elect a new Tory party leader and British prime minister.

The Battle for Number 10 ‘On Sky News’ on Thursday night brought the finalists face-to-face with Conservative members, who are entitled to vote in the election but are mostly undecided on their choice. After the two contenders put forward their arguments to replace Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, audience members were asked who they thought won the argument and they chose Sunak in a show of hands.

This would come as an impetus for the former British Indian minister, who is trailing from Truss in recent opinion polls, putting him nearly 32 percentage points ahead of the craze among Tory members in the previous poll.

The former finance minister stuck to his central issue and focused his message on the need to check rising inflation before cutting taxes.

“But it all starts with not making the situation worse. Because if we ignite the flames of this inflationary spiral, we all, you all, are going to end up with higher mortgage rates, savings and pensions. and suffering for millions, he said.

It came just hours after the Bank of England warned of an imminent recession in the form of raising interest rates. Truss insisted the downturn was “not inevitable” and promised a “bold” action compared to his opponent’s caution.

Sunak, however, dismissed the allegations that it is the tax burden that is causing the recession, saying: “This is absolutely wrong. The reason for the recession is inflation.”

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