Rishi Sunak leaves home ahead of Tory leadership vote
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A Tory donor has seized on the leadership chaos to demand a reversal of Brexit. Long-term Conservative Party backer Guy Hands has said the UK economy is “doomed” unless the country reverses Brexit. He said the “British people didn’t want and didn’t vote for Truss’s extremist hard Thatcherite Brexit”, saying it has “failed”.
Mr Hands, who is a vocal remainer, claimed that “Britain is on the path to be the sick man of Europe and a bailout from the IMF.”
Despite 17,410,742 people voting to Leave the European Union, the Tory donor called for Brexit to be renegotiated.
He said: “Brexit is completely hopeless and has led us to a disastrous state. The economy is doomed”.
Mr Hands, the founder and chair of the private equity firm Terra Firma, has been a longtime supporter of the Conservative party and Remainer.
He called for the Government to “move on from fighting its own internal wars and actually focus on what needs to be done in the economy”.
This comes in the wake of Liz Truss’ resignation last week. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are fighting to replace her.
Mr Sunak with 182 nominations from MPs is currently the frontrunner, against Ms Mordaunt who has secured just 27 public backers.
However, her campaign team has claimed to have support from 90 MPs.
Ms Mordaunt’s supporters have said she is “confident” of hitting the threshold of 100 supporters by the 2pm deadline today, with one MP claiming she is “in the zone”.
One of her backers, Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Ms Mordaunt’s supporters are “certainly way, way above the published number”.
The battle to succeed Ms Truss comes as the UK is wracked by rising inflation and a mounting cost of living crisis.
UK inflation reached 10.1 percent last week, its highest since 1982.
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The rising prices were driven primarily by the rising cost of food, which had an annual rise of almost 15 percent.
Mr Sunak has pledged to “fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country” at a time of “profound economic crisis”.
While he opposed Ms Truss’ proposed tax cuts, describing them as “comforting fairytales”, the former Chancellor has pledged to “deliver tax cuts that drive growth”.
During September’s leadership race, he pledged to cut the bottom rate of income tax from 20 percent to just 16 percent. But said he would do so in a “way that’s reasonable”.
He described Ms Truss’ plans as being “morally wrong”, as they would result in debt being passed to the next generation.
Mr Sunak promised he would “never get taxes down in a way that just puts inflation up”.
Ms Mordaunt has promised to drive growth and competition but said she will pioneer “sound money”.
She has said she will implement fiscal rules to ensure that debt as a percentage of GDP falls over time and will work with the Bank of England to focus on getting inflation under control, noting its independence from the government.
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