Liz Truss is the latest Tory hopeful to launch her leadership campaign today, with a promise to be bold just hours ahead of today’s crunch second ballot for the next round of voting.
“Now is the time to be bold,” she said. “I can lead, I can make tough decisions, and I can get things done.” After coming third in the first ballot, Truss is now pushing hard to pick up votes from the right wing of the party which have been spread so far between her Brexiteer rivals Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch, in order to get into the final two.
Unlike her biggest rival, Penny Mordaunt, Truss refrained from harking back to the days of Margaret Thatcher in her campaign speech today; instead, Truss set out her vision for an “aspiration nation.”
“Everyone should have the same opportunity, regardless of their background or the way they live,” Truss said, “that is what levelling up is, in a Conservative way.”
Truss’s vision is one of low tax, low regulation and a focus on growing business. But at least Truss, unlike some of her rivals, can some detail as to how, such as revitalising local areas in the same way that “we regenerated the London Docklands.”
“We will create new low tax, low regulation zones to attract investment in communities up and down our country, creating new hubs for innovation and enterprise,” Truss added, promising to cut “pointless regulation” that gets in the way of British farmers.
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The leadership candidate also promised to review taxation on families, to ensure that people don’t lose out for taking time off to care for children or the elderly.
Combing through her CV, Truss explained that she had the experience for the job: “I’ve taken bold decisions, and made bold reforms throughout my career” Truss said, pointing to her programme of sanctions against Russia, as well as trade deals with Australia and Japan.
“You can trust me,” she said.
However, proving that she could provide change was slightly more difficult, as the Foreign Secretary struggled to deal with questions about her commitment to Boris Johnson’s government, and her failure to resign over tax cuts which she fought for in the Cabinet. “I’m a loyal person, I’m loyal to Boris Johnson,” she said, adding that she believed in collective Cabinet responsibility.