Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak meet Tory members in leadership hustings in Exeter – UK politics live

Penny Mordaunt publicly backs Liz Truss for leader of the Conservative party

Penny Mordaunt takes to the podium and has come out to back Liz Truss.

“I’ve seen enough to know who the person I’m going to put my faith in is. And that is Liz Truss.”

Key events

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Truss adds: “I will channel the spirit of the lionesses”. She refers to the “plastic patriot Keir Starmer”.

Truss says:”I know a woman is a woman. I will protect single-sex spaces”.

Lis Truss has insisted she is a “fighter” and will help the Tories win back the Tiverton and Honiton seat. “I want to be an aspiration nation,” she adds.

Liz Truss says it is “fantastic” to have the support of Penny Mordaunt, calling her a “great person, a great friend and great patriot.”

Penny Mordaunt publicly backs Liz Truss for leader of the Conservative party

Penny Mordaunt takes to the podium and has come out to back Liz Truss.

“I’ve seen enough to know who the person I’m going to put my faith in is. And that is Liz Truss.”

Sebastian Payne, Whitehall editor of the Financial Times, is hosting the hustings.

Penny Mordaunt backs Liz Truss, reports say

Former Tory leadership contender Penny Mordaunt has come out to back Liz Truss, Talk TV reports.

Rishi Sunak has also sent out a message to party members, with the help of William Hague.

Liz Truss has sent out a message to Conservative party members.

In the letter, she says: “We cannot continue to have business as usual, and I have a bold plan to get our economy back on track.”

She adds: “I will lower taxes to spark economic growth and reward people for working hard.”

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to face Tory members in latest hustings in Exeter

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are due in Exeter for the latest Tory leadership hustings at 7pm.

Conservative party members get another chance to question the top two candidates to replace Boris Johnson on the day ballots for the contest were sent out.

About 160,000 party members will choose who will be the UK’s next prime minister. You can watch Sunak and Truss face some of them in our live stream here (it will go live shortly before 7pm BST) or at the top of this blog.

Liz Truss with farmer Andrew Gale, during her visit to Twelve Oaks Farm in Newton Abbot, Devon, today.
Liz Truss with farmer Andrew Gale, during her visit to Twelve Oaks Farm in Newton Abbot, Devon, today. Photograph: Finnbarr Webster/PA

Liz Truss has said she would stop taxes that discourage people from eating unhealthy foods and scrap the ban on ‘buy one, get one free’ offers on junk food.

In an interview with The Mail+ she added if she became prime minister there would also be no new taxes on products high in fat, sugar or salt.

“There is definitely enough of that… Those taxes are over,” she said.

“Talking about whether or not somebody should buy a two for one offer, no.”

She insisted that “what people want” from the government is to deliver “good roads, good rail services, making sure there’s broadband, making sure there’s mobile phone coverage, cutting the NHS waiting lists, helping people get a GP appointment”.

She added: “They don’t want the government telling them what to eat.”

Liz Truss has insisted she is running a “positive” leadership bid as allies tried to distance her campaign from the decision by the culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, to share a tweet showing Rishi Sunak wielding a knife at Boris Johnson.

Truss said she had been “very clear” with her team about the type of campaign she wanted to run.

She said:

I’ve taken Twitter off my phone for the duration of this campaign.

I’ve been very clear with all of my team, I’m running a positive campaign. This is about growing the economy, it’s about unleashing the potential right across the UK.

Vincent Ni

Vincent Ni

Britain’s House of Commons foreign affairs committee is planning on a visit to Taiwan later this year – probably in November or early December – despite rising tensions in the region, the Guardian has learned.

Sources say that the trip – which was originally scheduled for early this year but was postponed due to one member of the delegation testing positive for Covid – was intended to show Britain’s support for the democratically run island, which China considers its own.

The planned trip comes as London’s relationship with Beijing continues to deteriorate. Last week, both Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, articulated their tough positions on China. And China’s ambassador to the UK accused some British politicians of “peddling the fallacy of the so-called China threat” in a video remark.

Tensions have been on the rise in the Taiwan Strait in recent weeks after reports of a possible trip to Taipei by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Beijing has repeatedly warned against such a move and has threatened to take “decisive actions” if the trip goes ahead. Pelosi is now on a trip to Asia, where she has scheduled stops in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.

Read the full article by my colleague Vincent Ni here:

Russia announces sanctions against Starmer and Cameron

Russia’s foreign ministry has announced new sanctions against 39 officials, businesspeople and journalists from the UK, including Keir Starmer and David Cameron.

In a statement, the ministry said sanctioned individuals were barred from entering Russia for supporting the “demonisation” of Russia and its international isolation.

The ministry added:

Given London’s destructive drive to spin the sanctions flywheel on far-fetched and absurd pretexts, work on expanding the Russian stop-list will continue.

From my colleague Pjotr Sauer:

Russia has banned 39 more British journalists and politicians from entering the country, including Starmer, Cameron and Piers Morgan

— Pjotr Sauer (@PjotrSauer) August 1, 2022

Liz Truss has claimed that Rishi Sunak’s plan to increase corporation tax would stifle growth and trigger a recession.

On a campaign visit in Devon, Truss said:

You know what a recession means, it means people losing their jobs, it means a lack of opportunity, it means more difficulties with the cost of living.

She added:

We have to avoid that, we need to get growth and that’s why it’s important that we keep taxes low.”

A new Ipsos poll shows Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer tied among the public in terms of who would make the most capable prime minister.

Liz Truss trails Starmer by six points on the same measure – although all of them fare significantly better than Boris Johnson.

Sunak has a slight advantage among the public at large and among Conservative voters in terms of being seen as “having what it takes to be a good prime minister”, but Truss has reduced the gap among Tory supporters.

NEW Who would make most capable PM?
Johnson 31%
Starmer 51%

Sunak 39%
Starmer 39%

Truss 35%
Starmer 41%

Fieldwork July 21-27

NB no-one knows about how hypothetical leaders will actually perform until they are in office..

— Ben Page (@benatipsos) August 1, 2022

Meanwhile, Labour has increased its lead over the Conservative party among the public.

NEW from @IpsosUK / @standardnews.

🚨Labour lead at 14 🚨

Lab 44 (+3)
Con 30 (nc)
Lib Dems 10 (-5)
Green 8 (+2)
Other 8 (nc)

Fieldwork July 21-27. Changes from June.

But there is a catch…

— Keiran Pedley (@keiranpedley) August 1, 2022


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