first televised debate between the candidates for the succession of Boris Johnson

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The candidates for the leadership of the British Conservative Party met on Friday during a first televised debate, organized by the television channel Channel 4, in London.

The five figures of the British Conservative Party still in the running to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson found themselves face to face on Friday July 15 during a first televised debate that was not very animated as the competition became more and more harsher.

Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, head of diplomacy Liz Truss, ex-secretary of state for equality Kemi Badenoch and MP Tom Tugendhat were able to discuss their vision on the British television channel Channel 4.

The candidates refused to indulge in polemics and personal attacks, confirming their common membership in the Conservative family. But the question “Is Boris Johnson honest?” embarrassed them.

“Sometimes,” replied Kemi Badenoch, laughing. “No,” a decided Tom Tugendhat to applause as the other three kicked into touch, sputtering vague answers.

Cultivating his very slick image, Rishi Sunak, 42, said he was ‘proud’ to have taken part in the Johnson government but resigned last week because ‘enough is enough’, bringing with him the departure sixty other members of the executive.

He came top on Thursday in a second vote organized by Tory MPs to eliminate candidates, ahead of bookmakers favorite Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss.

MP Tom Tugendhat deemed ‘most convincing’

Little known to the British, the former Minister of Defense Penny Mordaunt would beat all her rivals in the event of a duel, according to the polls.

After being attacked by her competitors for proposals deemed too “woke” concerning transgender people, she is now facing criticism for her professional seriousness, with former minister David Frost having expressed “serious reservations” about her ability to lead the Kingdom -United.

“We are all responsible for our own campaigns and I take that as a big compliment that nobody wants to compete against me,” she reacted during the debate.

For her part, Liz Truss highlighted her record in government, citing Brexit, Northern Ireland and the war in Ukraine.

The 46-year-old candidate, the darling of the Johnson camp, is now trying to catch up and is trying to rally around her the right of the Conservative party. She received Thursday the support of Suella Braverman, eliminated by the deputies.

According to an instant poll taken after the debate with 1,159 viewers, Tom Tugendhat was deemed the most convincing (36%), ahead of Rishi Sunak (25%), Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch (12% each) and Liz Firm (6%).

If the Prime Minister has refrained from publicly expressing any preference for “not harming anyone’s chances”, according to the Times, he urges the eliminated candidates to support “anyone except Rishi”.

The close guard of the future ex-head of government is convinced that the ex-minister, whose departure from the government raised to precipitate the fall of Boris Johnson, had been biding his time for months. What supporters of Rishi Sunak deny.

Result expected on September 5

In order to select the new Prime Minister, Conservative MPs will vote again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to eliminate the candidates one by one. Once the cast of the final face-off has been determined, the choice will fall to members of the Conservative party who will vote by mail during the summer. The result of the exam is expected on September 5.

The appointment of a new head of government comes in a complicated economic context in the United Kingdom with inflation of 9.1% in May.

While Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt explained that they were planning tax cuts, Rishi Sunak castigated “fairy tales”, judging it unrealistic to lower them given the situation.

At the Treasury, Rishi Sunak has raised taxes and has been accused of not doing enough to relieve British households strangled by the cost of living crisis.

The candidates also pointed to the public health service (NHS) weakened by years of austerity, climate problems and energy prices. Two other televised debates are organized, Sunday on the ITV channel and Tuesday on Sky News.

With AFP


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