liz trussthe foreign minister, has used an interview with the Times to declare that she would raise defense spending to 3% of GDP by 2030. She said:
We live in an increasingly dangerous world where the threat level is higher than it was a decade ago, and we need a stronger deterrent to meet those threats and ensure Britain leads the world stage. Ultimately, that requires more resources. Keeping this country safe is my number one priority and people can trust me to do that.
Britain and the free world face a defining moment. We need a prime minister capable of leading internationally, who can also drive the economic growth we need here at home. I am the best placed candidate to do so.
In a briefing about the announcement, the Truss campaign said defense spending needed to increase due to the growing threat from China and Russia. This message may appeal to some of the 31 Tom Tugendhat supporters whose votes are up for grabs today. Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, has consistently argued that the UK has not taken the threat from China and Russia seriously enough.
Tobias Ellwoodthe chairman of the Commons defense committee has lost the Tory whip because he did not vote for the government in last night’s confidence debate, the Times’ henry zeffman reports. Ellwood, who was one of the Tories most critical of Boris Johnson, was not allowed to be absent.
What steven swinford The decision reportedly means that Ellwood will not be able to vote on the parliamentary leadership ticket until the whip is reinstated. He is a supporter of Penny Mordaunt and, in a very close race, a single vote could make the difference.
Kemi Badenoch it can also claim to be the candidate for change in another, less positive sense. She told a climate Conservative member yesterday that she backed the government’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. She was the latest candidate to make that pledge.
But later that day he apparently changed his mind, telling Talk TV that his commitment to the 2050 date was not absolute. When asked if he would ever consider changing the 2050 deadline, he replied:
Yes, there are circumstances where I would delay it, but I think the goal itself is a red herring.
The full interview is here.
In a post on Twitter after last night’s results were announced Kemi Badenoch he claimed that Tom Tugendhat’s departure from the race meant that she was the only “trade candidate” left in the race.
Penny Mordaunt would probably deny it. Badenoch, a former equality minister, is the only candidate still in the race who has not been part of the cabinet. But as Minister for Equality, she pursued an “anti-awakening” agenda popular with the No. 10.
Mordaunt, the international trade minister, never resigned from Boris Johnson’s government (unlike Badenoch). But she has never identified herself as an enthusiastic supporter of Johnsonism.
Good morning. A week after the nominations closed, and after three votes, some of the fog over who will be our next prime minister has lifted and at least three proposals now look reasonably well founded.
- Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, is now almost certain to be one of the two candidates on the final ticket for members of the Conservative Party. He now has 115 votes and once a candidate gets 120 (just over a third of the total), it is mathematically impossible for two other candidates to get more votes. Sunak is also particularly well positioned to pick up many of the 31 Tom Tugendhat votes now available; Sunak, like Tugendhat, presents himself as a mainstream pragmatist, not an ideological right-winger.
- Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt are now the two strongest candidates in the race to be the second person on the final ticket. A recent poll suggested that both would beat Sunak in the final poll, but Truss more comfortably than Mordaunt. Sunak’s chances would almost certainly be better against Mordaunt; his lack of experience means the risk of his campaign imploding under scrutiny remains high (over the last week his popularity has already dropped significantly), and Truss, unlike Mordaunt, would be guaranteed the support of the right Tory en masse.
- It seems likely that Kemi Badenoch will be eliminated this afternoon. It’s not inevitable, he’s already defied expectations, but he’s still 13 votes behind Truss and may struggle to get much of Tugendhat’s vote. If she fights, her votes will be up for grabs tomorrow, and would decide whether Sunak faces Truss or Mordaunt, which in turn could determine who is chosen as the next prime minister.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30 a.m.: Boris Johnson chairs what could be the last meeting of his cabinet.
10:30: Officials from the CBI and TUC are among the experts providing evidence to the Commons business committee on post-pandemic economic growth.
12:00: Voting begins on the fourth ballot for the Conservative Party leadership. Voting closes at 2pm.
12:30: Michael Gove, former Step-Up Secretary, and Lord Frost, former Brexit Minister, take part in a debate on the future of conservatism at the Policy Exchange think tank.
15:00: Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, announces the results of the latest leadership vote.
Afternoon: Pay awards for around 2.5 million public sector workers, including NHS staff and teachers, will be announced.
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