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Tory leadership race latest: Sunak accused of betraying PM as Truss wins backing from Ben Wallace

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Rishi Sunak says Margaret Thatcher best Tory leader in history

Liz Truss’s campaign for No 10 was boosted by a major endorsement after she and rival Rishi Sunak faced a grilling from voters in the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace threw his support behind Ms Truss, as he criticised Mr Sunak for “walking out the door” of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

The former chancellor was hit with accusations he “stabbed Boris Johnson in the back” while facing a series of tough questions from Tory party members.

During Thursday’s hustings, Mr Sunak was confronted by a Tory named Matthew, from West Yorkshire, who told the former chancellor: “You’re a good salesman and you have many strong attributes, but many people continue to support Boris Johnson who has delivered consistently through treacherous waters.

“He is the man who made you as a senior politician. And some people don’t want to see that in No 10.”

Mr Sunak responded by saying that it had become clear that there was “a significant difference of opinion” between the pair on the economic direction of the country.

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Conservative Party members impressed at leadership hustings

Conservative Party members leaving the first Tory leadership hustings in Leeds said they were relieved both candidates came across as potential prime ministers.

But some of the biggest rounds of applause inside the Centenary Pavillion at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground were reserved for questions suggesting current PM Boris Johnson should be on the ballot.

Here’s what the Tory members said after attending the first of 12 official hustings:

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Truss vows to ‘follow in Johnson’s footsteps’ and be Ukraine’s ‘greatest friend’

Liz Truss has said she will be Ukraine’s “greatest friend” if she becomes prime minister, following in the footsteps of Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Secretary vowed to double down on support for Ukraine and to make President Volodymyr Zelensky her first foreign leader call if she becomes the next No 10 occupant

Ms Truss also said she would update the Integrated Defence and Security Review in light of the conflict in Ukraine, something opposition MPs and the Commons Defence Select Committee have been seeking for months.

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£400 in energy bill discounts offered to households in instalments

All households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 in energy bill discounts from October, the government has announced.

The support will be issued in six instalments over six months to some 29 million households.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “People across the country are understandably worried about the global rise in energy costs, and the pressure this is placing on everyday bills.

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An unscripted TV moment that may have sealed the fate of the next prime minister

Neither of the contenders in the battle for the Conservative leadership could be accused of overlooking the importance of presentation, writes Andrew Woodcock.

Continuing a practice long-honed at the Treasury, Rishi Sunak’s team has pumped out slick and glossy videos featuring lingering footage of the well-groomed former chancellor as prominently as his messages.

And Liz Truss has missed no opportunity as foreign secretary to pose for pictures featuring her riding on tanks or wearing a fur hat in Red Square, often selecting her poses and outfits in apparent homage to Margaret Thatcher.

All of this effort is clearly necessary in a modern image-driven election, where clips shared on social media are likely to have more impact than screeds of policy on printed pamphlets. But it can leave the voter uncertain of what the candidates are really like, behind the images burnished by their teams.

The one moment in the contest so far to grant a glimpse into the candidates’ “natural” behaviour came with the thoroughly unscripted interruption to the Talk TV debate, when – without warning – moderator Kate McCann fainted and collapsed.

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Boost for Truss after crucial backing from Ben Wallace

Liz Truss’s campaign for No 10 was boosted by a major endorsement after she and rival Rishi Sunak faced a grilling from voters in the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace threw his support behind Ms Truss, as he criticised Mr Sunak for “walking out the door” of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.’

It came after the candidates were quizzed separately on a vast array of policy areas – as well as their predictions for the Women’s Euro 2022 final – as they sought to woo northern voters in the race for the top job.

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Tory leadership debate and energy prices dominate newspaper front pages today

The front pages today look at the Tory leadership debate, energy profits and the cost of living.

The Independent, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror lead on “outrage” about the “soaring” profits of energy firms while the cost-of-living crisis continues.

While the Tory leadership debate is the front page of the i and the Daily Express, with the former reporting ministers are anxious about leaks from within the party.

Check out more front pages here:

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‘We are far too soft on foreigners’ says Sunak as he vows to double number of foreign criminals deported

Rishi Sunak has vowed to double the number of foreign criminals deported from the UK if he becomes the prime minister.

The Tory leadership contender and former chancellor told the Express newspaper that he would cut crime and expand prison capacity.



I will cut crime by locking the most prolific offenders up, keeping them locked up, and building the prison space needed to do so

Rishi Sunak

Mr Sunak was quoted as saying: “We are far too soft on foreigners who commit crimes in our country so I will double the number of foreign offenders we deport.

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Can the new prime minister solve the Northern Ireland protocol problem?

Rishi Sunak may be slightly more likely to find a solution to the impasse over the Northern Ireland protocol than Liz Truss, experts at The Independent’s online event held on Wednesday believe.

Here are the highlights from the virtual event hosted by our chief political commentator John Rentoul:

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Key moments from the first official hustings

From applauds for Boris Johnson to criticism of the windfall taxes, here are all the key moments from the first official hustings with Tory members in Leeds yesterday:

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Government announces plans to boost accessibility standards in new homes

The government has announced plans to raise the accessibility standard in new homes in order to better support older and disabled people.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced on Friday that it is committing to raising the minimum standard in England.

This move means all new homes will need to have step-free access to all entrance level rooms and facilities.

Homes will also need to include further features to make homes more easily adaptable over time.

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