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Conservative leadership race latest: Rishi Sunak promises to ‘make Brexit sing’ as Tom Tugendhat tops leadership poll

Conservative leadership race latest: Rishi Sunak promises to ‘make Brexit sing’ as Tom Tugendhat tops leadership poll

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ishi Sunak has pledged to “make Brexit sing” following the first televised debate.

The former Chancellor, who voted to Leave in 2016, said there is more to be done in order to maximise the UK’s exit from the EU. Writing for The Sun, he said: “We got Brexit done, now I’ll make Brexit sing.”

Following the first televised debate, however, Tom Tugendhat received surging support from voters, a poll from Opinium Research showed.

Of the 1,000 people asked, 36 per cent believed Mr Tugendhat had performed the best, followed by Mr Sunak with 25 per cent, Penny Mordaunt, 12, Kemi Badenoch also on 12, and Liz Truss with just six per cent.

Durign the debate, Ms Truss joined Ms Badenoch in accusing the trade minister of pursuing a policy of gender self-identification when she had responsibility for equalities – something she strongly denied.

Ms Mordaunt, a former women and equalities minister, said while she had carried out a consultation of the Gender Recognition Act but she had “never been in favour of self-ID”, while Tugendhat drew the first applause from the Channel 4 studio audience when he was the only candiate to answer “no” when asked if Boris Johnson was an honest man.

A second debate will be hosted by ITV at 7pm on Sunday.

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Pictured: Sunak on the Tory leader campaign trail

Rishi Sunak pictured with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen and supporters during a visit to Teesside Freeport in Redcar as he outlines his vision for the future of Britain.

Rishi Sunak, Ben Houchen and supporters

/ PA

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Rishi Sunak receives support from Red Wall mayor

Conservative mayor for the Tees Valley, Ben Houchen has announced he is backing Rishi Sunak to be the next prime minister.

He said: “From the Teesside Freeport to Treasury jobs in Darlington, Rishi Sunak has delivered a huge amount for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and his further commitment to Levelling Up if he becomes Prime Minister will deliver for the whole of the country.”

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Rishi Sunak: We need to bring inflation down

Speaking during a visit to Teesside, where he secured the backing of regional mayor Ben Houchen, Mr Sunak dismissed accusations that he had been a “socialist chancellor”.

“I think the number one economic priority we face as a country is inflation. I want to get a grip of inflation because inflation is what makes everybody poorer,” he said.

“If we don’t get a grip of it now it will last longer and that is not a good thing. Once we’ve done that, I will deliver tax cuts.”

Mr Sunak said he believed he would be the best leader to take on Labour at the next general election.

“I am going to continue making the positive case for my candidacy and I believe I am the best possible person to help our party defeat Keir Starmer and defeat the Labour Party in a general election,” he said.

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak has again insisted that inflation must be brought under control before the Government can consider cutting taxes.

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Penny Mordaunt ‘would be a fiasco’ says Dominic Cummings

Accompanying his latest blog post, Boris Johnson’s former adviser has issued another bombshell tweet regarding the leadership contest.

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Penny Mordaunt ‘far too woke’ to be PM, says Ann Widdecombe

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Liam Fox: Rishi Sunak is the only candidate read to be PM

Former Trade Secretary and Tory MP, Dr Liam Fox has claimed Rishi Sunak is the only candidate with the experience needed to be prime minister.

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Influential European Research Group still split over candidate

Despite calls to unite behind one candidate, members of the European Research Group are still at odds on who to back, one member has told Politics Home.

Ahead of the next vote on Monday, one source said “we’re not a military organisation”, amid fears Liz Truss and Kemo Badenoch may split the right-wing of the party.

Both Lord Frost and Suella Braverman have called on MPs to support Liz Truss in the contest.

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Rishi Sunak promises to ‘make Brexit sing’

Rishi Sunak has promised to “make Brexit sing” following the first televised debate.

Writing in The Sun, the former Chancellor said: “Standing to lead this great country as prime minister, I make a pledge to work day and night to build on the freedoms we fought so hard to get.

“We got Brexit done, now I’ll make Brexit sing.”

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‘I get stuff done,’ says Penny Mordaunt

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Penny Mordaunt has claimed she has the experience needed to take over the top job.

“Look at what I’ve done. The first job that I had in government, I managed to bring the firefighters’ dispute, pensions dispute and strikes to an end. Other ministers didn’t,” she said.

“I do get stuff done. Paymaster general, I rewrote our nation’s resilience strategy, brought the first ever One HMG defensive cyber strategy together, gripped issues that have been kicking around Whitehall for yonks, such as getting a compensation scheme for those poor souls affected by the infected blood scandal. You know, I could go on.”

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Mordaunt insists she is up to the job despite “black-ops” smears

Penny Mordaunt insisted her record in government shows she is ready to become Prime Minister

The international trade minister rejected criticism of her made during the Tory leadership race.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak accused of promising billions in tax cuts which would simply fuel inflation.

One senior government source likened Mordaunt to a “Walter Mitty” character who has been unwilling to take overseas trips.

Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, claimed she could not run a successful government and Tory peer Lord Moylan said Mordaunt was once sacked as head of communications for Kensington and Chelsea council.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mordaunt says she is being targeted by smears in a “black-ops” campaign.

Defending her record by pointing to achievements such as ending a dispute with striking firefighters, securing all soldiers the living wage and shaping the UK’s cyber strategy, Mordaun said: “Look at my record, look at what I’ve done. I do get stuff done.

“People look at my record and people will have seen me at the despatch box and people know who I am. That’s why I’m taking support from across our party and that’s why I’m topping every poll out in the country.”

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