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Tory leadership race - live: Mordaunt criticised for supporting homeopathy on NHS

Foreign secretary vows to axe tax hike and national insurance rise

Jane Dalton,Andy Gregory,Joe Middleton
Saturday 16 July 2022 13:40 BST
‘Borrowing your way out of inflation is a fairytale’: Sunak and Truss clash over economy plan

Tory leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has been criticised for her support of homeopathy on the NHS.

Homeopathy is a treatment based on using diluted amounts of natural substances, but is not currently funded by the NHS due to its “lack of effectiveness”.

Ms Mordaunt has advocated the practice according to an analysis of her parliamentary record and past comments, and was one of 16 supporters of a motion in the House of Commons criticising the British Medical Association for withdrawing NHS support for homeopathy, in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss has pledged that families could receive tax breaks of up to £2,500 to help them take time out of work to look after children or other family members.

Ms Truss has promised a radical overhaul of the taxation system if she gets into Downing Street that would also include ditching green levies on energy bills and reversing an increase to national insurance.

It comes after the five contenders to become the UK’s next prime minister clashed over tax cuts and Boris Johnson’s honesty in a debate on Friday night.

A snap Opinium poll found 36 per cent of viewers believed Tom Tugendhat performed best – while just 10 per cent of Tory voters said the same of Ms Truss.


Keir Starmer scraps pledge to end NHS private sector outsourcing

Keir Starmer has dropped a policy pledge to end private sector outsourcing in the NHS, disappointing some Labour supporters.

In an interview on Thursday night the opposition leader was asked whether he stood by a leadership campaign commitment to end private sector involvement in the health service.

He replied: “Well look, there is some private provision in the NHS and we’re likely to have to continue with that.”

Jon Stone has the details.

Keir Starmer scraps pledge to end NHS private sector outsourcing

Labour leader suggests breaking promise could help him win election

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 09:45

Transport minister denies Truss leadership bid is involved in ‘black ops’ campaign against Mordaunt

Transport minister Wendy Morton has denied that the team behind Liz Truss’s leadership bid is involved in a so-called “black ops” campaign against rival Penny Mordaunt.

Ms Mordaunt has so far outpolled the Foreign Secretary in the two ballots of Tory MPs. Ms Morton, appearing on Times Radio, said she is “absolutely not” involved in any kind of untoward campaign.

“What I am involved in is a campaign to get Liz Truss elected as the next leader of the Conservative Party because I happen to think, I know, that she’s the right candidate.

“I worked with her at the Foreign Office and I saw first-hand how hard-working she is, how dedicated she is, and how she just gets on with the job and she delivers.”

She said the Truss camp is not concerned about the lead Ms Mordaunt has maintained against the Foreign Secretary.

“You know, we have still got rounds of voting to go, there are still candidates, there are colleagues out there who have not declared for a candidate, there are colleagues who have voted for candidates who have now dropped out of the race. So it’s all to play for.”


Joe Middleton15 July 2022 09:18

Labour frontbencher says Tory leadership race is turning into 'a circus'

Labour frontbencher says Tory leadership race is turning into 'a circus'
Joe Middleton15 July 2022 09:00

Tory MP rages at ‘failed minister’ Frost

Tory MP Simon Hoare has hit out at Lord Frost over his suggestion that Kemi Badenoch should withdraw from the Tory leadership race.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Hoare rages that “who the hell is an unelected, failed Minister to tell any MP what to do?”

He adds that “for some unknown reason David Frost perpetually thinks we give a flying xxxx what he thinks. We don’t and we won’t.”

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 08:53

Brexiteers clash over Truss v Badenoch

The Sun’s Jack Elsom is reporting that the ERG group of hardline Brexiteers in the Tory party are not united on which candidate they want to back for the leadership race.

WhatsApp messages revealed that chair of the ERG Mark Francois has urged the group to get behind Liz Truss.

But he received immediate pushback from Andrew Lewer, who said he supported Kemi Badenoch, and Lee Anderson who said a statement should have been released after the TV debates, the first of which begins on Friday evening.

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 08:40

Rishi Sunak ally denies claims he’s a ‘socialist’

Tory MP Richard Holden, a backer of Rishi Sunak for Tory leader, told Sky News that it was “total nonsense” to suggest the former chancellor was a “socialist”.

Boris Johnson ally Jacob Rees Mogg previously hit out at the chancellor’s “disloyalty” and said the high taxes imposed during his time in charge were more closely aligned to a left-wing political project.

Mr Holden also rejected the suggestion that Mr Sunak’s wealth made him unrelatable.

He told Sky News that the furlough scheme, introduced at the start of the pandemic, proved that Mr Sunak had a “track record” of helping ordinary voters.

“Whether it’s Rishi Sunak, who’s wealthier than many of my constituents or Keir Starmer, who is far wealthier than many of my constituents could ever dream to be either, what people I think are really interested in is who’s best for them and who’s going run the country.”

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 08:25

Lord Frost calls on Kemi Badenoch to withdraw from Tory leadership race and back Liz Truss

Lord David Frost has urged Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch to pull out of the race to succeed Boris Johnson in No 10 and support the foreign secretary Liz Truss’s bid.

Calling for “unity among free marketeers”, the former Brexit minister heaped praised on Ms Badenoch but said she should withdraw “in return for a serious job in a Truss administration”.

His remarks come after the attorney general Suella Braverman was eliminated from the contest at the second ballot of Tory MPs on Thursday, and later threw her support behind the foreign secretary.

Ashley Cowburn reports.

Kemi Badenoch urged to withdraw from Tory leadership race and back Liz Truss

Former Brexit minister suggests Badnoch will be given ‘a serious job in a Truss administration’

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 08:03

Transgender rights and identity should not be part of the ‘political fray’, says Maria Miller

Dame Maria Miller said questions over transgender rights and identity should not be part of the “political fray”.

Dame Maria, who is backing Penny Mordaunt, rejected the criticism from Lord Frost of Ms Mordaunt that she was “absent on parade” when he worked with her on post-Brexit negotiations last year.

She told Sky News: “I have seen her to be a very effective campaigner. She really is one of the leading proponents of Brexit and was throughout the campaign.”

Dame Maria said Ms Mordaunt had not changed her position on trans rights during the leadership campaign.

“I don’t think this really - just something so fundamental to some people’s lives, and so sensitive - is really something that is appropriate for a leadership battle. It should be outside of politics.”

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 07:53

Truss can deliver – she just decided not to over the past eight years in cabinet

“Trusted to deliver.” Liz Truss. “Trusted to deliver.” Get it? Well it’s a shame if you didn’t because down at the Liz Truss campaign launch, it was all downhill after that.

Liz Truss, apparently, can be “trusted to defeat Vladimir Putin”. Liz Truss, apparently, “can be trusted to deliver on Brexit”.

Bit of a strange one that, really, because there are many, many millions of people all around the country who trusted her to deliver on Remain and that didn’t work out all that well, writes Tom Peck.

One thing she couldn’t be trusted to do was arrive on time. When Kwasi Kwarteng had finished introducing her, he had to stand there for an agonising 20 seconds or so, in a state of ever rising panic about whether she was going to walk in or not. It would later transpire that the delay had clearly been caused by technical issues with her own camera crew who were on hand to film her walking in.

(Liz Truss will gladly tell you she has a “track record of delivery”. Absolutely anyone who’s ever worked with her will tell you she has a track record of being “obsessed with comms” to the detriment of all else.)

Opinion: Truss can deliver – she just decided not to over the past eight years

Things, at long last, are finally going to change, because Liz Truss is here, and she ‘can lead, make tough decisions and get things done’

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 07:40

Lord Frost urges Badenoch to drop out and throws support behind Truss

Former Brexit minister Lord Frost has thrown his support behind Liz Truss as he urged Kemi Badenoch to pull out of the Tory leadership contest so there can be “unity among free marketeers”.

“Kemi and Suella Braverman set out convincing programmes, with differing emphases, for change,” the 57-year-old wrote in The Daily Telegraph.

“But Liz’s depth of experience, her energy and ideas - as well as the simple fact she has the most votes of the three - put her in the lead.

“It is now time for pragmatism. I urge Kemi to stand down in return for a serious job in a Truss administration.”

Ms Badenoch was under pressure early on Friday to withdraw and back Ms Truss to keep Rishi Sunak or Penny Mordaunt out of No 10. Ms Badenoch’s campaign, however, said she is “in it to win”.

Her spokesman said: “Kemi has brought interesting ideas and a new approach to this leadership contest. She is looking forward to the debates this weekend.

“She has no intention of stepping down and is in it to win.”

Lord Frost, a former diplomat who does not get a vote as a Tory peer, also stepped up his attacks on Ms Mordaunt as being “absent on parade” when he worked with her on post-Brexit negotiations last year.


Joe Middleton15 July 2022 07:20

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