Former Tory leadership contender Tom Tugendhat has endorsed Liz Truss in the race for prime minister, a blow to Rishi Sunak.
Writing in The Times, Mr Tugendhat said the foreign secretary’s pledges to cut taxes were based on “genuine Conservative principles” and that he could unite the party.
He said. “Liz has always championed British values at home and abroad. With him at the helm, I have no doubt that we will move decisively to make this country safer and more secure.”
Mr. Tugendhat had presented himself as an outsider who could freely break up a party mired in scandal and scandal. But he dropped out of the leaderboard race in the third round of MP voting earlier this month.
The former soldier, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said that after watching the candidates go head-to-head in live televised debates, “only one convinced me he was ready.”
He said both contenders had “tremendous qualities and a lot of talent”, but Ms Truss had an advantage because of her cabinet’s position on the world stage.
He said the world is “getting more difficult” as fuel prices rise around the world and that we need a leader with “foreign relations experience to build alliances and protect our country”.
He said. “That’s where the allies come in. As Foreign Secretary Liz starts off with a huge advantage. He can count our vote.”
Mr Tugendhat has become the latest senior Tory to back Ms Truss.
Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace expressed her support for Ms. Truss last night, describing him as “genuine, honest and experienced”.
Mr. Sunak was the frontrunner in the initial race, receiving the most support from MPs in the first few rounds of voting.
But polls have shown Ms Truss is more popular among Tory members, who will ultimately decide who will be the leader and the next prime minister.
Despite this, Ms Truss insisted today that she was “not complacent at all” about her prospects.
Asked if he was confident he was going to win the race now, he said he was “fighting for every vote in the country.”
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“I am the person who can grow our economy, cut taxes, but also leave no room for Brexit, and that is what I have decided to do,” he told reporters in Norfolk.
“I’m delighted to have the support of Ben Wallace. We have worked very closely together. He has been a fantastic minister of defense for our country.”
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will take part in the Sky News head-to-head debate on Thursday 4 August at 8pm, hosted by Kay Burley.
If you would like to be part of the live studio audience and have a chance to ask a question, please do apply here.
Tom Tugendhat backs Liz Truss in Tory leadership race in big blow to Rishi Sunak | Political news
Source Tom Tugendhat backs Liz Truss in Tory leadership race in big blow to Rishi Sunak | Political news