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Rishi Sunak And Liz Truss Reach Final Two Of Tory Leadership Race As Penny Mordaunt Eliminated – Live

Sunak and Truss in final ballot of Tory members to choose next PMSir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, is reading out the results.

Rishi Sunak – 137

Liz Truss – 113

Penny Mordaunt – 105

Key events:

The Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has told Channel 4 News she is “entirely focused on a positive campaign” and plans to cut taxes if she beats Rishi Sunak to become the next prime minister.

She added: “I can hit the ground running, I can get things done.”

Political analyst Patrick Flynn believes tactical voting took place in the latest round of Conservative voting among MPs.

Rishi Sunak v Liz Truss: all you need to know about the final two prime minister contenders.

Plans have been announced to overhaul Border Force, as an independent review found it was performing at a “suboptimal level” and stretching its resources in an “unsustainable and highly inefficient way”.

The independent review, commissioned by the home secretary, Priti Patel, to see how well it may respond to future challenges, said that, despite a “dedicated, capable workforce”, the agency seemed to be “less than the sum of its parts with significant systemic challenges”.

The review, by the former Australian immigration minister Alexander Downer, said: “Overall, my impression of Border Force is an organisation which is performing at a suboptimal level.

“It appears to be struggling to get out of a cycle of crisis management, reacting to the last challenge and bracing itself for the next, regardless of how predictable the next challenge may be.

“Although Border Force is largely delivering what is required of it on a day-to-day basis, it does so by stretching its resources in an unsustainable and highly inefficient way.”

The first of the 12 official public hustings organised by the Conservative party in the leadership contest has been set for July 28 in Leeds, before Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak tour the UK for questioning.

A hustings for the Conservative Councillors’ Association, organised separately and believed to be taking place behind closed doors, is expected to take place on Thursday.

Conservative members are expected to receive postal ballots by 5 August, with the ballot shutting at 5pm on 2 September ahead of the final announcement.

The candidates will also attend hustings in Exeter, Eastbourne, Northern Ireland, Manchester and London during their tour.

In two of the three Conservative leadership elections that got as far as a ballot of party members in recent decades, the candidate who won the most votes among MPs went on to win the members’ vote.

The most recent example was in 2019, when the final ballot of MPs ended with Boris Johnson in front on 160 votes (51% of the total), while Jeremy Hunt won 77 (25%) and Michael Gove won 75 (24%).

There was a similar pattern in 2005, where David Cameron came top of the final ballot of MPs with 90 votes (45%), followed by David Davis on 57 (29%) and Liam Fox on 51 (26%).

The exception came in 2001, when Ken Clarke won the most votes among MPs but then lost the ballot of members to Iain Duncan Smith.

The 2001 contest was notable for the close result of the final MPs ballot, in which Clarke won 59 votes (36%), Duncan Smith 54 (33%) and Michael Portillo 53 (32%).

But Duncan Smith then won the members’ vote by 61% to Clarke’s 39%.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith believes it would have been a “dereliction of duty” for foreign secretary Liz Truss, who he is backing for the Tory leadership, to resign from Boris Johnson’s government.

Asked if she is the continuity candidate, the former Tory leader told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “No, Liz Truss is on her own record and what she wants to do, the truth is when you use words like ‘continuity’ they don’t really mean a huge amount.

“Liz Truss stayed in the cabinet, she had a very important job, it was foreign secretary, we’ve got a war going on in Ukraine, and a serious crisis, it would’ve been a dereliction of duty for her to have abandoned it and then promptly decided to get rid of him.

“The truth is she was straightforward and loyal on that, and I think that was the right way to be.”

Sky News will host a live televised head-to-head debate between the final two candidates vying to be the next leader of the Conservative Party at 8pm on 4 August.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have both confirmed they will take part in the one-hour debate hosted by Kay Burley, with questions from a live studio audience.

This will be a key juncture in the race, as Conservative party members receive their ballot papers the same week.

Andrew Sparrow

Back to where we started this morning, and here is more reaction to Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he will maintain the ban on new onshore windfarms if he becomes PM. (See 9.17am.)

This is from the Green MP Caroline Lucas.

So @RishiSunak is rowing back on climate commitments before he’s even made it to the final 2

Can someone tell him that 62% of *his own Tory voters* are in favour of onshore wind – which are 6 times cheaper than climate-busting gas?


— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) July 20, 2022 This is from Simon Evans from CarbonBrief.

So Conservative leadership frontrunner Rishi Sunak is pledging to keep the effective ban on onshore wind in England, aiming for “energy sovereignty” via offshore wind…

Interestingly offshore was actually cheaper – for 1st time – in latest

— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) July 20, 2022 And this is from the veteran environment journalist Geoffrey Lean.

Crazy for @rishisunak to say he’d continue to ban onshore wind which is hugely popular, even among local people, while the government considers (re)starting fracking, which they hate. I guess it’s what comes of having such a tiny, unrepresentative electorate decking the next PM.

— Geoffrey Lean (@GeoffreyLean) July 20, 2022 He means electing, not decking, obviously. Tory infighting hasn’t got that bad yet.

That’s all from me for today. My colleague Nadeem Badshah is now taking over.

Labour says Sunak and Truss are both ‘continuity candidates’ and Johnson ‘stooges’Labour says Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are both “continuity candidates” and Boris Johnson stooges. In a statement on behalf of the party Conor McGinn, a shadow Cabinet Office minister, said:

The choice to be the next Tory leader is down to the two continuity candidates. Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are stooges of the Johnson administration whose fingerprints are all over the state the country finds itself in today.

Both are now desperately trying to distance themselves from the Tory record of the last 12 years. But both have backed every decision, including every one of Boris Johnson’s 15 tax rises.

Rather than plans to tackle the Tory cost-of-living crisis or grow Britain’s economy, they are simply offering the fantasy economics of unfunded giveaways. Neither offers working people anything except more of the same.

The bookmakers have Liz Truss as the favourite to win the contest. Ladbrokes has Truss’s odds at 4/7, and Rishi Sunak at 11/8. Paddy Power has Truss at 8/15, and Sunak at 5/4. And Smarkets says the odds give Truss an implied 60% chance of winning.

Patrick English from YouGov says his firm’s research suggests positive personality traits, followed by support for conventional Conservatism, will count the most when Tory members choose a new leader.

🚨Here it is!🚨

Brand new, qualitative, AI analysis!

In their own words, Tory party members told us exactly what they are looking for in their next leader.

HALF the membership are prioritising ‘personality traits’, while a third want a return to ‘conventional conservatism’.

— Patrick English (@PME_Politics) July 20, 2022 Qualitative insights like these provide detail to depths which simply are not possible with survey analysis alone.

Look at this quote for instance:

“Someone with honesty and integrity… willing to tell the truth without fear of the consequences… sees it as a duty to serve.”

— Patrick English (@PME_Politics) July 20, 2022 Another member told us they wanted a “traditional conservative who wants to reduce the role of government… promoting and rewarding people for work, innovation and investment”

Fascinating detail into what it is the membership is looking for when they start balloting next week.

— Patrick English (@PME_Politics) July 20, 2022 Kwasi Kwarteng becomes third cabinet minister to duck appearance before parliamentary committeeA third cabinet minister has pulled out of an appearance before a House of Commons committee at short notice, PA Media reports. PA says:

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng had been due to answer questions this afternoon from the environmental audit committee on accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels and securing energy supplies.

But Kwarteng wrote to the committee’s chairman, Philip Dunne, this morning to say he could no longer attend.

The minister gave no reason for pulling out, but offered to rearrange for a date in September, after MPs return from their summer recess.

Announcing Kwarteng’s decision, the committee tweeted: “He gives no explanation nor apology. This is not the way for senior ministers to treat scrutiny.”

The government has already been accused of attempting to avoid scrutiny since Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative leader after two other cabinet ministers pulled out of select committee appearances.

Home secretary Priti Patel pulled out of an appearance before the home affairs committee on 13 July, claiming “recent changes in government” meant she could no longer attend.

The next day, justice secretary Dominic Raab cancelled his session with the joint committee on human rights, which was scheduled to question him on plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a bill of rights.

Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, has rejected claims his campaign lent votes to another candidate to force a rival out of the contest. Asked if he had been doing this, he replied:

Absolutely not. As you can see from the results that have just been declared, this has been a really close contest. And I’m really humbled that I’ve made it to the next stage. I’m grateful to all my colleagues for their support.

He dismissed suggestions that the campaign had been too negative. Asked if there had been too many blue-on-blue attacks, he replied:

What we’ve seen is actually a debate about ideas, which is very healthy. And it’s good for us to debate ideas to make sure that we get the policies right for the country.

And he restated his claim that only he could beat Labour. He said:

The question now for our members is who is the best person to defeat Keir Starmer and the Labour party at the next election. I believe I am the only candidate who can do that.

Rishi Sunak in parliament this afternoon. Photograph: Rob Pinney/Getty ImagesDominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, has posted an extract from his Substack blog on Twitter explaining why he thinks Liz Truss is so unsuitable to be PM – and why he thinks Boris Johnson supporters her.

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