Live blog: Truss declares, Gove for Kemi, rule change?

11 July 2022

5:05 PM

11 July 2022

5:05 PM

MPs are returning to Westminster after a long weekend in their constituencies. What are they returning to? Yesterday, three more candidates declared their intention to run for the Tory leadership – Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt and Rehman Chishti – taking the total number of candidates to a dizzying 11. Around a third of Tory MPs have nailed their colours to the mast; you can read the exhaustive list of who’s backing who here. Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of the main developments of the Tory leadership campaign this weekend:

  • Liz Truss launched her leadership bid last night, promising to ‘start cutting taxes from day one’ in an article for the Daily Telegraph today.
  • Michael Gove endorsed Kemi Badenoch. Her odds of winning went from 80/1 on Thursday to 10/1 this morning.
  • The 1922 executive elections are to be held this afternoon. There have been suggestions that the committee could raise the threshold for entry to the race to weed out no-hopers (read more from Katy Balls below).
  • The centrist candidate Jeremy Hunt announced that Esther McVey would be his deputy prime minister. Meanwhile, Tom Tugendhat secured the support of Johnsonite and Brexiteer Anne-Marie Trevelyan as his deputy.
  • Membership favourite Ben Wallace announced on Saturday that he would not be running.
  • Johnson loyalist Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Andrew Neil Show that whoever wins should call a general election to establish their own mandate.
  • A Tory attack memo laying out all of Rishi Sunak’s perceived failures was leaked. Read the full document here.
  • Read our full list of who is running and who’s backing who here.

9.30 a.m. Trusted to deliver? 

Katy Balls writes… Another day, another campaign launch video. This time it’s Liz Truss’s turn. After announcing overnight that she will be running for the leadership, the Foreign Secretary has laid out her pitch in a slick video (though perhaps not quite as slick as Rishi Sunak’s).

I have a clear vision for our country and economy – and the experience and resolve to deliver it.

— Liz for Leader (@trussliz) July 11, 2022

In a patriotic message where she begins by talking of her love for the U.K, Truss attempts to set her apart from the other candidates by saying it is her experience combined with her values that means she would be best placed to deliver tax cuts and lead the country. She has also gone for the slogan ‘Trusted to deliver’, focussing more on delivery than setting herself out as different from Boris Johnson, something other candidates such as Rishi Sunak and Tom Tugendhat have also done. One of the problems facing Truss, however, is courting the right of the party. Many of these MPs want someone who backed Leave in the referendum.

9.00 a.m. Ready for Rehman?

Steerpike writes… Gladstone. Churchill. Thatcher. Every age has its own political colossus. But it seems that Rehman Chishti is destined to prove that no prophet is accepted in his own time. For despite declaring his candidacy ten hours ago, the Gillingham MP is still yet to gain a single backer from his 357 Tory colleagues. Until three days ago, Chishti had spent his entire career on the backbenches, until the fall of Boris Johnson’s government meant he was at last called to serve in the Foreign Office as a junior minister. But it seems that higher office will be denied him (for now), given the, er, reaction to his announcement last night that he is wants to be PM. Still, he does make history in a different way: as the first former Labour parliamentary candidate to run for Tory leader. Surely that’s something, eh?

8.45 a.m. Leadership election rule change? 

Katy Balls writes… The Tory leadership contest is a very crowded place – but it could be significantly slimmed down by this evening. Today is the 1922 executive election, the committee that represents Tory backbenchers. Once the new executive is in place this afternoon, they will meet to immediately decide the rules for the coming contest, raising the threshold at which candidates can enter the race. Read Katy’s full analysis here.

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