On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss joined the campaign to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, bringing the total number of candidates in an increasingly contentious and unpredictable race to 11.
Truss, who has held ministerial positions in the ministries of commerce, justice, and the Treasury, has indicated she would cut taxes and retain a robust stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She is running to succeed Johnson, who was driven out of office on Thursday after his administration crumbled due to a series of scandals.
The campaign is for the Conservative Party’s leadership, with the victor becoming Prime Minister. The goal is to find a replacement by September.
“I will lead a government committed to core Conservative principles: low taxes, a firm grip on spending, driving growth in the economy, and giving people the opportunity to achieve anything they want to achieve,” she stated in a campaign video.
The campaign came after one of the most extraordinary moments in modern British political history, in which more than 50 cabinet ministers resigned in protest of Johnson’s character, integrity, and incapacity to speak the truth.
With many MPs uncomfortable with Johnson’s continued presidency until a replacement is selected, the party is likely to speed up the election process. It might need contenders to secure the support of about 30 parliamentarians to join the process before voting starts this week to reduce the number to two.
With virtually all of the contenders vowing to slash company or personal taxes, tax cuts were quickly becoming the key battleground in the contest.
Truss made her plea to the Conservative Party’s 200,000 members, who will determine the fate of the election, saying she will reverse the recent increase in National Insurance payments and suggest a drop in corporate tax.
Fellow candidates Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid have also vowed to reduce corporate tax, while former defence minister Penny Mordaunt has promised to reduce fuel duty.
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak is the early front-runner, although he is the only contender who has downplayed the potential of impending tax cuts, claiming that the acceptance of “comforting fairy tales” will harm future generations.
“Someone has to grip this moment,” he remarked in his introduction video.
This has encouraged his opponents to criticize his economic performance, since the tax burden has risen to its greatest level since the 1950s. One member stated that a dossier critical of Sunak’s record was circulating in lawmaker WhatsApp groups.