Liz Truss will be next Prime Minister after winning Tory leader contest


Liz Truss vowed to be ‘bold’ in cutting taxes and reviving the economy after defeating Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership contest today.

Ms Truss takes the helm of a country in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis after seeing off the former chancellor’s challenge with support from 81,326 party members, compared to Mr Sunak’s 60,399. 

The 57 per cent to 43 per cent result – closer than some had expected – was announced by 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady in a glitzy ceremony at the QE2 Centre in Westminster. 

Ms Truss said it was an ‘honour’ to be the new leader of the ‘greatest political party on Earth’. ‘I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people,’ she said.

‘I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative… I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy.’ 

In a nod to the looming prospect of a general election, she added: ‘We will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024.’ 

HOW NEW PM’S FIRST DAYS IN OFFICE WILL PAN OUT

TODAY 12:30pm

Liz Truss declared new Tory leader by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster.

TOMORROW 8.30am

Boris Johnson to deliver a farewell address outside No10. He will then go to Balmoral in Scotland to ask the Queen to accept his resignation.

TOMORROW LUNCHTIME

The new leader, having travelled to Scotland separately, will be welcomed by the Queen and asked to form a new government.

TOMORROW 4pm

New PM will arrive at No10 to address the nation for the first time. Then they will make senior Cabinet appointments and have meetings for updates on matters of national security.

WEDNESDAY 9am

New Cabinet will meet to discuss issues including cost of living crisis.

WEDNESDAY 12pm

New PM will answer Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

Ms Truss also paid tribute to her ‘friend’ Boris Johnson, who will formally hand over power to her tomorrow, saying he ‘got Brexit done, crushed Jeremy Corbyn, rolled out the vaccine, and stood up to Vladimir Putin’. 

Tweeting his congratulations, Mr Johnson said Ms Truss ‘has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and levelling up our country’. 

There appeared to be little warmth between the candidates in the hall, as they sat one seat apart waiting for the outcome. Mr Sunak is not expected to be offered a big job in the new government. 

The final margin of victory was smaller than polls had predicted – and lower than that secured by Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron.  

The new premier – Britain’s 56th – faces one of the toughest in-trays in decades, with inflation fears mounting as gas prices soar again and the Pound slides further.

Speculation is growing that Ms Truss will opt for a bold furlough-style move to freeze energy bills – possibly by loaning companies money to hold down costs.

Wholesale gas prices rocketed by around 30 per cent today, following Russia’s decision to shut down a key gas pipeline.

The Pound also briefly slipped to a 37-year low against the US dollar, heaping extra costs on many commodities and imports. 

It later recovered most of the ground and ticked up slightly when the Tory announcement was made.

Attention will now turn to the shape of the new Cabinet, which is believed to be largely decided. 

Chancellor-in-waiting Kwasi Kwarteng has already been scrambling to reassure markets that although government borrowing will be ‘looser’ it will remain ‘responsible’. Ms Truss has promised a wave of tax cuts aimed at boosting economic growth. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he is praying for Ms Truss ‘at a time of such significant challenges’.  

Ms Truss told the BBC yesterday that she will reveal fresh support for struggling households within a week, but refused to spell out details.

‘Before you have been elected as prime minister, you don’t have all the wherewithal to get the things done,’ she told the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.

‘This is why it will take a week to sort out the precise plans and make sure we are able to announce them. That is why I cannot go into details at this stage. It would be wrong.’

British energy producers witnessed another huge rise in wholesale prices today, with gas prices surging by 20 to 30 per cent this morning.

The increase comes after a last-minute decision by Russia’s state-backed energy firm Gazprom to block the reopening of the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe.

The UK natural gas price was at £4.96 per therm this morning, up 86p or 21 per cent. At the start of 2021 it was at just 40p per therm. The price touched £7 per therm last week.

And the leading European benchmark Dutch TTF October gas contract rose by €62 (£52.53), or 30 per cent, to €272 per megawatt hours (MWh) by about 7.30am today, reversing losses seen last week.

Nord Stream 1 is the biggest gas link from Russia to Europe, supplying around 55billion cubic metres per year.

While the UK receives only 4 per cent of its gas from Nord Stream 1, other countries such as Germany are much more reliant on the pipeline, meaning its closure is causing prices to spike on international energy markets.

The move has raised fears factories could be forced to adopt a four-day working week to conserve energy. No date has yet been set for when Nord Stream 1 will be reopened.

Liz Truss was declared the new Tory leader today, and will take charge of Downing Street tomorrow

Liz Truss was declared the new Tory leader today, and will take charge of Downing Street tomorrow

Ms Truss received a warm reception as she said she was 'honoured' to be entrusted with the job

Ms Truss received a warm reception as she said she was ‘honoured’ to be entrusted with the job

Ms Truss was accompanied by husband Hugh for the Tory leadership announcement today

Ms Truss was accompanied by husband Hugh for the Tory leadership announcement today

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak sat separately as they waited for the result of the Tory leadership ballot today

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak sat separately as they waited for the result of the Tory leadership ballot today

From Lib Dem activist to Tory PM: Liz Truss becomes UK’s third female prime minister

Liz Truss’s political journey has taken her from a teenage Lib Dem to a Tory prime minister before she is 50.

She grew up in Paisley, Leeds and Canada, as her academic father moved between teaching posts. John Truss and his nurse wife Priscilla, were both Left-wingers who took their daughter on CND marches.

After a brief flirtation with the Liberal Democrats, Ms Truss moved to the Right after encountering Conservative students at Oxford University, where she read PPE. She was elected MP for South West Norfolk in 2010.

Ms Truss married her husband, Hugh O'Leary, a chartered accountant, in 2000. The couple a very private marriage that would be thrust more centrally into the spotlight if she were to enter No10.

Ms Truss married her husband, Hugh O’Leary, a chartered accountant, in 2000. The couple a very private marriage that would be thrust more centrally into the spotlight if she were to enter No10.

She played up her comprehensive education in the leadership race, saying that her school years in a well-off Leeds suburb made her want to try to give every child ‘the best opportunity to succeed’. 

She will enter power tomorrow after meeting to Queen at Balmoral after a bitter and divisive election campaign against ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak, who faced fury from Tories who accused him of toppling Boris Johnson.

Alongside the new PM will be her husband, Hugh O’Leary. She and the chartered accountant married in 2000 and until now enjoyed a very private marriage that will now be thrust centrally into the spotlight.

In 2009, it was revealed she had an 18-month affair with MP Mark Field four years previously.

According to Mr Field, the Oxford-educated son of an Army major, the affair ended in June 2005. But the story led to unsuccessful attempts to deselect her as a candidate in Norfolk. 

The members of South West Norfolk Conservative Association insisted furiously that they were told nothing about this ‘skeleton in the closet’ before they voted for her.

The marriage survived and the couple went on to have two children. 

Like Rishi Sunak, she served for years under Boris Johnson in senior Cabinet posts. Ms Truss also served under her predecessors Theresa May and David Cameron in a ministerial career that stretches back to 2012.

She first attracted public attention in 2014 when she was made environment secretary. That year she made a viral speech to the Conservative Party Conference slamming UK cheese imports and highlighting the importance of ‘pork markets’ in China.

She was moved to justice secretary and lord chancellor by Theresa May after the Brexit referendum before heading to the Treasury as chief secretary. 

Under Boris Johnson she was international trade secretary before becoming Foreign Secretary in place of Dominic Raab last year, after he was criticised for staying on a Mediterranean holiday while Kabul fell to the Taliban. She was also equalities minister before Kemi Badenoch. 

While international trade secretary she negotiated free trade deals with nations including Australia, Japan and Singapore. 

Bill Farren-Price, head of macro oil and gas research and energy consultants Enverus, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme of the decision: ‘It’s definitely going to bump prices higher after Russia failed to restart that pipeline.

‘But it’s becoming pretty clear to anyone who’s watching these markets that Russia’s weaponization of gas exports and a complete shutdown of supply to Europe is not impossible now.

‘And I think that’s what people are worried about now – the crunch moment is going to come in the winter when, if it’s particularly cold, demand for gas across Europe and even the UK is going to exceed what can be imported, and I think that’s the worry that people have.

‘It’s going to send prices back up to highs that we saw at the end of August or even beyond.’

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 benchmark index of leading companies fell by 64 points or 0.88 per cent to 7,217.43 this morning, and sterling dipped further against the dollar.

Derek Lickorish, chairman of Utilita which supplies 800,000 homes, also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘When the banking system failed, Gordon Brown on October 8, 2008 made a £500billion facility available to bail out the banks.

‘And it’s now time that the Government bailed out energy customers – and not just domestic customers, business customers as well.

‘And I believe the sum is going to be, if this is what we’re going to do – and we don’t know, I need to stress that – but if we were to do it, it’s going to cost somewhere around £60 to £100billion to freeze prices for all customers for about 12 months.

‘But of course we don’t know what’s going to happen to the price increase from January 1 and gas is going to peak today. That means that prices start getting baked in not only to January cap, but also to the April one as well – and that could well have a ‘6’ in front of it.’

Mr Kwarteng used an article in the Financial Times to stress that the next Government will behave in a ‘fiscally responsible’ way.

Mr Kwarteng, the current Business Secretary, said that there would be ‘some fiscal loosening’ in a Truss administration to help households through the winter, stressing that it was the ‘right thing’ to do.

He said that the UK does not need ‘excessive fiscal tightening’, pointing to the UK’s ratio of debt to GDP compared to other major economies.

‘The OECD has said that the current government policy is contractionary, which will only send us into a negative spiral when the aim should be to do the opposite. But I want to provide reassurance that this will be done in a fiscally responsible way. Liz is committed to a lean state and, as the immediate shock subsides, we will work to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio over time,’ he wrote.

Mr Kwarteng, a close political and ideological ally of Ms Truss, offered a vision for how he would operate the Treasury as he said that the next Government would be ‘decisive and do things differently’.

‘That means focusing on how we unlock investment and growth, rather than how we tax and spend. It is about growing the size of the UK economy, not burying our heads in a redistributive fight over what is left,’ he wrote.

His comments directly echo those of Ms Truss on Sunday, as she insisted that her plan to reverse the rise in national insurance is ‘fair’ despite it directly benefitting higher earners.

She told the BBC ‘growing the economy benefits everybody’ and it is ‘wrong’ to look at everything through the ‘lens of redistribution’.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank, warned that the energy bailout and tax cuts could fuel inflation.

‘She’s clearly absolutely right that we’ve had dreadful growth over the last 15 years,’ the senior economist told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘The but is that simply cutting taxes, cutting National Insurance contributions, for example, is not a strategy for growth.

‘And it is clearly pumping a large amount of money into the economy on top of the £30 billion we’ve already had to support energy bills, on top of the presumably many, many 10s of billions additional that are going to come from that, and on top of what’s going to have to be more money for public services.

‘Now put all of that together and that will lead to not just extremely high borrowing in the short run, but also additional inflationary pressure.’

Labour accused the Tories of stealing their ideas.

Frontbencher Nick Thomas-Symonds told the BBC’s Westminster Hour that it was once again another example of his party ‘making the political weather’.

Both Tory candidates spent more than a month traversing the country taking part in hustings in a bid to win over the 200,000 party members.

The winner will become PM tomorrow – the third since 2016, when David Cameron quit after losing the Brexit vote.

James Cleverly

Kwasi Kwarteng

James Cleverly (left) is expected to be the new Foreign Secretary under Ms Truss, while Kwasi Kwarteng (right) is in line to become Chancellor

Boris Johnson pictured in Downing Street today, where he will remain until the formal handover tomorrow

Boris Johnson pictured in Downing Street today, where he will remain until the formal handover tomorrow

UK teeters on the brink of recession as private sector shrank in August 

Britain is teetering on the brink of recession after the private sector contracted in August.

The closely-watched S&P Global/CIPS UK services PMI survey suggested the all-important services sector only just eked out growth last month, with a worse-than-expected reading of 50.9, down from 52.6 in July and the slowest pace of expansion for a year-and-a-half.

This left the composite reading for private sector activity – taking into account manufacturing and services survey data – at 49.6 in August, down from 52.1 in July and the first drop below the crucial 50 no-change mark in 18 months.

A reading below 50 shows contraction.

Experts warned that the latest figures deal the incoming leader of the Conservative Party an early blow, by showing a mounting threat of imminent recession, as defined by two quarters in a row of falling output, due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at survey compiler S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the PMI data points to a ‘modest’ contraction in the economy in the current third quarter of 0.1 per cent.

But this comes after the economy contracted by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter and therefore a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) in the three months to September would tip the UK into recession.

Mr Williamson said: ‘Demand for consumer-facing services such as restaurants, hotels, travel and other recreational activities is collapsing under the weight of the cost-of-living crisis, with demand for business services also coming under pressure amid concerns over rising costs and the darkening economic outlook.’

He added: ‘Jobs growth is already starting to weaken and, with hiring tending to lag changes in order books, the recent slump in demand alongside surging energy prices points to a growing reticence to employ staff in coming months.

‘Although the survey data are currently consistent with the economy contracting at a modest quarterly rate of 0.1 per cent, deteriorating trends in order books suggest the incoming prime minister will be dealing with an economy that is facing a heightened risk of recession, a deteriorating labour market and persistent elevated price pressures linked to the soaring cost of energy.’

Ms Truss faces a daunting in-tray, with the standoff with Russia hammering the economy and deep party splits about the legacy of Mr Johnson.

The new leader will spend the rest of the day finalising their choices for Cabinet and wider ministerial roles and writing their first prime ministerial speech.

Over the weekend, Mr Johnson urged his party to unite behind the contest’s winner.

‘This is the moment for every Conservative to come together – and back that new leader wholeheartedly,’ he wrote in the Sunday Express.

Once the result of the contest is known, Mr Johnson and his successor will go to Balmoral, rather than Buckingham Palace, for the appointment of the new prime minister on Tuesday, in a break from tradition.

Described by allies as likely to be a ‘very sad’ occasion for the outgoing prime minister, the Queen will receive Mr Johnson on Tuesday at her Aberdeenshire home, where he will formally tender his resignation.

This will be followed by an audience with the new Tory leader, where she or he will be invited to form a government.

Liz Truss puts finishing touches to diverse new Government: No place for white men in great offices of state as PM-in-waiting rewards allies and axes Rishi Sunak and his supporters – and plots No10 adviser cull 

Liz Truss will become prime minister tomorrow and appoint a Cabinet featuring no white men in the great offices of state for the first time. 

Ms Truss is expected to make long-term ally Kwasi Kwarteng chancellor, with Suella Braverman moving to the Home Office and James Cleverly to the Foreign Office.

If selected, Mr Kwarteng would be the fourth non-white chancellor in a row, directly following Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Nadhim Zahawi.

And Ms Braverman would become the third minority home secretary, after Priti Patel and Mr Javid. 

Mr Cleverly, currently the Education Secretary, would become the first ever non-white foreign Secretary.

But equally as interesting as who will be in the new Government is who will not be in it. 

There is expected to be a clear out of Rishi Sunak and his supporters after a bitter blue-on-blue campaign in which he seems almost certain to be defeated.

Into the political wilderness too will go Michael Gove, after serving under the three previous PMs. Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State, and Boris Johnson himself, are expected to return to the backbenches. Both have question marks over whether they can hold on to their seats at the next election.

There is also expected to be a clear out of political advisers  within No10. The Times today suggests only a handful of long-serving advisers will be kept on as Truss seeks to slim down the operation.

Here we look as who is likely to be in and out of the first Truss government:

IN 

Kwasi Kwarteng – Chancellor of the Exchequer

The Business Secretary, who lives in the same Greenwich street as Ms Truss, is strongly tipped to be promoted to Chancellor and move in next to her in No11

The Business Secretary, who lives in the same Greenwich street as Ms Truss, is strongly tipped to be promoted to Chancellor and move in next to her in No11 

Age: 47

Family: Married to Harriet, a solicitor. They have a young daughter

Education: Eton College

The Business Secretary, who lives in the same Greenwich street as Ms Truss, is strongly tipped to be promoted to Chancellor and move in next to her in No11. 

A frontline supporter of her campaign, he will have the huge task of keeping the economy afloat and helping households through the cost of living squeeze. 

He will replace Nadhim Zahawi, who could move to the Cabinet Office after just two months at the helm of the Treasury as an interim chancellor following Rishi Sunak’s resignation.

Mr Kwarteng’s first actions will include reversing the national insurance increase and scrapping a planned rise in corporation tax.

In a sign that he expects to take over the Treasury tomorrow he made an intervention today that looked like a pre-emptive attempt to steady the markets. 

He used a newspaper article to say a Truss government led can afford to borrow more to give energy bills support to households and businesses but will remain responsible with the public finances.

With newspapers reporting that the new PM is preparing a package worth up to £100billion, between direct support to households and tax cuts, Mr Kwarteng, sought to reassure investors about her plans.

The pound and British government bond prices have fallen heavily in recent weeks with some investors expressing concern about Truss’ plans.

‘Given the severity of the crisis we face, there will need to be some fiscal loosening to help people through the winter,’ Kwarteng wrote in the Financial Times. ‘That is absolutely the right thing to do in these exceptionally difficult times.’

‘We know households are worried, and decisive action is needed to get families and businesses through this winter and the next. They need certainty.’

Kwarteng said Britain’s debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio was lower than any other Group of Seven country except Germany ‘so we do not need excessive fiscal tightening.’

But the cost-of-living support would be done in a fiscally responsible way, he said.

‘Liz is committed to a lean state and, as the immediate shock subsides, we will work to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio over time,’ Kwarteng wrote in the newspaper.

Suella Braverman –  Home Secretary

Ms Braverman stood against Miss Truss in the leadership contest but her 'anti-woke' stance and opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights is set to see her promoted from Attorney General to Home Secretary.

Ms Braverman stood against Miss Truss in the leadership contest but her ‘anti-woke’ stance and opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights is set to see her promoted from Attorney General to Home Secretary. 

Age: 42

Family: Two young children with husband Rael

Education:  Cambridge University

Ms Braverman stood against Miss Truss in the leadership contest but her ‘anti-woke’ stance and opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights is set to see her promoted from Attorney General to Home Secretary. 

Her main task will be to crack down on Channel crossings by illegal migrants and to make sure those who do reach England are deported to Rwanda, which current Home Secretary Priti Patel has failed to do.

Braverman’s expected appointment makes it more likely the Government will seek to reset UK’s relationship with Strasbourg.

During her leadership campaign in July, the attorney general said it was ‘unacceptable’ that a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights had scuppered the first attempt at a Rwanda deportation flight.

She said leaving the European Convention on Human Rights – and the Strasbourg court which oversees it – was required to ‘take back control of our borders’.

‘When people voted for Brexit, they expected us to take back control of our borders. It is unacceptable that a foreign court stopped the flight,’ she said.

However, remaining a signatory to the convention is written in to the Good Friday Agreement which underpins peace in Northern Ireland, so it is unclear how this would be achieved.

Leaving the Convention was ruled out by Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab when he outlined human rights reform in the new Bill of Rights earlier this year.

It is thought a final decision on Britain’s membership of the convention will not be made by the new Cabinet until after the Rwanda judicial review, and a similar case next month, are complete.

James Cleverly – Foreign Secretary

An early backer of Miss Truss's candidacy, the Education Secretary is expected to be handed her current role of Foreign Secretary

An early backer of Miss Truss’s candidacy, the Education Secretary is expected to be handed her current role of Foreign Secretary 

Age: 53

Family: Married to Susannah Sparks with two sons

Education: Thames Valley University 

An early backer of Miss Truss’s candidacy, the Education Secretary is expected to be handed her current role of Foreign Secretary. 

The pair worked together in the Foreign Office in the past year, where he was a junior minister before being moved in Boris Johnson’s emergency reshuffle.

He will keep up her strong support for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.

He would also keep up a hardline on China, with a more hawkish attitude to Beijing expected than under Mr Johnson.

But his most immediate priority is likely to be the Brexit saga over Northern Ireland, which is nowhere near being solved despite political paralysis in Ulster.

While the economy is certain to dominate the first months of the new premier’s term, Johnson’s successor will also have to steer the UK on the international stage in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine, an increasingly assertive China and ongoing tensions with the European Union over the aftermath of Brexit – especially in Northern Ireland.

Truss has talked tough as foreign secretary on all three main issues, though some analysts believe she may tone down her ‘robust’ rhetoric if she becomes leader.

Therese Coffey – Health Secretary

The Work and Pensions Secretary is a fellow member of the 2010 parliamentary intake

The Work and Pensions Secretary is a fellow member of the 2010 parliamentary intake 

Age: 50

Family: Single, no children

Education: Oxford

The karaoke-loving Work and Pensions Secretary is a fellow member of the 2010 parliamentary intake whose Suffolk Coastal constituency neighbours Miss Truss’s South West Norfolk seat, and they have long been allies. 

The new Prime Minister is expected to make her cigar-chomping friend Health Secretary, taking over from Steve Barclay who has made little impression during just a few weeks in the role. 

She will have to tackle the huge waiting lists that have built up since Covid struck as well as the long delays for ambulances that patients are having to endure.

Sher had previously been tipped to become the first female chief whip in Tory history but has since been linked with a more senior departmental role. 

She has managed to have a quietish tenure at the DWP, seen as something of a poisoned chalice in government.

A year ago she was slammed  for belting out Time of My Life at a boozy Conservative party Conference karaoke bash hours before cutting benefit payments to six million people. 

Coffey enthusiastically belted out the 1987 power ballad from the film Dirty Dancing in a duet with fellow Will Quince – a former welfare minister.

It came as a £20-per-week Covid uplift payment was removed from UC for families across the UK.

Ben Wallace –  Defence Secretary

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

Age: 52

Family: Married to Liza with three children

Education: Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

The Defence Secretary,a former soldier, is one of the few members of Boris Johnson’s final Cabinet expected to stay in their current role. 

He had been tipped to run for party leader after Mr Johnson resigned. But he said his focus was ‘my current job and keeping this great country safe’ and later publicly backed Ms Truss. 

She has pledged to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

The Defence Secretary described the Foreign Secretary as ‘authentic, honest and experienced’ with the ‘integrity’ for the top job, in the Sun.

He also told The Times Ms Truss was ‘a winner not because she’s a slick salesperson but because she is authentic.’

Mr Wallace hit out at the former Chancellor, questioning what would have happened if the markets crashed on the day he quit his role, according to The Sun. 

‘I don’t have the luxury as Defence Secretary of just walking out the door – I have roles in keeping this country safe,’ he told the paper.

‘And the guardian of the markets, you know, the guardian of our economy, is the chancellor.’

Jacob Rees-Mogg – Business Secretary

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Age: 53

Family: Six children with Helena

Education: Eton College 

The Brexit Opportunities Minister is set to be given a department after backing Liz Truss from the off. 

After some reports linking him with a rather interesting move to Levelling-Up, the old-fashioned Old Etonian is now being linked with a move to run Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Founder of the investment fund Somerset Holdings, his experience is expected to be put to use as the new Business Secretary. 

His focus in the Cabinet Office has been on making the most of Brexit and getting civil servants back into the office, but his new role will include increasing investment in local energy production and tackling soaring prices.

Last week he announced more than 250 training courses that have been distracting civil servants from work with ‘wokery’ will be axed in a new crackdown.

The Cabinet Office minister claims to have got rid of 60 per cent of ‘wellness, inclusion and diversity’ courses and has written to Tory colleagues in charge of departments urging them to do the same.

Mr Rees-Mogg has been clear that that ‘wokery’ in the Civil Service is wasting employees’ time when departments such as the Passport Office and DVLA face a backlog of work.

His bonfire of events and meetings include sessions called ‘Find Your Mojo’, ‘Give Me Strength’, ‘Buddy to Boss’, ‘Tricky People’, ‘Wood for the Trees’ and ‘De-biasing Decision-making’.

Mr Rees-Mogg has also taken a hammer to course he believes were ‘indoctrinating’ civil servants with ‘divisive ideological agendas’ having led a crusade to get taxpayer-funded staff back in the office.

Brandon Lewis –  Justice Secretary 

Like Miss Truss, he has been a Norfolk MP since 2010 – but he backed Nadhim Zahawi for the leadership at first

Like Miss Truss, he has been a Norfolk MP since 2010 – but he backed Nadhim Zahawi for the leadership at first 

Age: 51

Family: Married to Justine with two children

Education: University of Buckingham, King’s College London

Like Miss Truss, he has been a Norfolk MP since 2010 – but he backed Nadhim Zahawi for the leadership at first. 

Mr Lewis, Northern Ireland Secretary for two years, could get his biggest role to date as Justice Secretary. 

He would replace Dominic Raab, who is certain to return to the backbenches, and would have to handle the ongoing barristers’ strike.

He was at Northern Ireland throughout one of its trickiest periods, with the country’s political establishment at war over the way Brexit has affected it.

While he would leave without a solution having been achieved, he is seen as having done a good job in difficult circumstances.

Simon Clarke – Levelling-Up Secretary

Simon Clarke

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he had been expected to back Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the party leadership

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he had been expected to back Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the party leadership. But instead Mr Clarke quickly announced his support for Miss Truss and her plans to cut tax.

Age: 37

Family: Divorced, has a son with ex-wife Hannah

Education: Oxford

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he had been expected to back Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the party leadership. 

But instead Mr Clarke quickly announced his support for Miss Truss and her plans to cut tax. 

He had been linked with a Treasury promotion to Chancellor but appears to have lost out to Mr Kwarteng.  

An MP in the North East where he grew up, he is in line to become Levelling-Up Secretary and will have to deliver on the promises made to voters in the ‘red wall’ constituencies at the last election.

These areas will likely bear the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis so what he can do in this new role with have a key role in Tory electoral fortunes at the next election.

Tom Tugendhat – Security Minister

He was seen as the leading moderate One Nation Conservative candidate in the race for the party leadership before being knocked out.

He was seen as the leading moderate One Nation Conservative candidate in the race for the party leadership before being knocked out.

Age: 49

Family: Two children with wife Anissia

Education: St Paul’s, University of Bristol

Tom Tugendhat made a surprise move to back Liz Truss after he was eliminated from the leadership election in the group stage.

He was seen as the leading moderate One Nation Conservative candidate in the race for the party leadership before being knocked out. 

His endorsement boosted Ms Truss’s claim she can unite the Conservative Party.

Mr Tugendhat said he supported the frontrunner’s pledge to cut taxes, saying they were ‘founded on true Conservative principles’.

Writing in The Times, Mr Tugendhat argued it was ‘not right’ for the public to shoulder the highest tax burden in 70 years while people look to the winter with ‘dread’ amid rising costs.

A China and general foreign policy hawk, Iraq veteran Mr Tugendhat could be rewarded with his first ministerial post. 

He has been linked with Security Minister at the Home Office, or a similar level post at the Foreign Office.

OUT

Boris Johnson

The current PM seems set to spend some time in the political wilderness. Quite how much time remains to be seen.

The current PM seems set to spend some time in the political wilderness. Quite how much time remains to be seen.

The current PM seems set to spend some time in the political wilderness. Quite how much time remains to be seen.

Conservative MPs who are considering forcing a vote of no confidence in their next leader have been warned the move would be ‘suicidal’ by a fellow MP.

Allies of the outgoing Prime Minister have been working on plans to keep Boris Johnson in No 10, according to The Times.

The news follows Mr Johnson’s former chief of staff hinting yesterday at a shock comeback for the PM saying people should ‘never write him off’.

Mr Johnson’s supporters are rumoured to be plotting an immediate coup once the new Prime Minster has been chosen, eyeing up a no confidence vote before Christmas.

Jake Berry MP, who supported Mr Johnson in his election campaign, suggested that an attempt to return to office is ‘certainly suicidal’ and would destroy the party.

While one supporter reportedly said the party would soon realise they lost a ‘first-rate’ leader.

The outgoing leader is also said to be keen to make some money on the after-dinner speaking scene after struggling by on his £162,000 salary.

Rishi Sunak

The former Chancellor is widely expected to be defeated by Liz Truss when the results of the contest are finally announced tomorrow.

The former Chancellor is widely expected to be defeated by Liz Truss when the results of the contest are finally announced tomorrow.

Rishi Sunak last night dismissed rumours he will quit the Commons and head for California if he loses the Tory leadership battle.

The former Chancellor is widely expected to be defeated by Liz Truss when the results of the contest are finally announced tomorrow.

But he shrugged off speculation he could opt to return to the US – where he previously worked – insisting he wants to stay as MP for Richmond in Yorkshire.

Instead he stressed he would continue to ‘support the Conservative government’, even though there are signs Ms Truss will not offer him a job in her Cabinet. 

When BBC presenter Laura Kuenssberg pointed to clips of him praising California, Mr Sunak – reputed to be one of the richest MPs with a billionaire heiress wife – said: ‘I’m going to stay as a Member of Parliament.’

Revealing he was with activists in his constituency after the campaign formally ended on Friday, Mr Sunak said: ‘It’s been a great privilege to represent them as their Member of Parliament for Richmond in north Yorkshire, I’d love to keep doing that as long as they’ll have me.’

He added: ‘It’s presumptuous for me to say because I have to get selected by my own members. But I was with them on Friday night and it’s been a great privilege to represent them. And I know I can do good work for them.’

Asked if he would run in the leadership again if he does not win this time, Mr Sunak said: ‘Oh gosh. We’ve just finished this campaign. So, I’d say … I need to recover from this one. But I look forward to supporting the Conservative government in whatever capacity.’

Asked if that is a yes, he said: ‘No gosh, no no no, I think my job now is just to support a Conservative government. That’s what I want to see succeed and that’s what I’ll do.’

Michael Gove 

Michael Gove announced he was quitting frontline politics last month while formally endorsing Rishi Sunak to be the next prime minister

With one last dig at his old rival Boris Johnson, the former levelling up secretary said the ex-chancellor will ‘put the strength of the state at the service of the weakest’ and give millions of people the help they need to battle the cost-of-living crisis. 

In a piece for the Times, he also branded long-standing Boris ally Liz Truss‘s campaign as a ‘holiday from reality’, and said her proposed tax cuts will put ‘the stock options of FTSE 100 executives’ before the poorest. 

It comes after it was claimed that the former Levelling-up Secretary would be outcast to ‘political Siberia’ if Ms Truss wins the Conservative leadership battle, as punishment for his ‘plotting’ to get her knocked out of the race – a claim an ally of his branded an ‘absurd conspiracy’.  

Mr Johnson sacked Mr Gove from his cabinet role over the phone on July 6 for ‘treachery’, after he had privately urged the embattled PM to quit. 

It was the latest saga in their decades-long rivalry, which stretches right back to their university days at Oxford, where the slightly younger Gove was described as being in awe of the current Prime Minister and one of the key members of the ‘Boris cult’. 

But the relationship turned sour when he famously torpedoed Mr Johnson’s leadership bid in 2016 by withdrawing support for him at the 11th hour and running himself – reportedly having been ‘appalled’ by his rivals decision to play cricket and ‘throw a boozy garden party’ instead of working on delivering Brexit after Vote Leave won the referendum.

He now says he is acting from the heart by backing Sunak – branded a ‘snake’ and ‘back-stabber’ by fierce Boris allies – because he believes his career on the frontbench is over.

‘I do not expect to be in government again. But it was the privilege of my life to spend 11 years in the cabinet under three prime ministers,’ he wrote.

Last week he laughed off claims he could become a newspaper editor as he vowed to stay as an MP.

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab will be condemned to the political wilderness in punishment for his ‘vicious’ barbs against Liz Truss if she becomes the next Prime Minister, her allies have suggested.

They described the Rishi Sunak-backer’s attack on her plans to cut tax as ‘the saddest moment of the campaign’, as the pair were once close.

But the Deputy Prime Minister’s allies hit back yesterday, saying he had ‘seen it all before’ – and accusing her campaign of lacking charm.

The latest acrimony began after Mr Raab branded Ms Truss’s tax-cutting plans as ‘electoral suicide’. The Foreign Secretary dismissed his intervention as spreading ‘portents of doom’. 

Then, rebuffing claims that Mr Sunak had ‘stabbed Boris in the back’, the deputy PM said ‘Liz was doing lots of groundwork with her Fizz for Liz [dinners with MPs] for months.’

Up stepped her most outspoken ally, Nadine Dorries, who on Friday night retorted: ‘Liz may have had drinks with MPs – but she did not resign her job, walk away, furtively campaign with MPs for votes, register a website and was not campaign ready or part of a planned coup. Sunak was. You can’t rewrite the facts.’

In a further escalation, other supporters of Ms Truss went into battle, accusing Mr Raab of being ‘bitter’ over his removal from the Foreign Office following the bungled evacuation from Afghanistan.

Priti Patel 

The Home Secretary, who considered her own run for the top job, chose to stay neutral in the race in the hope that whoever succeeded Boris Johnson would keep her in post.

The Home Secretary, who considered her own run for the top job, chose to stay neutral in the race in the hope that whoever succeeded Boris Johnson would keep her in post.

Priti Patel faces the Cabinet axe after failing to back Liz Truss for the Tory leadership.

The Home Secretary, who considered her own run for the top job, chose to stay neutral in the race in the hope that whoever succeeded Boris Johnson would keep her in post.

But she looked set to be replaced by Suella Braverman after several years of failure to deal with migrants crossing the Channel from France. 

Ms Patel has told friends she is not interested in taking another job and is expected to return to the backbenches if she is offered a demotion.

When Mr Johnson quit, she was persuaded to stay out of the leadership race to avoid splitting votes on the Tory Right.



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