Two candidates vying for Britain’s next prime minister will face off in a televised debate on Monday as both tried to woo the Conservative Party’s right-wing base by backing a controversial plan to deport some asylum seekers in Rwanda .
Foreign Secretary liz truss and former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak The infamous Boris Johnson is struggling to succeed him as head of Britain’s governing party. He was chosen by Conservative lawmakers from a preliminary field of 11 candidates as the finalists to replace Johnson, who left as party leader on July 7, following months of morality scandals in his government. There was a mass exodus of ministers from
The winner will automatically become the prime minister ruling a country of 67 million _ but will be chosen by approximately 180,000 Conservative Party members. They will vote in the summer with the result declared on September 5. Johnson will remain the caretaker prime minister until his successor is elected.
Truss, 46, and Sunak, 42, have wooed the Conservatives by doubling down on policies thought to appeal to Tory grassroots. Both are backing a controversial deal by the Johnson government with Rwanda agreeing to send some migrants in small boats to Britain on a one-way trip to the East African nation. Deportees will be allowed to apply for asylum in Rwanda, not the UK
The government says the policy will prevent people-smugglers from sending migrants on dangerous journeys across the channel. Political opponents, human rights organizations and even some conservative lawmakers say it is immoral, illegal and a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The first scheduled deportation flight was frozen last month following legal rulings, and the entire policy is now being challenged in British courts.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK
On Sunday, Sunak said “no option should be off the table” despite questions over the policy’s legality and ethics. Truss said it was “determined” to look at the Rwanda plan and raised the possibility of expanding it to additional countries.
Truss also said it would expand the size of the UK Border Force, while Sunak suggested accommodation for asylum seekers on cruise ships.
Tougher policies such as the Rwanda plan are less popular with voters than the Conservatives, but British voters will not have a chance to have their say on the government until the next national election, at the end of 2024.
Truss and Sunak have already clashed over economic policy, with Truss pledging immediate tax cuts and Sunak _ who has shepherded Britain’s economy through the coronavirus pandemic _ saying they should reduce inflation before taxes. will get under control. He says it would be “immoral” to borrow more to cut taxes.
The leadership election is taking place during a crisis of value-of-life driven by rising food and energy prices, partly due to the war in Ukraine. While many countries are experiencing economic turmoil, in the UK this is compounded by the country’s departure from the European Union, which has complicated travel and business ties with the UK’s largest trading partner.
Sunak and Truss are both strong supporters of Brexit, which was the signature policy of the Johnson government.
But the two have disputed topics such as policy towards China, with Truss allies accusing Sunak of changing his stance on relations with Beijing. Sunak says China represents “the biggest long-term threat to Britain” and says it will close 30 Confucian institutions in Britain if elected. Funded by the Chinese government, the institute teaches Chinese language and culture, but has been accused of spreading pro-Beijing propaganda.
Former Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith, a longtime critic of China’s support for the truce, said Sunak’s Treasury had previously “worked hard for an economic deal with China.”
“Where have you been in the last two years?” They said.
Oddsmakers say Truss is the strong favorite to win the lead. She outperforms Sunak in elections for Conservative members _ although Sunak has an edge among voters.
Sunak also faces hostility from Johnson’s aides, who consider him a turncoat for leaving the government earlier this month, a move that helped bring down the prime minister. Truss chose to remain in the caretaker government.
Many conservatives worry that bitter internal fighting is only benefiting the opposition Labor Party. Former party president Amanda Milling said the contest was “more toxic than anything I’ve ever seen.”
Writing on Twitter, he urged both candidates to sign a “Clean Campaign Charter”, saying that without it “permanent damage to our party could throw us out of power for a decade.”
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