Truss or Sunak? UK set to get new PM today

LONDON: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss on Sunday renewed their pledge to tackle UK’s worsening energy crisis that has resulted in soaring energy bills for households as a priority as the countdown to the new British Prime Minister taking charge at 10 Downing Street edges towards its conclusion.
While the Indian-origin former finance minister reiterated his approach of offering targeted support to people on lower incomes, the foreign secretary refrained from spelling her plans out to only say that she will “act immediately” if elected Conservative Party leader and PM on Monday.
The issue of a cost-of-living crisis caused by spiralling energy costs in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has dominated the race to replace Boris Johnson. “I think this is the most pressing issue facing the country and that’s why I set out a clear plan of how we would go about addressing it,” Sunak, 42, said during his final pre-election BBC interview.
“I will provide direct financial support; I announced some of that as chancellor and I would go further as Prime Minister as the situation has deteriorated,” he said.
Truss, 47, told the BBC that action on energy bills would be “vital” for people and the economy. She said further support would need to go “hand in hand” with a plan to boost domestic energy supplies, adding the UK had become dependent on international energy prices.
The winner of the gruelling race will have to deal with the urgent problem of skyrocketing cost of energy, which could lead to business closures and force millions of people to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes this winter, media reports said. Truss has promised to deliver around 30 billion in tax cuts in an emergency budget later this month if she wins, including a reversal of April’s rise to National Insurance.
Earlier, the former finance minister signed off with the words “See you Monday” as voting came to an official close on Friday evening.
Most surveys of Conservative Party members with a vote in the leadership race have concluded that it will be 47-year-old Truss who will go on to become the UK’s third female PM, after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
The online and postal ballots cast by an estimated 160,000 Tory members are being tallied by the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, with the winner announced on Monday at 12:30pm local time. The two finalists will find out who between them has clinched the top job at 10 Downing Street around 10 minutes before the public announcement.
The newly elected Tory leader will make a brief acceptance speech soon after at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London. The rest of Monday will involve the winning candidate putting final touches to his or her cabinet posts.
On Tuesday, outgoing PM Boris Johnson will give a farewell speech for one last time before he is flown out to Aberdeenshire in Scotland for his audience with the Queen to formally resign as the head of government.

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