Elizabeth Truss is Norfolk South West

Truss pledges tax cuts as she launches leadership campaign

Liz Truss has launched her campaign to be the new leader of the Conservative party by promising tax cuts from “day one”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she pledged to reverse the recent rise in National Insurance Contributions and to cut corporation tax.

The move puts clear blue water between her and frontrunner Rishi Sunak, who launched his own campaign by warning against “comforting fairytales”.

Sunak is already facing a concerted campaign to prevent him winning the race, with the emergence of a ‘dirty dossier’ circulating on WhatsApp and a video of a younger Sunak declaring he doesn’t have any working class friends. 

The field of candidates extends to 11 with declarations from Sajid Javid and Penny Mordaunt over the weekend along with foreign office minister Rehman Chishti, while defence secretary Ben Wallace has ruled himself out.

In her article for the Telegraph, Truss said it wasn’t “right to be putting taxes up now.”

“I would reverse the National Insurance increase that came in during April, make sure we keep corporation tax competitive so we can attract business and investment into Britain, and put the Covid debt on a longer-term footing.”

She also pledged to bring down the size of the state and the tax burden, in a move that could cement her position as the favoured candidate of the right of the party.

In what could be interpreted as a rebuke to the Johnson government, she wrote: “I will fight the election as a Conservative and govern as a Conservative.”

Sajid Javid declared his candidacy by poking fun at Rishi Sunak’s slickly produced campaign video, re-publishing his video from his previous leadership campaign and quipping: “I don’t have a fancy new video. So here’s one I made earlier.”

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt drew on the maritime links of her constituency as she announced her candidacy, saying: “Our leadership has to change. It needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship.” 

Attempts to undermine the favourite, Sunak, have already begun with a dossier circulating on WhatsApp highlighting, among other things, how he increased corporation tax and wrote off £4.9 billion in covid loan fraud.

A video also emerged of Sunak talking to a BBC documentary in 2001, in which he says: “I have friends who are aristocrats, I have friends who are upper class, I have friends who are you know working-class but- well not working-class.”