Rishi Sunak has launched a stunning attack on Liz Truss today, with his campaign team labelling the Tory leadership frontrunner as “divorced from reality”.
A Sunak campaign spokesperson said Truss has refused “five times” to say if she will promise to hand out emergency payments to combat spiralling energy bills and that her plan to cut taxes “will not touch the sides for the majority of British families”.
“Under her plans Liz will get £1800 of support whilst hard working families will get as little as £60, while facing the same rises in bills,” they said.
“It seems she is divorced from reality, something that even her own supporters including Sajid Javid agree with.”
Javid today told The i newspaper that “more needs to be done” to help struggling families as new estimates from Cornwall Insight today predict the energy price cap will hit £4,200 by January – more than double what it was at the start of this year.
Truss said over the weekend that she preferred autumn tax cuts over “handouts” to help ease spiralling energy costs, while Sunak has said he would provide direct payments to households.
Sunak gave out between £400 and £1,200 to every Brit earlier this year to help them deal with spiralling energy costs as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Truss is planning to bring forward a cut to National Insurance in an emergency Budget next month if she is made Prime Minister.
Critics of Truss’ plan have pointed out that millions of low-wage workers and pensioners will not receive any benefit from the planned cut to National Insurance as they do not pay it.
Justice secretary and Sunak supporter Dominic Raab launched a scathing attacks on Truss in The Times today, saying that her economic plans are akin to “economic suicide” for the Tories.
Truss hit back today and told journalists that “what I care about is Britain being successful”.
“I don’t agree with these portents of doom. I don’t agree with this declinist talk,” she said.
The leadership race has been particularly bruising for the Conservative party since it began last month, with contenders tearing into each other and the government’s record.
Sunak at the beginning of the campaign said he would not attack other candidates, however it appears his stance has changed now that he trails Truss by 30+ points in recent polling of Conservative members.
Defence secretary and Truss supporter Ben Wallace today said: “I’d say a gentle warning to Rishi’s camp that blue-on-blue is not going to help the Conservative party win the next election… I think those type of attacks are unnecessary and, actually, I think say more about that team than it does about Liz Truss.”