Rishi Sunak has labelled himself as the “underdog” in the Tory leadership race, hitting out at the “forces that be” backing rival Liz Truss.
“The forces that be want this to be a coronation for the other candidate,” the former Chancellor said during a speech in Grantham.
“But I think members want a choice and they are prepared to listen.”
Pressed by journalists, he refused to name any names.
The leadership hopeful chose the Lincolnshire town, birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, to kick start his campaign.
Sunak took a jab at Truss’s Brexit credentials, saying the country needed someone “who actually understands Brexit, believes in Brexit and voted for Brexit.”
A former Remainer turned Brexiteer, Truss has recently proposed to scrap EU regulations that hinder Britain’s investments or fail to support growth by 2023, City A.M. reported.
Sunak raised doubts over his rival’s economic proposals, which include scrapping tax to help inflation go down.
“Rising inflation is the enemy that makes everyone poorer and puts at risk your homes and your savings,” he added. “And we have to tell the truth about tax.
“I’ve already made real progress as chancellor, but I will not put money back in your pocket knowing that rising inflation will only whip it straight back out.”
Truss, on the other hand, defended her economic policy in an interview with the Telegraph.
Calling herself “insurgent,” she said she envisions the UK as a “high growth, high productivity, powerhouse”.
Truss added that she will look at the Bank of England’s mandate, making sure it has “a tight enough focus” on money and inflation.
“What I want to do is look at best practice from central banks around the world, look at their mandates, and make sure we have a tight enough focus on the money supply and on inflation,” she told the outlet.