Rishi Sunak is asked what he ordered at McDonald’s
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The former Chancellor backed ‘Leave’ ahead of the 2016 vote and has claimed to take advantage of the country’s withdrawal from the EU while in Cabinet. Liz Truss, on the other hand, is a former Liberal Democrat who backed ‘Remain’ at the time of the referendum and has only since publicly described Brexit as a good thing.
But the largely pro-Leave Tory party is, however, looking set to hand the Foreign Secretary the keys to Number 10.
Harry Lambert, Senior Politics Correspondent for the New Statesman, suggests this is largely a result of the fact Mr Sunak is failing to cater to the views of the party membership.
On Brexit, he wrote: “Sunak… backed Brexit in 2016, while Truss did not.
“Yet it is Truss who is considered the true believer in the cause, and Sunak who Tory members feel represents the establishment that they, through Brexit, wished to take on, if not take out.”
Mr Lambert added: “If Sunak has a cause, it is the pursuit of ‘sound money’, and he has, like a good Treasury civil servant, sought to attack Truss’s economic credibility.
“Indeed, Sunak is beloved by his officials, but that wins him no credit with the Tory membership, who have long had enough of experts.
“Sunak’s realism does not fit their post-referendum narrative, their guiding myth: that Brexit will deliver, if only they could find the right crusader to lead the march.”
In a post on Twitter, the journalist described this outlook as belonging to “Brexit la-la land”.
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Labour Councillor Pat Karney added his party would have to find a new way to respond to Ms Truss’s politics.
He wrote: “Truss is the quiet English populist that connects in easily with [Tory voters] and the Labour Party will have to figure out how to handle Truss politics.”
Mr Sunak’s credentials – particularly on Brexit – were put under further questioning soon after the leadership election was announced, after he insisted illegal immigration was the “second emergency” his Government would tackle.
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He said he would do this by ensuing that those who arrive illegally do not stay here, and by “[making] the Rwanda policy work”.
Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib responded: “Deporting people once they’re in the UK is not taking control of our borders.
“The control of our borders must take place at the border. In this case at entry into our territorial waters.
“It’s simple but it requires political will.”
It appears Tory voters believe Ms Truss holds this will, but not Mr Sunak.
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