Nigel Farage says Truss ‘hasn’t made a great impact’
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Nigel Farage has reluctantly backed Liz Truss in the head-to-head battle between the Foreign Secretary and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak to become Britain’s next Prime Minister. The former Brexit Party leader warned Ms Truss has not made “a great impact” in the course of the Conservative leadership campaign and expressed concern over the lack of vision that he believes is holding back Britain’s main political parties.
Mr Farage told GB News: “If I was a conservative member, which I haven’t been for a very long time. I would vote for [Liz Truss] not Rishi.
“But I wouldn’t do so in full confidence that she can really grip this issue and a point that was made to me at lunch by a veteran journalist, she has been in the cabinet for 12 years, and she’s still virtually unknown to the great British public so she hasn’t made a great impact.”
He added the country is facing a “very rocky 18 months” and said: “I think what people are looking for from both parties is a vision for where we going, not just crisis management.
“We will give you this money or that money. But there’s no vision and the cost of living in particular energy I think will be the dominant issue from September through Christmas of this year.
“Nowhere do I hear we’re going to become self-sufficient in energy, the government’s going to invest in energy production.
“We’re gonna give you the cheapest energy prices and not the most expensive in Europe.
“Nowhere do I hear this vision and they’ve got that against the net zero vision that Boris Johnson introduced both candidates want to stick to, and if they could, if they could solve the energy problem in the eyes of the public.
“Make us think that, unlike Germany, we’re not going to get rationing of hot water which is happening in Germany, there’s already if one or other policy can make us believe that and give us the vision. They will be miles ahead in the polls and at the moment the Tories can’t do it and Keir Starmer can’t do it.”
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Both Conservative candidates came to picturesque Ludlow on Wednesday, drawing about 350 Conservative members at the racecourse pavilion, in the shadow of Clee Hill.
The county of Shropshire is representative of the typical Tory shire whose members both candidates must woo if they are to win the leadership ballot.
The Tories held every constituency in the county until the loss of North Shropshire – a seat they had held since 1904 – to the Liberal Democrats in a 2021 by-election.
Mr Sunak spoke first, joking that people often said to him: “Wow, you’re even shorter in real life.”
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In a speech and Q&A taking in broad topics, he pledged to cut taxes, boost growth and help families hit by the cost of living.
Introducing Mr Sunak – and later Ms Truss – Ludlow MP Philip Dunne revealed an unofficial poll he had carried out on the race for Number 10 had 34% backing Mr Sunak, 33% supporting Ms Truss and 33% undecided.
Ms Truss promised to hike defence spending, boost pupils’ school attainment, “slim down” quangos and “challenge Treasury orthodoxy” with more investment outside big cities.
Describing herself as a “straight-talking Yorkshire woman”, she also said “I know a woman is a woman”, raising a chuckle from her audience.
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