Liz Truss phone hacked by suspected Russian agents
The hacking was discovered during the Tory leadership campaign that led to Liz Truss becoming the Prime Minister | File photo

Truss on ‘holiday from reality’, says senior UK lawmaker as he backs Sunak for next PM

Senior UK Conservative lawmaker Michael Gove on Saturday accused party leadership contender Liz Truss of taking a “holiday from reality” with her plans to cut taxes amid a cost-of-living crisis. As the contest for the next prime minister heats up, Dove. who has held a number of cabinet roles, endorsed Rishi Sunak for the top job.

Foreign secretary Truss is the overwhelming favourite in polls to beat ex-finance minister Sunak and replace outgoing leader Boris Johnson when the result is announced on September 5.

Also read: UK: Liz Truss widens her lead over Rishi Sunak

The victor would take charge at a time when Britain is experiencing decades-high inflation and the prospect of a recession later this year.

Truss’ vows tax cuts

Truss has vowed immediate tax cuts rather than direct financial handouts to help people struggling to pay their surging bills, drawing stinging criticism from Sunak, his allies and others.

“I am deeply concerned that the framing of the leadership debate by many has been a holiday from reality,” Gove said in an article in Saturday’s The Times newspaper. “The answer to the cost-of-living crisis cannot be simply to reject further ‘handouts’ and cut tax.”

He added that Truss’ plans to reverse a recent rise in national insurance taxes earmarked for the health and social care sector “would favour the wealthy” while slashing corporation tax would help “big businesses, not small entrepreneurs”.

Backing Sunak

The 54-year-old, who previously supported right-wing MP Kemi Badenoch in the leadership race before it narrowed to a final pair, said he now backed Sunak. “I know what the job requires. And Rishi has it,” he added.

Gove, who until July led the government’s department for levelling up, housing and communities, and has previously led the education and justice ministries, indicated he would likely not take on another role.

Also read: Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss: Who’s more authentic, emotional and analytical?

“I do not expect to be in government again. But it was the privilege of my life to spend 11 years in the cabinet under three prime ministers,” he added.

(With Agency inputs)

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