Liz Truss 'performed best' at leadership debate according to Tory members poll

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are battling it out to become the next Tory Party leader

Published Last updated

Liz Truss "performed best" during last night's leadership debate, according to a YouGov poll of 507 Tory Party members.

Ms Truss faced off against Rishi Sunak as the pair battle it out to become the next Conservative Party leader.

The poll asked Tory members: "Leaving aside your own preference for leader, who do you think performed best overall in tonight’s debate?"

A total of 50 percent of replies voted for Ms Truss, while 39 percent opted for Mr Sunak. 10 percent voted "don't know".

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss faced off last night
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss faced off last night

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak hit out at each other’s economic plans as the blue-on-blue attacks continued during the pair's first head-to-head TV showdown.

Former chancellor Mr Sunak claimed there is “nothing Conservative” about Ms Truss’s approach and it would give the party “absolutely no chance” of winning the next election.

Foreign Secretary Ms Truss in turn suggested her rival would lead the country into a recession.

Ms Truss said she would put an economic growth plan in place “immediately” if she becomes prime minister, along with imposing a temporary moratorium on the green energy levy.

The increase in national insurance would also be reversed, Ms Truss said.

Mr Sunak said he would like to make sure that his government “always” has policies in place to support through the cost-of-living crisis.

Ms Truss said her plans would see the Government start paying down the debt in three years’ time, with Mr Sunak countering: “You’ve promised over £40 billion of unfunded tax cuts – £40 billion more borrowing.

“That is the country’s credit card and it’s our children and grandchildren, everyone here’s kids will pick up the tab for that.

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are the final two candidates remaining the Tory leadership running
Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are the final two candidates remaining the Tory leadership running

“There’s nothing Conservative about it.”

Ms Truss later said in the BBC debate: “No other country is putting up taxes at this moment, the OECD has described Rishi’s policies as contractionary.

“What does contractionary mean?

“It means it will lead to a recession.

“We know what happens when there’s a recession.

“I grew up in Paisley and Leeds in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I know what it’s like when people have to struggle when you have high unemployment and people don’t have work to go to.

“We cannot allow that to happen.”

Mr Sunak spoke over Ms Truss and warned inflation was a problem in the 1980s and it is a “problem we have now”, adding: “We need to get a grip on inflation.

“If we don’t do that now, it’s going to cost all of you and everybody watching at home far more in the long run.

“Liz, your plans, your own economic adviser has said that will lead to mortgage interest rates going up to seven percent, can you imagine what that’s going to do for everyone here and everyone watching, that’s thousands of pounds on their mortgage bill?

“It’s going to tip millions of people into misery and it’s going to mean we have absolutely no chance of winning the next election either.”

Ms Truss highlighted Mr Sunak wants to raise corporation tax this autumn at a time of a “global economic crisis”.

She later said: “This Chancellor has raised taxes to the highest rate in 70 years and we’re now predicted a recession.

“The truth is in the figures.”