Liz Truss has launched her bid to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister – the 10th to do so – with a promise to cut taxes.
The foreign secretary announced her decision to run in the Tory leadership to replace Boris Johnson in an article in The Telegraph.
She wrote: “I will fight the election as a Conservative and govern as a Conservative.”
The senior Cabinet minister, who is widely expected to be a front-runner in the race to become the next PM, said she would reverse a controversial national insurance hike that had been brought in by her leadership rival, former chancellor Rishi Sunak.
She promised to “start cutting taxes from day one” to help with the cost of living crisis that has seen record prices for energy, food, and fuel, amid inflation soaring to 9.1 per cent – its highest rate in 40 years.
In addition to Ms Truss and Mr Sunak, the other Tory MPs that have announced their intention to run are former health secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, transport secretary Grant Shapps, trade minister Penny Mordaunt, former minister Kemi Badenoch and senior backbencher Tom Tugendhat.
Ms Truss‘s pledge to scrap the national insurance rise, which came into effect in April, mirrors that of Mr Javid.
The levy was introduced by Mr Sunak under Mr Johnson’s government to raise funds for the NHS and social care after the Covid pandemic.
But the rise has proved controversial, especially at a time when many households are struggling to make ends meet.
In her newspaper article, Ms Truss argued that “it isn’t right to be putting up taxes now” and, that as prime minister, she would take “immediate action” to assist with living costs.
In hinting that she would consider making changes to Mr Sunak’s plans to hike corporation tax in April 2023, she said she would “keep [the] tax competitive”.
The foreign secretary said she would “get the private sector growing faster than the public sector, with a long-term plan to bring down the size of the state and the tax burden”.
She wrote: “Under my leadership, I would start cutting taxes from day one to take immediate action to help people deal with the cost of living.
“I would reverse the national insurance increase that came in during April, make sure we keep corporation tax competitive so we can attract business and investment into Britain, and put the Covid debt on a longer-term footing.”
Ms Truss said her plan would get the country back on track toward becoming a “high-growth and high-productivity powerhouse”.
“It is built on a clear and longstanding Conservative philosophy, including bold supply-side reform,” she added.
The MP for South West Norfolk said she would bring “clear and decisive leadership” to Downing Street, adding: “Colleagues know I mean what I say and only make promises I can keep. I can be trusted to deliver.”
Ms Truss said the Tories can win the next election, but acknowledged it will be “an uphill battle”, in what could be a reference to a number of scandals – such as Partygate – under Mr Johnson’s government.
Earlier on Sunday, Ms Mordaunt revealed that she will compete to become PM and said – in an apparent jibe toward Mr Johnson – that the UK’s leadership “needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship”.