Conservative leadership race: Rishi Sunak spotted on stage with a hole in his expensive shoe
Rishi Sunak insists he would rather lose the Tory leadership race than win on a false promise… as photos reveal he donned a well-worn pair of shoes for the latest hustings
- Rishi Sunak trails Liz Truss in polls to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister
- He told Tory members he wanted to restore ‘integrity and honesty’ to No 10
- He said his rival’s tax cut plan would not help Britons with the cost of living
- Mr Sunak said inflation had to come down before tax rates could be safely cut
Rishi Sunak said he would rather lose the race to become prime minister while sticking to his values than “win on a false promise”.
In a thinly veiled swipe at opponent Liz Truss, the former Chancellor said he didn’t ‘say the easy stuff’ and instead fought for what he ‘passionately believed’ to be the best for the UK.
Mr Sunak has trailed the Foreign Secretary in the polls in recent weeks.
But in an appeal to Tory members, he said he wanted to restore ‘integrity and honesty’ to the heart of No 10, while suggesting Miss Truss’ tax cut scheme will not help Britons struggling with the cost of living crisis.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Rishi Sunak, pictured at an event in Darlington, was more dressed up than ever
Although photographers discovered the millionaire former chancellor was wearing a pair of shoes with a sizable hole in the sole
“There’s been a breakdown in trust because of the issues of the past few months and part of the reason I’m sitting here is because I want to restore trust in politics,” he told Nick Robinson from the BBC.
‘As you can see in this leadership race, I did it – I didn’t say the easy things, and in fact I’m willing to lose this race if it means I’ve been loyal to my values and I fight for the things that I think are good for this country. I’d rather lose on these terms than win by promising false things that I can’t deliver.
“I knew what I was doing when I got into this and I was going to tell people what I think they needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear.”
“I would rather lose after fighting for the things I passionately believe are good for our country and be true to my values than win on a false promise.”
Mr Sunak was far less hawkish than his opponent on cutting taxes to ease the pressure on the cost of living, saying inflation must come down first. He suggested that Miss Truss’ economic policies were not the ‘moral thing to do’ and ‘largely benefited very big business’.
Mr Sunak suggested his own “honest” rhetoric throughout the campaign was backed up by his record as chancellor, including his resignation from Boris Johnson’s government. Mr Sunak said his move to No 11, particularly during the pandemic, means he is the best candidate to deal with Britain’s economic woes immediately – particularly in relation to ‘starry-eyed boosterism’ ” promised by Miss Truss.
He added: “What we need is someone who actually understands what’s going on, who has a clear idea of how to run our economy through what’s going to be a tough time.” However, Mr Sunak has been accused by fellow Tory MPs of ‘childish’, ‘rude’ and ‘pathetic’ behavior following an online stunt attacking Miss Truss. His team created a fake website mocking his rival’s economic policies, called Not In Your Interest.
But Southend West MP Anna Firth said: ‘It’s below you Rishi Sunak…Remember we Tories have to come together after this.’
Home Secretary Kevin Foster said: ‘This kind of negative attack just shows desperation and is beneath anyone who aspires to lead our great party.
Backbench Marcus Fysh said: “It’s just childish misrepresentation and scaremongering.” If his campaign behavior is going to be so pathetic, Rishi should just end it and get behind the next prime minister.
A source close to the Truss campaign said the website’s stunt “reeks of desperation”.