Former UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced his support for Liz Truss to be the next Conservative Party leader and the next prime minister.
The Bromsgrove MP, whose resignation triggered the collapse of Boris Johnson’s government, made the announcement through an article in The Times, published Wednesday, August 3.
Risk Free First Bet
Bet $5 Win $200
Javid himself was one of the leadership candidates. With his endorsement, Truss now has five former leadership candidates supporting her. Meanwhile, only two former leadership candidates have come out in support of her rival, Rishi Sunak.
Javid also criticized Sunak’s cautious tax plans. The 52-year-old politician said Sunak’s plan was liable to drive the nation into becoming a “high-tax, low-growth” economy.
“Some claim that tax cuts can only come once we have growth. I believe the exact opposite — tax cuts are a prerequisite for growth,” Javid wrote in his article.
“We must reject that. As a nation, we are sleepwalking into a big-state, high-tax, low-growth, social democratic style model which risks us becoming a middle-income economy by the 2030s with the loss of global influence and power.”
Javid’s endorsement came as a blow to Sunak, who is Javid’s former mentee. It was their resignations within minutes of each other that finally toppled Johnson’s reign. However, their relationship has reportedly become strained. Javid’s article seems to support the rumors.
State of the race
Since the Conservative is the current governing party, its new leader would automatically become the new prime minister as well.
Truss, who is currently serving as the Foreign Secretary, is leading the leadership race. Two recent surveys placed her ahead of Sunak, the former Chancellor.
A poll by the British data analytics firm YouGov shows Truss leading with 34 percentage points over Sunak. More than 60 percent of respondents said they would vote for the 47-year-old Foreign Secretary. In contrast, only 26 percent said they would vote for Sunak. All respondents are members of the Party.
Similarly, the ConservativeHome website’s survey put her 32 percentage points ahead, with 58 percent of the website’s members backing her. Sunak, meanwhile, only had 26 percent supporters.
Despite being the frontrunner, Truss said she was not taking anything for granted.
Truss’ campaign hit its first major roadblock when she proposed a cost-of-living (COL) adjustment for public sector workers. The proposal intended for workers in low COL areas to be paid a lower wage than those living in high COL areas.
The proposal was met with fierce backlash even among her Conservative peers and supporters. Truss has since abandoned the idea.
The most pressing issue is the economy, with the COL crisis being the top concern. Truss has promised sweeping tax cuts to offset the crisis. Sunak, in contrast, is more cautious, promising tax cuts only after the country has “gripped inflation”.
The 42-year-old Sunak has received criticisms for his proposal, the most recent of which is Javid’s rebuke and warning that it might result in the UK’s losing its worldwide power and influence.
The election process
Conservative Party members will send in their votes by mail. The election will close at 12 p.m. on September 2. The winner will be announced on September 5.
More than 160,000 members are thought to be eligible to vote. According to research, members tend to be more white, middle class, and older than the rest of the population. If elected, Truss will be the UK’s third female prime minister. If he manages a surprise win, Sunak will be the country’s first prime minister of Asian (Punjabi Hindu) descent.