Home Somerset business Conservative leadership candidates: what are their policies, beliefs and ideas?

Conservative leadership candidates: what are their policies, beliefs and ideas?


Ten Tories have put themselves forward to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

Each explained how they would like to lead the country.

Here’s what each candidate has said so far.

– Rishi Sunak

Mr Sunak had resisted pressure from No 10 to cut taxes, arguing it would simply fuel higher prices.

In his campaign video, he said the government could not afford to lull voters into the difficulties ahead with “heartwarming fairy tales”.

Rishi Sunak spoke about the difficulties ahead (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said: “Do we face this moment with honesty, seriousness and determination, or do we tell ourselves heartwarming fairy tales that might make us feel better now but will make our children worse off tomorrow?”

He continued, “Someone has to seize this moment and make the right decisions. That’s why I’m running to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister.

On social issues, Mr Sunak told the Mail On Sunday he would reverse ‘recent trends aimed at erasing women through the use of awkward and gender-neutral language’ and said ‘we need to be able to call a mother a mother and talk about breastfeeding”.

-Liz Truss

The foreign secretary has pledged to start cutting taxes ‘from day one’ to tackle the cost of living crisis if she becomes prime minister.

Ms Truss is also aiming to reverse the National Insurance increase that took place in April and ensure corporation tax is “competitive”.

Liz Truss has pledged to cut taxes immediately (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

She said she had a long-term plan to “reduce the size of the state and the tax burden.”

Speaking about the economy, Ms Truss said she aimed to ensure that ‘spikes go into the ground, people have jobs and more money goes to local areas’.

Ms Truss also pledged to “take the necessary vital steps” to protect the Good Friday Agreement and “address the serious problems the protocol is causing”.

She also pledged to “exploit the vast opportunities” that Brexit presents.

– Jeremy Hunt

Mr Johnson’s 2019 runner-up pledged to cut corporation tax to 15%.

Sunday morning
Jeremy Hunt wants to cut corporation tax (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He announced his intention to cut the tax to 15 pence in his first autumn budget.

Mr Hunt also intends to scrap business rates for five years for the most needy communities, he told the Sunday Telegraph.

Scotland and Northern Ireland would receive money to match the policy.

Mr Hunt also spoke of embracing ‘Brexit freedoms’, promising to support the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

Regarding Rwanda’s migration policy, he expressed his intention to expand the program by finding other countries to deport people to.

On HS2 he said he would “continue”.

– Sajid Javid

The veteran former minister also said he would reduce the corporate tax rate to 15%.

Sunday morning
Sajid Javid has also pledged to cut taxes (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He also plans to scrap the government’s National Insurance hike, bring forward the planned income tax cut by 1p to next year, and introduce a new ‘significant’ temporary cut on fuel taxes.

Mr Javid said his tax cut plans would cost around £39billion a year, but that did not include cutting fuel taxes further in the short term.

He doesn’t “believe in unfunded tax cuts” and has a long-term view of reform.

The former health secretary said he believed in the current fiscal situation that the country could afford to ditch the National Insurance hike while funding the promised boost for the NHS and social care.

Mr Javid has also planned a new support package worth up to £5billion to help pay energy bills.

He said the UK should consider tearing up old EU laws “to make us a more business-friendly, wealth-creating and entrepreneurial economy”.

He also said that as Tory leader he would stick to the pledge to reach net zero by 2050 and not scrap the BBC licensing fee.

Mr Javid agrees with the controversial migrant policy in Rwanda.

And he said he would not rule out another Scottish independence referendum ‘forever’, but would not have one for ‘at least a decade’.

–Grant Shapps

Mr Shapps said tackling the cost of living crisis and strengthening the economy to become the biggest in Europe were high on his agenda.

Resignation of Boris Johnson
Grant Shapps says tackling the cost of living crisis is important (James Manning/PA)

He pleads for lower taxes and a reduction in “bureaucracy”.

The Transport Secretary has said he will bring the 1p income tax cut forward to ‘now’.

He said he also wanted to ‘freeze’ the proposed corporate tax increase, adding: ‘It’s a tax that won’t increase’.

The Transport Secretary, who backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, said he would end ‘tactical government by an often distracted centre’.

– Penny Mordaunt

The pro-Brexit trade minister said on her campaign website that the Conservative Party was elected to “deliver a manifesto”.

Economic pacts
Penny Mordaunt supported Brexit in 2016 (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ms Mordaunt played a leading role in the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum and is said to have previously enjoyed support from Dame Andrea Leadsom, among others.

Tory MP Michael Fabricator described her as “socially liberal”.

Its policies were not stated on its website.

– Nadhim Zahawi

The newly appointed Chancellor presented three key commitments.

Local Government Association Annual Conference
Nadhim Zahawi presented three pledges (Danny Lawson/PA)

He promised to cut taxes for individuals, families and businesses, arguing that the current burden is “too high”.

He said he was aware that security, safety and freedom are “things we can never take for granted”, and argued that defense spending “must increase”.

In addition, he said he would continue the reforms he started in his former post as Education Secretary, to “give every child a great education”.

“I will also continue to focus on letting children be children, protecting them from harmful and inappropriate nonsense forced upon them by radical activists,” he added.

On the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Zahawi has spoken in the past of keeping all options “on the table”, pledging to work with Sinn Fein and the European Commission.

As a Brexit voter, he said Britain’s departure from the EU made it a “free nation”.

– Tom Tugendhat

On policy, Mr Tugendhat said he would reverse the National Insurance hike.

Sunday morning
Tom Tugendhat is an underdog in the race (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

But when asked if he would consider cutting corporation tax as prime minister, he told Sophy Ridge his opponents’ plans were ‘not realistic unless you have a plan economic over 10 years.

He added, “You can’t just look at each of these taxes as a single tax, you have to look at it as part of a whole. The reality is that this economy not only needs lower taxes for growth, but it also needs solid money, and that’s why we need to provide both.

Mr Tugendhat stressed he was a “clean start” candidate.

The Remainer in 2016 said the presence of Brexit Party and Leave figures on its team was reassuring to Brexiteers.

He said: “What I want to do is get a good start on these six-year fights we’ve had. I want to get off to a good start for our country, I want to get a good start on all these old debates and move on, because the reality is that we can look to the past if you want to, but the future of this country is unbelievable .”

He has declared his intention to introduce the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

He said he hoped that with Mr Johnson out of No 10 the ‘mood music’ of Britain’s relationship with the EU could change, and ‘we could legally negotiate appropriate changes to the protocol”.

–Suella Braverman

Ms Braverman, writing in the Daily Express, promised ‘swift and deep tax cuts’ to dampen inflation.

Cabinet meeting
Suella Braverman joined other suitors in promising tax cuts (Aaron Chown/PA)

She said the energy crisis means “we must suspend the all-consuming desire to reach net zero by 2050”.

The Attorney General has said there must be ‘no turning back’ on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill currently before Parliament.

In a campaign video, she spoke of providing “every big opportunity” from Brexit, as well as taking a “hard line” on migration.

In a post on Twitter, Ms Braverman said the UK “must leave” the jurisdiction of the European Convention on Human Rights.

–Kemi Badenoch

The former Minister for Equality promised “a limited government” and “a focus on the essentials”.

She supports lower taxes “to stimulate growth and productivity, accompanied by strict spending discipline”.

Writing in The Times, she also denounced ‘identity politics’ and said Boris Johnson was ‘a symptom of the problems we face, not their cause’.

She said governing Britain today requires ‘a nimble centre-right vision’ that ‘can get things done despite entrenched opposition from a cultural establishment that won’t accept that the world has come out of Blairism “.