Conservative leadership candidates launched with promises to cut taxes and press ahead with controversial Brexit plans as a new candidate joined the fray.
International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt announced on Sunday morning that she would run for the top job, saying Britain’s leaders “need to become a little less leader-centric and a lot more ship-centric.”
It means nine Tories have now put themselves forward to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, just days after a collapse in party support forced his resignation.
Former health secretaries Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid have both pledged to cut corporation tax by announcing separate leadership offers.
The timelines of the candidates for change are different, with Mr Hunt planning to cut the tax to 15p in his first autumn budget, while Mr Javid would set a ‘glide glide path’.
Mr Javid also said the UK should consider tearing up old EU laws ‘to make us a more business-friendly, wealth-creating and entrepreneurial economy’.
Meanwhile, overseas candidate Tom Tugendhat has pledged to support the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill if elected leader.
The EU says the legislation would break international law, but Mr Tugendhat said he would be prepared to make the case for it, telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge show on Sunday: ‘I fought for my country in battle , I fought for my country in Parliament, and I will continue to fight for my country.
Mr Hunt also said he would press ahead with the Government‘s controversial plans to crush parts of the post-Brexit treaty.
However, he said he hoped that with No 10’s Mr Johnson the ‘mood music’ of Britain’s relationship with the EU could change, and ‘we could legally negotiate appropriate changes of the protocol”.
It comes after two incumbent ministers, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, revealed plans to run for leadership within an hour on Saturday.
Besides Ms Mordaunt, Mr Hunt, Mr Javid, Mr Zahawi, Mr Shapps and Mr Tugendhat, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Attorney General Suella Braverman and ex-minister Kemi Badenoch have launched their own offers.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also expected to stand, with the Mail On Sunday reporting that she will seek to uphold “classic Conservative principles” and could declare her candidacy as early as Monday.
The candidates populated the Sunday morning broadcast round, with Mr Hunt, Mr Javid, Mr Shapps and Mr Tugendhat all making appearances to promote their candidacies.
Mr Hunt presented himself as the most “experienced” hand in the leadership race and announced that his colleague Esther McVey would be deputy first minister if he were to win.
He told the BBC’s Sunday Morning program that there were ‘lots of very angry voters’ who had left the party in recent months, adding: ‘They are not going to automatically come back to us and choosing me will be a a very strong signal that the Conservative Party has listened to their anger.
Also speaking to Sunday Morning, Mr Javid gave insight into his political plans in a quick quiz with presenter Sophie Raworth.
He said as Tory leader he would stick to the pledge to reach net zero by 2050 and not scrap the BBC licensing fee.
The former Cabinet minister also said he agreed with Rwanda’s controversial migrant policy and said he would not rule out another Scottish independence referendum ‘forever’, but that he wouldn’t have one “at least for a decade”.
He said he would not close the country for Covid, but would not be determined whether he would for another type of pandemic.
Mr Javid said his plans to cut taxes would cost around £39billion a year but that did not include cutting fuel taxes further in the short term, which is also part of his leadership vision .
He said he doesn’t “believe in unfunded tax cuts”, adding: “I will be presenting a dashboard in the next few days that will show exactly how all of this we have funded sustainably.”
Mr Javid said he believed that in the current budgetary situation the country could afford to abandon the National Insurance hike while funding the promised boost for the NHS and social care.
But Mr Hunt said he would not cancel the tax hike because “the NHS needs the money” from the health and social care tax.
Mr Shapps argued for lower taxes, as well as a reduction in “bureaucracy”.
The Transport Secretary told Sophy Ridge on Sunday that he would “immediately” introduce the planned 1p income tax cut in an emergency budget.
In addition, he said he wanted to “freeze” the project to increase corporate tax, pledging: “It is a tax that will not increase”.
Mr Tugendhat stressed he was a “clean start” candidate.
Asked if he would consider cutting corporation tax as prime minister, he said Sophy Ridge’s plans to do so were ‘not realistic unless you have an economic plan 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.
As several candidates laid out their plans on the airwaves, more conservatives declared their allegiance.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said she would support Ms Truss, MP Michael Fabricator pledged his support for Penny Mordaunt and Mr Shapps said Environment Secretary George Eustice had given him his support. gave his support.