iz Truss has performed down claims she has a transparent lead over rival Rishi Sunak, at the same time as her marketing campaign was additional buoyed by endorsements of get together heavyweights on a crunch weekend within the race for No 10.
The Overseas Secretary insisted it was a “very, very shut race,” whereas trumpeting her “help from proper throughout all elements of the Conservative Get together” after gaining Tory centrist Tom Tugendhat’s backing.
Mr Sunak, who has persistently trailed Ms Truss in polls of get together members, faces an uphill battle to win them over earlier than ballots begin touchdown on their doorsteps subsequent week.
It is a very, very shut race, and I’m combating for each vote
Each contenders are persevering with to flit throughout the nation to satisfy voters, with Mr Sunak tweeting photographs of himself with supporters in key southern constituencies with the caption: “Busy Saturday assembly lots of of members. Wouldn’t have it some other method!”
His newest plans in a coverage blitz designed to revive his flagging marketing campaign included slashing the variety of shuttered outlets on Britain’s excessive streets, permitting more durable punishment for graffiti and littering, and increasing police powers to deal with anti-social behaviour.
Mr Sunak additionally instructed The Sunday Telegraph he would levy a £10 high quality for sufferers who miss GP and hospital appointments as a part of a “transformative” overhaul of the NHS.
Earlier, he attacked “woke nonsense” in a speech in West Sussex, in an obvious try to outdo Ms Truss on so-called tradition warfare points that enchantment to the fitting of the get together.
In hardened rhetoric, he pledged to forestall “left-wing agitators” from taking “a bulldozer to our historical past, our traditions and our basic values”.
However the former chancellor was dealt a blow by accusations that he blocked efforts to beat the Brexit deadlock with the European Union.
The assault got here from Ex-Northern Eire secretary Brandon Lewis, who declared his help for Ms Truss and mentioned he trusts her extra to attain a swift return to powersharing in Northern Eire if she turns into prime minister.
The previous Cupboard minister’s endorsement of Ms Truss adopted that of senior Tories Mr Tugendhat and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
Throughout a marketing campaign cease in Bromley, the Overseas Secretary was requested whether or not her benefit over Mr Sunak in member surveys meant the competition is hers to lose.
She instructed reporters: “It is a very, very shut race, and I’m combating for each vote.”
She mentioned she was “completely delighted” about Mr Tugendhat’s help, however described it as “extraordinarily untimely” to say whether or not she would appoint him Overseas Secretary, a job Mr Tugendhat indicated he hoped to get whereas insisting he had been “promised nothing”.
Ms Truss mentioned: “He’s a really, very gifted individual and I’m very grateful to have the help from proper throughout all elements of the Conservative Get together as a result of we have to reunite after this management election.”
Her newest coverage bulletins embrace a six-point plan on schooling, beneath which she promised that pupils with high A degree grades would get an computerized invitation to use for Oxbridge and different prestigious universities.
Branding herself the “schooling prime minister”, she additionally vowed to interchange failing academies with “a brand new wave of free colleges” and enhance maths and literacy requirements.
Ms Truss additionally instructed The Telegraph there could be no second referendum on Scottish independence “on my watch,” together with her rejection showing to go additional than Boris Johnson’s assertion that now was “not the time”.
Each candidates to succeed Mr Johnson additionally pledged to “champion the agricultural lifestyle” in pitches to countryside Conservative voters.
Whereas a BMG Analysis ballot of get together trustworthy for the i newspaper was the newest to place Ms Truss forward of Mr Sunak with a double-digit lead, a survey of Tory councillors noticed the 2 contenders practically neck-and-neck.
Ms Truss was on 31% and Mr Sunak on 28% amongst 511 native Conservative politicians polled by Savanta ComRes, figures which will provide the the ex-chancellor’s marketing campaign some hope.
Mr Tugendhat, who joined Ms Truss at her marketing campaign occasion at Biggin Hill Airport, rejected the concept Mr Sunak ought to drop out of the race.
“No, he shouldn’t stand down,” mentioned Mr Tugendhat, who was himself just lately eradicated from the competition.
“He needs to be competing and difficult to win the votes and help of members throughout the UK and I’m positive he’ll.”