In the second TV debate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, held on Sunday, 17 July, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and frontrunner Rishi Sunak accused his rivals of promoting "socialism."
Raising his firm opposition to immediate tax cuts, Sunak said, "And you know what, this something-for-nothing economics is not conservative, it’s socialism."
Apart from Sunak, there are four Tories still contesting for the leadership post:
The winner will go on to become the next prime minister of Britain, replacing Boris Johnson, who resigned as the party chief 11 days ago.
The ill-tempered debate consisted of numerous personal attacks, with Sunak, talking about taxes, tearing into Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt for "fantasy economics of unfunded promises."
Rivals Attack Sunak's Economic Policies
Truss had her own grievances to raise with Sunak. "Rishi, you have raised taxes to the highest level in 70 years. That is not going to drive economic growth. The fact is that raising taxes at this moment will choke off economic growth," the foreign secretary said in a scathing attack.
Mordaunt did not hold back either. The Minister of State for Trade, in a clear dig at Sunak, said, "Too many chancellors have had too many fiscal rules that they have then had to ditch because they weren’t able to meet them."
Nobody Wants Boris Johnson In Their Cabinet?
One notable moment in the debate centred around Boris Johnson. When candidates were asked by moderator Julie Etchingham about welcoming Boris Johnson into their Cabinet should they lead the government, none of them raised their hands.
While Penny Mordaunt said, "he got Brexit done," she, too, did not say anything about the caretaker PM being in her Cabinet should she win.
Additionally, all five candidates said that they won't call a general election in August after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest.
(With inputs from the BBC and The Guardian.)