Rishi Sunak warned Conservatives not to believe “fairytale” promises of higher spending and lower taxes from his rivals as he became the first potential contender to launch the campaign for leader.
The former minister promised “honesty, seriousness and determination” in one video on social media, in which he took issue with Boris Johnson, saying: “Someone has to seize this moment and make the right decisions.”
A cleverly produced three-minute video, labeled “Ready for Rishi”, told the story of his family’s arrival in Britain. It had been viewed more than two million times by yesterday evening.
Sunak’s campaign launch begins with him being established as the most likely candidate to succeed Johnson amid a crowded field of a dozen MPs expected to stay in the leadership race.
Meanwhile, former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch launches her leadership campaign with a pledge to radically reduce the size and influence of the state and preside over a “limited government focused on the essentials”.
She says that lower taxes will have to be accompanied by “restricted spending”.
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