The second round of debate between UK Conservative Party candidates in the race to become Boris Johnson’s successor began on Tuesday, but the day was suspended after the presenter fainted during the live broadcast. According to polls, British citizens consider Chancellor Liz Truss to have done better in Monday’s first debate against former finance minister Rishi Sunak.
Secretary of State Liz Truss was presenting her arguments to counter those of former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak during the televised debate on TalkTV. The camera focused on the deputy when a rumble was heard and onlookers saw a look of anguish on Truss’ face. Then he put his hands on his face and said, “Oh my God.” After that, he walked to the center of the platform and the broadcast stopped.
The debate, which usually lasts an hour, should have stopped this time in the middle. TalkTV later reported that program director Kate McCann, who collapsed during the standoff between the two candidates, was “fine” but the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue the discussion.
🇬🇧 Moderator Kate McCann faints during the broadcast of the debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two candidates to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.#the sun I mentioned that McCann is in really good health. 📹 Tweet embedpic.twitter.com/f7ayEX7Dht
– LupitaJuarez (@LupitaJuarezH) 26 July 2022
Among the topics discussed were taxes, strategies to help families struggling with the rising cost of living or the search for better alternatives to NHS funding.
Congressman Truss refused to raise taxes on families through National Insurance, which will now have to pay more money on food bills: “What we should ensure is that people keep more of their own money and what happened is the tax is increased,” he argued.
Likewise, he stressed that the increase is “morally wrong” at a time when the situation is becoming increasingly difficult for the average citizen: “When families struggle to pay for their food, we raised taxes on people, when we said we did,” Truss said.
For his part, Rishi Sunak said it is reasonable to ask companies to contribute to solving the country’s problems through tax: “You will still pay a very generous tax compared to most other countries, so it is very competitive and fair.”
Further emphasizing that the increase was necessary to pay for additional health care expenses, Sunak said, “I think it’s morally wrong to ask our children and grandchildren to pay bills we are not prepared to pay.”
Opinion polls on the first debate
According to Opinum in a poll of more than 1,000 voters who watched Monday’s first debate, “Conservative voters thought Truss did better (47% compared to 38% in Sunak). Labor voters think Sunack did better ( 41% versus 30% for gears)”.
On the question of who the Conservatives should choose as their leader, 43% said Sunak would be better and 41% thought Truss would be better for the job. They also considered that with Liz Truss at the helm, a change could happen, while Rishi Sunak would be more of the same.
Viewers thought Liz Truss would be more likely to change (41%) than saying the same about Rishi Sunak (24%).
65% of viewers think Rishi Sunak would be more of the same. pic.twitter.com/M0T5pwjY2s
– Opinium (OpiniumResearch) 25 July 2022
Voters also said they believed Sunak appeared more competent and trustworthy in dealing with the economy, while Truss presented a more sympathetic and trustworthy face on illegal immigration issues.
Another company that also published the results of its surveys is YouGov, which reported that 50% of respondents felt that Truss performed better in head-to-head versus 39% who endorsed Sunak. In addition, they saw Truss as a more likeable candidate, worthy of trust and closer to the population.
During the two candidates meeting, divisions emerged within the ruling party over strategies for managing the economy.
The deputy stressed that achieving a balance between the accounts of the executive authority and increasing taxes on companies will lead the country’s economy to enter a state of stagnation.
Truss expressed his intent to cut taxes and criticized his opponent’s plan as an immediate plan for economic growth and a temporary tax freeze on green energy.
“What I don’t want to see is normal families being penalized with our goal of net zero. So I will raise the green energy tax and cut money off people’s fuel bills while looking for better ways to achieve net zero.” Truss said.
Sunak was against Truss’ ideas and intends to raise taxes and have reserves to curb inflation.
“We need to get inflation under control. And if we don’t do it now, it will cost you all and everyone who is looking at the home a lot in the long run. Your economic advisor has said it will cause mortgage interest rates to go up to 7%. Can you please Imagine what that would do to everyone here? People are in misery,” Sunak said.
In addition, the former head of the Portfolio has spoken in favor of improving the state on issues such as recycling, energy efficiency and innovation to find solutions to the problems of this century.
“In terms of energy efficiency… the government should do more about it. Recycling is something we obsess about in our home. I know it’s a pain. You need a lot of containers, but it’s a very good thing for the environment,” Sunak stated.
At least 200,000 conservative members will participate in the election of the new prime minister and this will be announced on September 5. Whoever succeeds will take over as prime minister and Conservative leader from Boris Johnson, but will also have to deal with one of the most difficult situations in the UK in decades, with inflation soaring and the pound near record lows against the dollar.
With information from Reuters, AFP, EFE and AP
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