Truss and Sunak tipped for huge tax U-turn on ‘day one’ of Tory leadership contest

Trevor Phillips grills Liz Truss on taxes

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The Prime Minister’s former chief political adviser has made no secret of his disdain for the 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance. Not only does it break a manifesto pledge Mr Johnson made in 2019 – it will also hit people on average and below-average incomes the hardest, he said.

Writing on Twitter he claimed that both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak would scrap it on “day one” of any Tory leadership contest.

In a longer piece on his blog, he wrote: “The PM’s plan to raise taxes is a big blunder.

“Why? First, the Party and PM promised not to.

“A core problem with modern parties is they are (rightly in my opinion) seen as fundamentally dishonest, incompetent, and out of touch.

“A core reason is they constantly make clear promises then break them.”

He went on to claim Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party would be making political capital out of this if it wasn’t for his “uselessness and total lack of any positive message”.

But, as the growing disquiet at the Prime Minister among Tory ranks grows, a leadership contest could see this tax hike swifty reversed, he said.

The Chancellor and Foreign Secretary are widely seen as the front runners in any contest.

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And with it being no secret that the party’s membership are firmly against tax rises – ditching the hated hike would be a sure-fire way to appeal to this base.

Taking to Twitter, the political maverick wrote in broken English with a smattering of “emojis”: “I explained last sep why the tax rise = disaster.

“MPs didn’t listen, only way to ditch the tax rise AND get a competent No 10 working on NHS waiting lists is … scrap [shopping trolley emoji] – it’s obvious both Truss and Sunak will tell MPs they’ll ditch it (on) day one of (a leadership) contest.”

Mr Cummings’s use of a shopping trolley “emoji” icon stems from the former aide’s decision to describe the Prime Minister as a “shopping trolley” because his indecisiveness means he smashes “from one side of the aisle to the other”.

His outburst came as the scandal of alleged lockdown-breaking parties held in Downing Street during lockdown took another twist.

After a picture emerged of Mr Johnson attending a Zoom quiz with two others – the Met Police confirmed that they will re-examine the decision not to investigate the event – which took place in December 2020.

In a statement, it said: “The Metropolitan Police Service previously assessed this event and determined that on the basis of the evidence available at that time, it did not meet the threshold for criminal investigation.

“That assessment is now being reviewed.”

After the picture emerged, Mr Cummings said further ones would soon be leaked.

He tweeted: “There’s waaaaay better pics than that floating around, incl[uding] in the flat.

“The pics will come out and the public will think ‘Met [police] lying’, not ‘oh PM innocent after all’. Penny dropping with MPs.”

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