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Key quotes from the Conservative leadership campaign TV debate

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The contenders to succeed Boris Johnson have faced off in a second televised debate.

Here are some of the key quotes from the five remaining rivals in the Tory leadership contest.

“I’d love to stand here and say ‘look, I’ll cut this tax, that tax and another tax and it will all be okay’. But you know what? It won’t. There’s a cost to these things and the cost of higher inflation, higher mortgage rates, eroded savings. And you know what? This something for nothing economics isn’t Conservative. It’s socialism.” – Rishi Sunak.

“I think the tax cuts I’ve outlined are not inflationary. I think people listening at home will be looking at us, debating these issues. And it seems that we’re removed from the real problems that they are facing, they need some immediate action now, I don’t understand why Rishi doesn’t accept that.” – Penny Mordaunt.

“I heard Penny on the TV this morning saying you were going to scrap one of my rules that the Government shouldn’t borrow for day-to-day spending. Now look, it’s one thing to borrow for long-term investment, but it’s a whole other thing to put the day-to-day bills on the country’s credit card and we know how that ends. It’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous. And you know what, even Jeremy Corbyn didn’t suggest that we should go that far.” – Rishi Sunak.

“Rishi, you have raised taxes to the highest level in 70 years. That is not going to drive economic growth.” – Liz Truss.

Conservative leadership campaign, second TV debate
Kemi Badenoch during the second live TV debate for the Conservative leadership candidates (Jonathan Hordle/ITV)

“I think what we’re seeing in the discussion that’s taking place is that there are no easy options. There are no solutions, only trade-offs. When I was working in the Treasury, it was always a choice between difficult option A, terrible option B or mad option C.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“I might not be the slickest presenter on this stage, but I think my colleagues understand in Parliament when I work with them that when I say I’ll do something, I do it.” – Liz Truss.

“My whole campaign has been built around building a team. My now legendary campaign video did not feature me at all, it was all about my colleagues and it was all about the country.” – Penny Mordaunt.

“Whatever your responsibility was in that Government, whatever your place in that Government was, Keir Starmer in two years’ time is going to hold that record against us. We need to make sure we’re winning Conservative seats across the country, and even really good people lent credibility to the chaos.” – Tom Tugendhat on why the successful candidate should not have worked for Boris Johnson.

“We have a lot to be proud of. We got Brexit done, and what the Prime Minister did on Ukraine and on vaccines was fantastic. Serving in Government is not easy. It requires taking difficult decisions. Tom [Tugendhat] has never done that. It’s very easy for him to criticise what we’ve been doing, but we have been out there on the front line making the case.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“What I would say to you is that all attempts to paint me as an out-of-touch individual will fail. I’m the only person on this stage that has won and fought a Labour seat. My constituents do not elect people who are out of touch.” – Penny Mordaunt.

“We have left the EU, the public are sick and tired of us banging on about Brexit.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“No to a general election, we need 100% of all of our effort on delivering for the people of Britain, I’m the person who can do that.” – Liz Truss.

“Which do you regret most, being a Remainer or being a Liberal Democrat?” – Rishi Sunak to Liz Truss.

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