The race to No 10: Who has cleared the first hurdle?

·4-min read
Tax is key issue for candidates vying to be next through the door of No10 (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Tax is key issue for candidates vying to be next through the door of No10 (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

A crowded field of contenders is vying to replace Boris Johnson as the next Tory leader and prime minister.

Here are the MPs who have secured enough nominations to go through to the next round of the process and what they have to say on tax policy, one of the early dividing lines in the contest.

– Rishi Sunak

Age: 42

Ministerial experience: Chancellor of the Exchequer until July 5 when he quit in protest at the Prime Minister’s leadership.

What did he do before politics? Hedge fund manager.

What does he say on tax? He has promised to get the tax burden down once inflation is under control saying “it is a question of when, not if”, but warned rivals “it is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes”.

How did he vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Leave

– Penny Mordaunt

Age: 49

Ministerial experience: Currently Trade Minister, has had Cabinet jobs in the defence and international development briefs.

What did she do before politics? She was a magician’s assistant while in college before a career in public relations.

What does she say about tax? She has pledged a 50% cut in VAT on fuel. But she insists she will maintain control of the public finances.

How did she vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Leave

– Liz Truss

Age: 46

Ministerial experience: Current Foreign Secretary.

What did she do before politics? Worked as an economist for Shell and Cable and Wireless and was then a deputy director for right-of-centre think tank Reform.

What does she say on tax? She has pledged to “start cutting taxes from day one”, reversing April’s rise in National Insurance and promising to keep “corporation tax competitive”.

How did she vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Remain

– Nadhim Zahawi

Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Age: 55

Ministerial experience: Current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

What did he do before politics? Founded polling firm YouGov.

What does he say on tax? He has promised the basic rate income tax would be cut by 1p to 19p in 2023 and then to 18p in 2024. VAT and green levies on fuel would be abolished for two years to help cut bills.

How did he vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Leave– Tom Tugendhat

Age: 49

Ministerial experience: Never held ministerial office but chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

What did he do before politics? Served in the Army Intelligence Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan and as an adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff.

What does he say about tax? He would cut 10p a litre off fuel duty and change tax incentives to encourage business investment.

How did he vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Remain

– Suella Braverman

Attorney General Suella Braverman (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Attorney General Suella Braverman (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Age: 42

Ministerial experience: Current Attorney General.

What did she do before entering politics? She was a barrister specialising in public law and judicial review cases, including defending the Home Office in immigration cases.

What does she say about tax? She would cut VAT on energy and fuel bills. Corporation tax would also be cut to attract and incentivise investment.

How did she vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Leave

– Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt is having another run at the Tory leadership after losing to Boris Johnson in 2019 (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Jeremy Hunt is having another run at the Tory leadership after losing to Boris Johnson in 2019 (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Age: 55

Ministerial experience: Former foreign secretary, health secretary and culture secretary.

What did he do before politics? Ran a marketing consultancy and then an education publishing firm.

What does he say on tax? He has promised to slash corporation tax to 15% and remove business rates for five years in the poorest communities. But he would keep the National Insurance rise and any cut in income tax could only come if it was sustainable, with a growing economy.

How did he vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Remain

– Kemi Badenoch

Age: 42

Ministerial experience: Resigned as equalities minister and a minister in the Levelling Up department on July 6.

What did she do before politics? Worked in McDonald’s while at college, trained as an engineer, became an associate director at private bank Coutts and held a senior role with the Spectator magazine.

What does she say on tax? She is committed to reducing corporate and personal taxes but told rivals “I will not enter into a tax bidding war over, ‘my tax cuts are bigger than yours’.”

How did she vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum? Leave

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