Sunak to conduct ‘across-the-board’ review of leadership campaign pledges

Rishi Sunak is to carry out an “across-the-board” review of the pledges he made during the Tory leadership battle to assess whether they are still “deliverable”, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary said the move reflected the way the economic situation has changed since the summer when Mr Sunak lost out to Liz Truss in the race to succeed Boris Johnson.

“We are looking at all the campaign pledges and we are looking at whether it is the right time to take them forward,” she said.

“We need to take some time to make sure what is deliverable and what is possible and we are engaging with stakeholders and with the relevant secretaries of state as well.

“Obviously those are pledges that were made a few months ago now. The context, particularly economically, has changed significantly since that time.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Sunak sought to reassure Tory MPs that he remained committed to a 10-point plan he set out during the campaign for tackling the migrant crisis, which included an annual limit on the number of refugees the country accepted.

In response to a question from Conservative Scott Benton, the Prime Minister said: “I know this issue is rightly a priority for him, it’s a priority for his constituents and I can reassure them that it is a priority for me and this Government too.

Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions
Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)

“Whether it’s the (Nationality) and Borders Act or the further measures we are planning to take, we will defend our borders, stop the illegal crossings and ensure that there is fairness and compassion in our system.”

The Prime Minister’s press secretary said afterwards that while the pledges on migration would form part of the review, Mr Sunak remained “committed to the sentiment of them”.

“Tackling illegal migration and control of our borders is a promise we made in the 2019 (general election) manifesto and we need to ensure that that is delivered,” she said.

In the Commons, Mr Sunak also came under pressure from the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford to say whether he stood by commitments he made as chancellor to raise benefits in line with inflation and to maintain the pensions triple lock.

The Prime Minister said it would not be right to comment on individual policy measures before Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on November 17.

“I think everyone knows we do face a challenging economic outlook and difficult decisions will need to be made,” he said.

“What I would say is that we will always, as my track record as chancellor demonstrates, have fairness and compassion at the heart of everything we do.”