UK PM candidates to face off in TV debate – National

The two candidates to become Britain’s next prime minister will go head-to-head in a TV debate on Monday, after both wooed the Conservative Party’s right-wing base by backing a controversial plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Tried to attract.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and ex-treasury chief Rishi Shank are vying to succeed the disgraced Boris Johnson as head of Britain’s governing party. He was chosen by Conservative lawmakers from an initial field of 11 candidates as a finalist to replace Johnson, who resigned as party leader on July 7 after months of ethics scandals rocked his government. Ministers were fired.

The winner will automatically become prime minister, ruling the country of 67 million _ but will be elected by around 180,000 members of the Conservative Party. They will vote in the summer with results announced on September 5. Johnson will remain caretaker prime minister until his successor is chosen.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK.

Truss, 46, and Sink, 42, have delighted the Conservatives by doubling down on policies that appeal to the Tory grassroots. The two are backing a controversial deal the Johnson government agreed with Rwanda to allow some migrants who arrive in Britain on a one-way journey to the East African country in small boats. Deportees will be allowed to apply for asylum in Rwanda and not in the UK.

The government says the policy will prevent people smugglers from sending migrants on the perilous journey across the Channel. Political opponents, human rights groups and even some conservative lawmakers say it’s unethical, illegal and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The first scheduled deportation flight was grounded last month following legal rulings, and the entire policy is now being challenged in the British courts.

Click to play video: 'British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Visits UK for Training of Ukrainian Soldiers'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK.

On Sunday, Sink said “no option should be off the table” despite questions over the legality and ethics of the policy. Truss said he was “committed” to seeing the Rwandan project through and raised the possibility of expanding it to additional countries.

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Truss also said she would increase the size of the UK border force, while Sink has proposed housing asylum seekers on cruise ships.

Hard-line policies such as the Rwanda plan are less popular with the electorate overall than the Conservatives, but British voters won’t get a say on the government until the next national election in late 2024.

Truss and Sink have already clashed over economic policy, with Truss promising immediate tax cuts and Sink — who has shepherded Britain’s economy through the coronavirus pandemic — saying he would Inflation will be brought under control before tax cuts. He says it would be “immoral” to borrow more to cut taxes.

FILE – UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Singh attends a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, May 24, 2022. The divisive, defiant leader makes his last appearance in parliament as prime minister. (Daniel Leal/Pool via AP, File).

The leadership election comes amid a cost-of-living crisis caused by rising food and energy prices, partly due to the war in Ukraine. While many countries are facing an economic downturn, in Britain it has been exacerbated by the country’s departure from the European Union, which has complicated travel and business relations with the UK’s largest trading partner.

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Both Sink and Truss are staunch supporters of Brexit, which was a signature policy of the Johnson government.

Liz Truss, Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, leaves after a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

(AP Photo/Frank Augustine)

But the two clashed over issues such as China policy, with Truss allies accusing Sink of changing his stance on relations with Beijing. Sink says China represents “the biggest long-term threat to Britain”, and says he would close 30 Confucius Institutes in the UK if elected. These institutions, funded by the Chinese government, teach Chinese language and culture, but are accused of spreading pro-Beijing propaganda.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, a long-time China critic who supports Truss, said Sink’s Treasury had previously “pushed hard for an economic deal with China.”

“Where have you been for the last two years?” They said.

Oddsmakers say Truss is a strong favorite to win the leadership. She trails Sink in the polls for Conservative MPs _ although Sink has an overall lead in the electorate.

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Sink also faces hostility from Johnson’s allies, who see him as a turncoat for quitting the government earlier this month, a move that helped topple the prime minister. Truss chose to remain in a caretaker government.

Many Conservatives fear that the infighting is only benefiting the opposition Labor Party. Former party chairwoman Amanda Milling said the contest was “more toxic than I’ve ever seen.”

Writing on Twitter, he urged both candidates to sign a “clean campaign charter,” saying without it “lasting damage to our party could see us out of power for a decade.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press