Tory leadership debate: Rishi Sunak forced to insist he won’t stand aside for Liz Truss during Sky News grilling

Rishi Sunak is asked by Kay Burley about Britons who face months of hardship and as the Chancellor for the last two years, “why on earth should they trust you?”

Mr Sunak recalls the “enormous amount of anxiety” over what would happen to jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic, “but I stepped up at that moment to act boldly and radically, to design things that had never been done before like furlough that protected 10 million jobs and saved more than one million businesses”. He says the economy faces “similar economic challenges” at the present time.

Is there anything he can do about recession? “Of course there is. The number one thing we have to do is not make the situation worse. What is causing the recession as you heard from the Bank of England today, it’s not the tax burden that is causing the recession, that’s simply wrong.

“What’s causing the recession is inflation. That’s the root of the problems we have, not just here but in America and elsewhere. So the way we’re going to get this first and foremost is gripping inflation.”

He says he would commit more money to the problem but he does not know how much. “What I’m not going to do is embark on a borrowing spree worth tens of billions of pounds, put that on the country’s credit card… that’s certainly not conservative.”

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