News Liz Truss vs Rishi Sunak: Foreign Secretary faces new questions over ‘Fizz with Liz’ champagne dinner

Tory leadership race: Liz Truss insists U-turn on regional wage policy shows she is ‘decisive’

Liz Truss is embroiled in fresh controversy after a leaked email left her facing questions about why she failed to report thousands of pounds spent schmoozing Tory MPs in the run-up of his candidacy to succeed Boris Johnson.

A dozen Tory MPs attended a so-called ‘Fizz with Liz’ champagne dinner hosted by the Foreign Secretary at the Mayfair 5 Hertford St members’ club last year.

The event was paid for by the club’s owner, multi-millionaire aristocrat Robin Birley.

When The Independent Asked why Ms Truss had not declared the function – worth an estimated £3,000 – in the Commons Register, where MPs are obliged to disclose hospitality worth more than £300, her gatekeeper floor denied having organized it.

It had “nothing to do with her”, they said. Ms Truss was just one of many guest Tory MPs invited by ‘organizer and host’ Mr Birley, the spokesman said.

However, this account is disputed by other MPs present who said The Independent that she was the host and not Mr Birley, who “showed up briefly to say hello”.

1659588287

Truss campaign bounces back after embarrassing U-turn

Liz Truss has bounced back from an embarrassing U-turn to revitalize her Conservative leadership campaign with key endorsement and a series of polls showing her well ahead of her rival.

A new survey by influential website ConservativeHome puts the Foreign Secretary 32 points ahead of Rishi Sunak in the battle for Downing Street.

Crucially, it was carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday, as Ms Truss was forced to scrap plans to cut public sector wages outside London in the face of a revolt by Tory MPs.

The result is similar to a YouGov poll of party members, which found a 34-point gap in favor of Ms Truss.

Read the details in this joint report by Kate Devlin and Ashley Cowburn:

1659586543

What’s driving the Conservative leadership candidates’ political ride?

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are engaged in a political arms race before ballots arrive on Tory members’ doormats, writes Ashley Cowburn.

1659586018

Sunak suggests reducing inheritance tax if elected prime minister

Rishi Sunak has hinted he could cut inheritance tax as he tries to revive his faltering Conservative leadership campaign.

The former chancellor was asked during raids in Cardiff if he would scrap the levy, a pet peeve of many Conservative Party members.

He dismissed the idea but suggested he could lower it in future if he becomes prime minister, suggesting the move would be consistent with his political outlook.

He told the husting crowd: ‘I have a plan to systematically reduce income tax over time because I want to reward hard work. But I’m really, as you heard in my previous remarks, I’m someone who believes in supporting aspiration.

“I think that’s a conservative value that many of us in this room will cherish and inheritance tax is one way to do that.

Read more about it from our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin:

1659585310

Foreign Secretary embroiled in ‘Fizz with Liz’ controversy

Liz Truss is embroiled in fresh controversy after being quizzed in a leaked email about her failure to report thousands of pounds spent on hosting Tory MPs ahead of her bid to succeed Boris Johnson.

A dozen Tory MPs attended a so-called ‘Fizz with Liz’ champagne dinner hosted by the Foreign Secretary at the Mayfair 5 Hertford St members’ club last year.

While the event was paid for by the club’s owner, multi-millionaire aristocrat Robin Birley, Ms Truss’ spokesman denied hosting the event. They said it had ‘nothing to do with her’ and that she was just one of the people invited by ‘organizer and host’ Mr Birley.

However, this account is disputed by other MPs present who said The Independent that she was the host and not Mr Birley, who “showed up briefly to say hello”.

Learn more in this exclusive from my colleague Simon Walters:

1659582968

welcome to The Independents UK Politics blog from 4th August 2022 where we provide the latest news on the Tory leadership race.