Rishi Sunak and Liss Truss are the last two candidates in the race for Boris Johnson’s seat

To applause from his newly rebellious MPs, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson bowed out of his last standard speech in Parliament on Wednesday, ending his speech with “Hasta la vista, baby!”
With age-old scolding of his critics, Mr. Johnson defended his three turbulent years in office — from Brexit and the COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine — and praised the candidates fighting for his seat while fending off opposition attacks at his last prime ministerial meeting. Minister’s Questions.

The House of Commons goes into summer recess on Thursday, with a new leader to be announced when it meets again on September 5.

Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Minister Truss were the last two candidates vying for the Conservative Party leadership after the party’s MPs held the final vote.

Mr Johnson’s Downing Street operation is reportedly campaigning “anyone but Rishi” by accusing the former finance minister of masterminding the cabinet uprising that led to his ouster this month after many scandals including “Partygate”.

“I don’t follow this case very closely,” the prime minister said, laughingly, of the Tory race.

Johnson, 58, reiterated his longstanding characterization of Labor leader Keir Starmer as the “captain of hindsight” on COVID-19 and called him the “great senseless human obstacle” standing in the way of Britain’s progress.

Mr. Sunak and Ms. Truss, the last two in the race for leadership, are now pitching their case to members of the Conservative Party, who will choose a new leader and prime minister after a dozen national elections and several televised debates over the next six weeks.

Johnson urged the challengers to “stay close to the Americans, defend the Ukrainians, stand up for freedom and democracy everywhere.”

“Reduce taxes and deregulate where possible to make this a better place to live and invest… focus on the road ahead, but always remember to look in your rearview mirror.
“And remember, it’s not Twitter that matters in the first place, it’s the people who sent us here.
The result will be announced on September 5th. But the UK is already guaranteed either a first non-white prime minister or a third female leader.

The economy will be a key battleground in the coming weeks. But they also have different views on other areas of politics.

A split image showing a man and a woman on either side.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will compete for the leadership of the UK Conservative Party in the coming weeks. Source: Press Association / PA / PA Source: Press Association / DAD

Taxation

Former finance minister Mr Sunak is promising to stick to a string of recent tax hikes to balance the books after record government borrowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said curbing inflation, which is at its highest level in 40 years, is his priority and criticized Ms Truss’s “fabulous” plans for taxes.
Foreign Secretary Truss accused Mr Sunak of pushing the UK to the brink of recession and vowed to “start tax cuts from day one”, including corporate tax paid by businesses.

She also wants to review the power of the Bank of England to set interest rates.

the cost of living

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Sunak implemented a £15bn (AU$26bn) support package in May to help Britons weather the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.
However, his leadership rivals have criticized it as insufficient, as energy prices will rise again in October.

Ms Truss vowed to use economic growth, fueled by promised tax cuts, as the main way to tackle the crisis.

Brexit

Ms Truss supported retaining European Union membership in the 2016 British referendum before becoming a zealous Brexit supporter. Since December, she has been negotiating with Brussels over subsequent friction.

She is pushing for a new law that would unilaterally rewrite the UK’s post-Brexit commitment to the EU over Northern Ireland, which opponents say violates international law.

Mr Sunak, a rising Tory star in 2016, came out early for Brexit, to the desperation of then leader David Cameron.

He said he supported the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol proposals and, as chancellor, promoted “free ports” around the UK as one way to profit from Brexit.

Immigration

Under pressure to curb waves of migrants crossing the English Channel from France, the Conservative government is pushing for .
Both candidates support this policy, which was stopped by legal action. Miss Truss called it “completely moral”.

But Mr Sunak faced anonymous briefings to newspapers alleging he opposed it in cabinet because of his £120m (AU$208m) spending.

Protection

Mr. Sunak refused to set “arbitrary targets” for military spending after the war in Ukraine.
But he sees NATO’s goal of having member states spend 2.0% of GDP on defense as “a floor, not a ceiling.”

He wants the UK defense budget to rise to 2.5% of GDP over time. Ms. Truss was more outspoken, committing this week to spend 3.0% by 2030.

Climate

Mr Sunak pledged to stick to the UK’s legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
It will keep “green charges” on electricity bills meant to support the growth of the renewable energy sector.

Ms Truss has vowed to abolish fees but says she is committed to the 2050 goal.