Rishi Sunak’s Commons majority is under threat as 60 Tory MPs join Liz Truss’ group.


The pro-growth group is now joining the majority government in calling on the Prime Minister to lower taxes and restart fracking

Sixty Tory MPs have joined Liz Truss’s growth group, threatening the government’s majority in parliament, with former cabinet ministers warning Rishi Sunak that “we cannot accept the status quo”. At a meeting on the sidelines of the Conservative Party conference, Truss and her supporters held a rally calling on the chancellor to cut corporation tax, build 500,000 new homes and restart fracking to reduce energy costs.

In his only public appearance at an activist meeting in Manchester, Truss said the Conservatives were no longer the party of business. She believes that the country has become too big, with unsustainably high taxes and expenditures.

Rishi Sunak
Truss has told the Conservative conference that the Tories are no longer the party of business. Photograph credit:theguardian.com/ Leon Neal/Getty Images

Although Truss resigned nearly a year ago amid a disastrous mini-budget, she showed no signs of remorse, saying Sunak should be prepared to make tough decisions to help the economy grow, even if they are unpopular. Ranil Jayawardena, another disgruntled former minister, said the Truss-allied Conservative Growth Group had swelled to 60 MPs, equivalent to the government’s majority in the House of Commons. Same scale.

Jayawardene has called for stamp duty on people’s main homes to be scrapped, while Jacob Rees-Mogg also believes what he calls “harmful” inheritance tax should be scrapped. “We can no longer be timid, we can no longer avoid risk, we can no longer settle for the status quo,” said former home minister Priti Patel.

This puts pressure on Sunak and his chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, ahead of the King’s Speech and Autumn Statement in November. In his conference speech, Hunt acknowledged that “the level of taxation is too high” but added that he was focused first on solving the “long-term” challenge of inflation. Although more than 30 Conservative MPs last week signed a pledge to vote against any move to increase the tax burden, Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said the chances of tax cuts were “very slim”.

“I don’t think there’s room for tax cuts unless we can come up with something quite radical,” Johnson told the Guardian at another conference in Manchester. “It’s not just the immediate pressure we’re seeing on the public finances, but we know that because of demographic changes, we’re going to have to spend more on health and pensions and social care and all that. So I think the chances of a tax cut are very slim.”

“I think it’s very unlikely that the chief whip will kick people out of the Conservative Party if they keep their word, especially since 33 people have signed up and are on the way, which is more than half the government’s majority,” Barry said in a speech. At the meeting of the faction of the New Conservative Party. “You don’t have to sign a tax lien to qualify.”

However, new analysis by Labour, shared with The Guardian, suggests plans to scrap inheritance tax would benefit wealthy areas of the country.

It found that the population of two west London boroughs – Kensington, Chelsea and Hammersmith – in 2019-2020. have paid £201 million in inheritance tax per year, while those in the North East of England paid just £61 million. The next biggest beneficiary was Surrey’s West End, where inheritance tax raised £157m. in the same year. The area overlaps with Hunter’s own South West Surrey constituency. Labor argued that because only 4% of the population had to pay inheritance tax, there were significant regional differences between recipients. London and the South East of England account for more than 50% of expected inheritance tax revenue, compared to just 8% in the North East and North West, 5% in Yorkshire and the Humber and 10% in the Midlands.


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