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While the Tory leadership hopefuls spit venom at each other, the rest of Britain is buckling under the cost of living crisis.

Hard-pressed families are facing a miserable winter of rampant inflation, rising food and energy bills and falling incomes.

As we reveal today, parents are turning down free washing powder from food banks because they cannot afford to turn the machine on.

Other cash-strapped families use washing-up liquid to clean their hair and clothes.

Research by the TUC has found some prices are rising four times faster than average wages.

A separate study revealed 21 million households worry about paying their bills on time.

This situation is only set to get worse when heating bills rise still further in October.

Instead of helping people through these tough times, the Tory contenders compete on who can cut taxes the sharpest and shrink the state the deepest. This race to the bottom is a recipe for a poorer, more unequal country.

Energy bills are set to hit £3,000 this year ( Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Another lie

Britain today clocked up more than 200,000 Covid deaths.

This makes a mockery of Boris Johnson’s repeated claim to have got the “big calls right”.

The UK has lost more lives to coronavirus than any other European country and has suffered one of the world’s highest death tolls.

It is imperative the Covid inquiry explores every aspect of the response to the pandemic.

Those who lost friends and family deserve to know why the Government was so poorly prepared, failed to keep care home residents safe and was so slow to bring in lockdown.

The Government needs to learn from its mistakes, not try to bury them.

The write stuff

Romantic Liz Maguire has amassed more than 2,600 love letters.

Since the arrival of email and texts the writing has been on the wall for handwritten missives. Her passion for the lost art deserves a stamp of approval.

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