Either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be your next Prime Minister when Boris Johnson finally leaves No10 in September.
Millionaire Sunak and Iron Lady wannabe Truss are battling to win the support of Tory members after MPs put them through to the final round of the Conservative leadership contest.
The pair will go head to head over a fractious summer of campaigning, with their fate in the hands of some 160,000 Conservative members.
The battle to win the support of Tory grassroots means both candidates are zeroing in issues like immigration and tax cuts – with little detail on issues that matter for mainstream voters such as the cost of living crisis.
But the wannabe PMs are likely to flesh out their policy platforms over a long summer of campaigning.
Here’s what we know so far about their plans for No10.
TAX: Ex-Chancellor is offering fewer tax cuts than his rival. “I will deliver tax cuts but I will do so responsibly after we’ve got a grip of inflation,” he says. Business tax cuts would come first and he previously pledged a 1p Income Tax cut in 2024. Understood to want to wait until at least autumn 2023 to look at personal tax cuts.
SPENDING AND CUTS: As Chancellor he backed Boris Johnson’s plans to slash a fifth of civil service jobs by the end of 2025. He asked departments to model job cuts of 20%, 30% and 40% by the same date. But his cost-of-living cash payments are still more than other candidates would pledge, even if teachers and NHS staff are set for a real-terms pay cut.
CULTURE WARS: He is prepared to “protect women’s rights” and wants to ensure kids to have a childhood with sex education being sensitive and age-appropriate. Elsewhere he told a private hustings of Tory MPs he’d be open to scrapping the BBC licence fee.
IMMIGRATION : Says he’ll do “whatever it takes” to make the controversial Rwanda policy work. In a 10-point plan, he vowed to let Parliament introduce a cap on refugee numbers and tighten definition on who qualifies for asylum. Described the immigration system as “broken”.
NHS: Promised a “vaccines-style” taskforce to tackle NHS backlogs. He plans to eliminate one-year NHS waiting times six months earlier than planned by September 2024, and to get overall numbers falling by next year.
ENVIRONMENT: Signed a pledge to roll out home insulation and electric vehicle charge points, and backs the target of Net Zero emissions by 2050.
HOUSING: Has vowed to improve housing stock and energy efficiency. He wants to scrap EU rules to help investors put money into infrastructure assets.
BREXIT:Vowed to review 2,400 EU laws still on the statute book, and have initial recommendations for each one on whether it stays or goes, within 100 days.
DEFENCE: Says the NATO target of 2% of GDP is a “floor and not a ceiling” and notes it is set to rise to 2.5% “over time” but refuses to set “arbitrary targets”.
TAX: Pledged to “start cutting taxes from day one” with an immediate Budget, including reversing National Insurance hike and reversing next year’s corporation tax rise from 19% to 25% which had aimed to raise £16bn a year. Would also pause green levies on energy bills, costing the Treasury £5bn and harming Net Zero targets but saving households £153 each. Will “review” tax system to make it easier for parents or carers to be at home with loved ones.
SPENDING AND CUTS: Did not explain how she would pay for her drastic tax cuts – but has talked about a spending review on day one to slash services, and she’d put Covid debt on a longer term footing. Would raise defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030 and “look again at the shape and size of our armed forces”.
CULTURE WARS: Blocked reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, proposed by Theresa May, to make it easier for trans people to change their legal gender and has tried to move the Equalities department away from the “identity politics” of the left, suggesting it should be called ‘Department of Freedom’.
IMMIGRATION: Backs policy of deporting some migrants to Rwanda and will pursue similar schemes in other countries. Pledges to boost Border Force capacity by 20% and bring forward a strengthened UK Bill of Rights to tackle illegal migration. Says she will not “cower” to the ECHR. In a hustings with Tory MPs, she backed leaving the European Convention on Human Rights as a last resort.
NHS: Agrees on need to stamp out backlogs but hasn’t set out a detailed plan. Has said she is “completely committed” to current Government promises for NHS spending, despite tax cutting plans.
ENVIRONMENT: Backed the PM’s push to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050 but would stop green levies on bills, which could damage the target.
HOUSING: Would get rid of housing targets after years of Tory failure, claiming they are “Stalinist”.
BREXIT: Former Remainer gained trust in Brexiteer circles. Pushed through the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which critics say breaks international law. Wants a “red tape bonfire” with a review of all EU laws retained after Brexit.
DEFENCE: Has pledged to increase defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030 and strengthen the intelligence services. Said the Government’s current plan to cut the size of the Army to 72,500 in 2025 is “up for review”.