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Polls show Liz Truss favourite to become Britain's next prime minister

London, United KingdomEdited By: Vyomica BerryUpdated: Aug 03, 2022, 03:41 AM IST
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File photo of Liz Truss. Photograph:(Reuters)

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A new survey said the foreign secretary had extended her lead over former finance minister Rishi Sunak as Tory members begin voting for a new party leader by post and online this week

After coming under fierce fire in Scotland for making a policy U-turn, polls show Conservative Liz Truss ahead in the race to become Britain's next prime minister. A new survey said the foreign secretary had extended her lead over former finance minister Rishi Sunak as Tory members begin voting for a new party leader by post and online this week. 60 per cent of party members said they would vote for her in comparison to 26 per cent who supported Sunak, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.

Following her remarks alleging First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was an "attention seeker", her lead had narrowed from more than 20 points to just five.

Denouncing her remarks, the Scottish National Party (SNP) said it will continue to press for a second referendum on independence.

Calling her comments "obnoxious", Sturgeon's deputy as the first minister of Scotland, John Swinney told BBC television "Nicola Sturgeon has far more democratic legitimacy than Liz Truss is going to have if she becomes the prime minister."

Even though Scots voted narrowly in 2014 to stay in the UK, the SNP wants to hold a second plebiscite in October 2023.

In a bid to turn a page on the Johnson government and address Britons' economic fears, both Truss and Sunak have been issuing daily pledges of policy changes and have also been trying to curry favour with right-wingers in the Tory rank and file. 

As part of a plan to wage "war on Whitehall waste", Truss outlined the creation of "regional pay boards" outside London for public-sector pay.

According to her campaign, the plan could save £8.8 billion ($10.75 billion) a year if it covered "all public-sector workers in the long term".

Noting that all state workers would include health care and government employees, Tories in more deprived regions of England criticised the idea.

Insisting in an apparent U-turn that there was no plot to slash the pay of any public-sector workers, a Truss campaign spokesperson alleged Tuesday the plan had been subject to "wilful misrepresentation".

(With inputs from agencies)

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