Tory leadership – live: Zahawai backs Truss as Sunak announces tax cut if made PM

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, vying to become the country’s next prime minister, will go head to head in the leadership race amid a crucial week for Britain starting Monday.

Postal ballots to pick the chief of the conservative party will drop on members’s doorsteps on Monday.

Britain’s foreign secretary Ms Truss’s poll pitch was bolstered further on Sunday after finance minister Nadhim Zahawi backed the conservative candidate, becoming the latest party heavyweight to get behind the frontrunner.

Trailing in the race for the top job, Sunak announced he will slash the basic income tax rate by 20 per cent by 2029 if he is made the prime minister, in a move analysts have called a potential gamechanger.

“It is a radical vision but it is also a realistic one,” the former prime minister said, calling it the biggest income tax cut since the time of Margaret Thatcher.

Both candidates will face a grilling in the second of 12 official hustings over the summer in Exeter at 7pm.

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