Politics

Economy to take centre stage after big-name Tory MPs quit

Rishi Sunak is set to battle it out with Sir Keir Starmer over the economy after a bruising day for the Conservative leader which saw two senior party figures quit as MPs.

Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom both announced on Friday they would not stand in the 4 July general election, bringing the total number of sitting Tories quitting to 78.

This beats the previous record of 72 MPs stepping down before Tony Blair‘s landslide in the 1997 election.

General election latest: Reaction as Gove and Leadsom standing down

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves feature in Saturday’s editions of The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail respectively touting their economic promises if their party wins the election.

Mr Hunt hinted at tax breaks for high earners and branded inheritance tax as “profoundly anti-Conservative”.

Meanwhile, Ms Reeves vowed to deliver financial stability with a Thatcher-style commitment to “sound money”.

More on Conservatives

She will meet with supermarket workers in London later to talk about the cost-of-living crisis, seeking to attack the Conservative record on the economy as she pitches Labour as the party of “stability and tough spending”.

Their comments come as Mr Gove quit his almost two-decade career in politics, saying it was time to let “a new generation lead”.

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PM admits to ‘difficult days’

He was quickly followed by Ms Leadsom who unsuccessfully stood against Theresa May to lead the Conservatives after the Brexit referendum.


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In her resignation letter, Ms Leadsom said it had been “the greatest honour to serve the people of South Northamptonshire as their MP for the last 14 years”.

Ms Leadsom, who is currently a junior health minister, was business secretary under Mrs May.

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