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Labour demands probe of Sunak’s defunding boast – follow live

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Sunak boasts of taking money from ‘deprived urban areas’

Labour has urged the government’s levelling up secretary to investigate Rishi Sunak after he was filmed boasting about diverting funding away from “deprived urban areas” towards more prosperous areas that “deserve” it.

In a letter to Greg Clark, Lisa Nandy described the comments made to grassroots Tories in Kent on 29 July – uncovered in footage obtained by the New Statesman – as “deeply concerning”, accusing the ex-chancellor and Tory leadership hopeful of “fixing the rules” to “secure political gain” for himself.

In the video, Mr Sunak told supporters: “I managed to start changing the funding formulas, to make sure areas like this are getting the funding they deserve because we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone.

“I started the work of undoing that.”

Earlier, the head of an influential think tank warned the next prime minister will have to find “many more billions” of pounds to help households pay soaring energy bills after the Bank of England’s dire economic forecast.


Tory leadership rivals face hustings in Eastbourne

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are facing yet another hustings event, set to kick off in Eastbourne at 7pm.

The two-hour event will be hosted by former Downing Street adviser Jimmy McLoughlin.


Almost half of voters believe neither leadership candidate is best to end feared recession

A majority of voters believe Rishi Sunak would be the best candidate to end a recession, according to a YouGov poll.

The British public are increasingly concerned about the prospect of facing a recession, with 63 per cent of respondents telling the pollster they feel it cannot be avoided.

Just 18 per cent of those polled said they believe that a recession can still be avoided.

When asked which of the leadership candidates would be best able to end such a recession, there was more confidence in the former chancellor, with 19 per cent of respondents selecting Mr Sunak compared to 12 per cent who said Liz Truss.

However, almost half – 46 per cent – said “neither”.


Who runs a caretaker government when the caretakers are on holiday?

“What do you call a country with a caretaker government, but where the caretaker has gone on holiday? In the middle of an economic crisis and a European war?

“Why, the United Kingdom, of course.”

Our associate editor Sean O’Grady takes a look at the “precedents for the current collective dereliction of duty” in this Politics Explained article:


Looking back to Boris Johnson’s comments on inflation

As the issue of inflation continues to shape the discussion of Tory leadership pledges – and much else – here’s what Boris Johnson had to say when asked about forecasts of rising prices last October:


Truss ‘snubs’ local press in Portsmouth despite ‘claiming they will have their pound of flesh’

Liz Truss is reported to have “snubbed any chance for questions” from a local reporter during her visit to Portsmouth, despite claiming that “the local press will have their pound of flesh”.

Here is the claim from Tom Cotterill, of Portsmouth News:


ICYMI: UK faces long recession and deepest plunge in living standards on record, Bank of England warns

Britain will plunge into a year-long recession this autumn in which households will be hit by the deepest fall in living standards on record, the Bank of England has warned.

My colleague Ben Chapman reports:


Labour calls for probe into Sunak’s defunding boast

Labour’s shadow levelling up secretary has written to her opposite number Greg Clark to call for an investigation into Rishi Sunak’s “deeply concerning” claims to have funnelled money away from “deprived urban areas” towards more prosperous places that “deserve” it.

In her letter, Lisa Nandy said: “This is deeply concerning. The former chancellor is admitting to fixing the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to affluent parts of the country at the expense of areas he himself admits are “deprived”.

“Public money should always be distributed fairly and spent in areas where it is most needed. It is completely unacceptable for ministers to allocate taxpayer funds in order to secure political gain for themselves or their party.”

Our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin has the full story here:


Truss acknowledges winter ahead will be ‘tough’

Liz Truss acknowledged there will be a “tough winter” ahead but said there is a need to move away from the “business-as-usual” policies to help “reform the economy”.

The foreign secretary, speaking during a visit to meet key investors in the City of London, told reporters: “The reality is we’re facing a recession if we carry on with our business-as-usual policies.

“People are struggling – whether it’s to pay food bills or fuel bills – that’s why it’s very important we reverse the national insurance increase, we have a temporary moratorium on the green energy levy to help people with their fuel bills.

“The most important thing is getting the economy going so we avoid a recession and the business-as-usual policies aren’t working, we need to do more, and that’s why I am determined to reform the economy and keep taxes low.”

She added: “I know it’s going to be a tough winter, I want to do all I can to make sure we’re releasing the reserves in the North Sea of gas, I want to get on with things like fracking in areas that support it, and I also want to make sure that we’re moving ahead with nuclear power and more renewables.

“Of course, it will take time but the best time to start is today in moving that forward, as well as giving people all the help we can by keeping their taxes low and getting the economy going.”


Viewers react after Kay Burley quotes Eminem as she roasts Liz Truss in leadership debate

Kay Burley has been praised by viewers for her takedown of Liz Truss, which included a nod to an Eminem lyric.

During a debate on Sky News last night (4 August), the broadcaster interviewed Number 10 hopefuls Truss and Rishi Sunak.

At one point, Burley began listing all the different examples of when Truss has made drastic U-turns in her views and policies.

My colleague Ellie Harrison reports:


Long read: Will a new prime minister destabilise Keir Starmer’s leadership of Labour?

Depending on who wins the Tory leadership contest, Starmer will have to redefine his position, writes John Rentoul. But is he even the right person for the job?

Read John’s full piece here:

Read More: Labour demands probe of Sunak’s defunding boast – follow live

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