Welsh Secretary calls on Conservatives to unite behind new leader
Welsh Secretary Sir Robert Buckland has urged his party to ditch “self-indulgence and ideological disputes” and unite behind their new leader Liz Truss and her plans to deal with soaring energy bills.
Asked about opposition from Tory MPs to Ms Truss’s plans for vast tax cuts, he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “I think what everybody should realise now is rather than focusing on the internal debate that we’ve had, the enormity of the situation facing not just the UK, but the whole of western Europe with regard to energy is so big, that you’ve really got to focus on that and not worry about the purity of this or that particular ideological approach on that.”
He said Ms Truss “will have to show a high degree of pragmatism and a sense of reality” about the scale of the crisis.
He said that in order for the party to come together, MPs must realise “this cannot be a time for self-indulgence and ideological disputes or personality arguments, because the country’s facing a huge challenge”.
He also denied switching from backing Rishi Sunak to Ms Truss three weeks ago because of her lead in the polls, saying his decision was due to “policy-related reasons”.
Following her victory, Ms Truss promised a “bold plan” to cut taxes, deal with the energy crisis and deliver a Tory victory in 2024.
She defeated rival Rishi Sunak by 81,326 votes to 60,399 to win the Tory leadership, and will replace Boris Johnson in No 10 on Tuesday.
Ms Truss said Tory beliefs in freedom, low taxes and personal responsibility “resonate with the British people”.
“During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a conservative and I will govern as a conservative,” she said.
“We need to show that we will deliver over the next two years.
“I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy.
“I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”
She promised Tory members “we will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024”.
Mr Johnson will depart No 10 on Tuesday and Ms Truss will fly to Balmoral to meet the Queen for the formal handover of power.
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