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Key quotes from the Conservative leadership campaign TV debate

PA Media logoPA Media 15/07/2022 By PA Staff
Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss at the Channel 4 Conservative leadership debate (Victoria Jones/PA) © Victoria Jones Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss at the Channel 4 Conservative leadership debate (Victoria Jones/PA)

“We are all responsible for our own campaigns and I take it as a big fat compliment that no-one wants to run against me.” – Penny Mordaunt, asked about attacks on her.

“I’m running an entirely positive campaign which is about the great challenges we face and what we need to do to deliver for the people of Britain because we are facing a cost-of-living crisis, families are struggling.” – Liz Truss, asked if she “had the dogs out” to attack Penny Mordaunt.

“I’m a woman, I’m a biological woman, if I had a mastectomy I would still be a woman – I’m a biological woman in every cell in my body.” – Penny Mordaunt.

“No.” – Tom Tugendhat, answering the question of whether Boris Johnson is an honest man.

“You’ve also given me two children.” – Tom Tugendhat responds to a question on the NHS from a woman in the audience, before hastily adding: “Not you personally, of course.”

“It’s easy to stand up to your enemies – it’s sometimes harder to stand up to your friends.” – Tom Tugendhat, which many on social media thought was an Albus Dumbledore quote from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Video: Nadhim Zahawi: 'I've paid my taxes' (Sky News)


“Why should the public trust us? We haven’t exactly covered ourselves in glory and it has, on occasion, looked like we were doing this for ourselves.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“Energy is a subject that worries me a lot, I grew up in Nigeria where there were blackouts every single day, there still are. I know what it’s like not to be able to turn on the light, so it terrifies me seeing how high bills are going.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“Our country can still be so much better. Better for those working hard to make ends meet like I did on minimum wage, flipping burgers at McDonald’s all those years ago.” – Kemi Badenoch.

“I don’t think the responsible thing to do right now is launch into some unfunded spree of borrowing and more debt, that will just make inflation worse, it will make the problem longer.” – Rishi Sunak.

“I have two young girls and they’re not massively bothered about my job (but) the one thing they ask me about is the environment.” – Rishi Sunak.

“Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan, it’s a fairytale.” – Rishi Sunak to Liz Truss.

“I think it is wrong to put taxes up.” – Liz Truss responds.

“I support the extra money, I just don’t support the way we funded it. I support spreading the Covid debt over a longer period of time.” – Liz Truss on Rishi Sunak’s national insurance increase.

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