Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended leaving his successor, either former Chancellor Rishi Sunak or Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, to deal with the soaring inflation and cost-of-living crisis, saying he is confident the government will have the fiscal firepower and the headroom to look after people.
Addressing a Downing Street reception on Tuesday evening, Johnson said he was “absolutely certain” his successor would do more to help people with rising fuel bills. It came as Downing Street had ruled out any fresh government spending commitments during Johnson’s remaining time in office, despite pressure from Opposition parties.
“Whoever he or she may be, they, I’m absolutely certain, will be wanting to make some more announcements in September, October about what we’re going to do further in the next period, in December, January, Johnson said, with reference to the finalists in the Conservative Party leadership race Sunak and Truss.
While Truss has promised immediate tax cuts, her rival Sunak has vowed targeted support to provide more money to vulnerable households if elected early next month.
But the Opposition Labour Party accused the Conservative government of leaving a “political vacuum” and called on Johnson and the prime ministerial hopefuls not to wait but to act now.
“There is a lot that we need to do, but at the moment what we have got is bickering in the Conservative party, a race to the bottom amongst the candidates, an absent Prime Minister nowhere to be seen, David Lammy, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, told the BBC.