Tory MPs are 'dividing themselves into gangs and hunting each other', says Andrew Marr

11 July 2022, 18:10 | Updated: 12 July 2022, 10:22

Tonight with Andrew Marr - 11/07/22 monologue

By Daisy Stephens

Andrew Marr has said Conservative MPs are 'dividing themselves into gangs and going hunting for each other' as the Tory leadership contest continues.

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In his opening monologue, Andrew said: "What a broiling, sticky day it’s been in the primeval marshlands of Westminster.

"Alligators slithering down committee corridors, puff adders behind the photocopiers, buzzing, stinging things zipping through the air.

"And Conservative MPs dividing themselves into gangs and going hunting - mainly for each other.

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"It's much too early to tell you who is going to win, or even come second, in the contest to become the next Prime Minister.

"But most people think Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor, is ahead so far.

"Most think he will be challenged hard by a candidate of the Brexit right, perhaps Liz Truss, perhaps Penny Mordaunt.

"And the general view of MPs I've talked to is that if that other candidate comes second, they would then probably beat Rishi Sunak among Tory members in the country and move into number 10.

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"But nobody knows for sure.

"You think you understand what's going on, and then there's a sudden thrashing out in the mangroves, a thin cry of distress - and a croc waddles past with the bleeding stump of someone's career wedged between its teeth.

"What I can say is this: the promises being made by would be-prime ministers really do matter to the rest of us, and for me the most worrying thing is the vast piling up of unfunded tax pledges.

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"Now, I'm not against tax cuts.

"But we know from the office of budget responsibility last week that Britain's finances are in dangerously poor repair.

"Big tax cuts now would mean yet more borrowing and/or spending cuts somewhere else.

"But in this contest so far there’s been very little explanation of any of that.

"Labour's leader Keir Starmer moved to exploit this in a speech in Newcastle today, claiming Tory candidates have blown £200b worth of tax pledges in yesterday's papers alone.

"Not quite true. But because the promises being made now will affect everyone listening to this programme - living standards, pay, inflation, public services - those are what I'm going to concentrate on today, with Tory politicians from different camps and the opposition.

"We will leave the individual candidate rivalries to the ever-peckish alligators overnight."