Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including nominations closing in the Tory leadership contest and four candidates launching their campaigns
On the BBC’s Daily Politics the Tory minister Kwasi Kwarteng, who is on the programme as a Boris Johnson supporter, has just offered what might be the first hint of a climbdown by Johnson on tax cuts for the wealthy. Faced with complaints about Johnson’s policy being a handout to the rich, Kwarteng said that Johnson’s Telegraph column today (paywall) does not include a commitment to increase the higher rate tax threshold to £80,000. His column just talks about the need to raise thresholds “so that we help the huge numbers that have been captured in the higher rate by fiscal drag”.
The £80,000 figure was in the Telegraph’s splash (paywall), written by the paper’s highly-regarded deputy political editor Steven Swinford. Given the fact that Johnson is the paper’s best-paid columnist, it is impossible to believe that the paper would have splashed on the details of these tax cut plans without the approval of the Johnson campaign (which has not challenged the story in any way). Any claim that this is not actually what Johnson is proposing would be hard to credit.
Q: What do you say to people who think you are just continuity May?
Hunt says he would be quite different from previous prime ministers.