The winner of the Tory leadership contest will be announced at lunchtime today as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak finally discover which one of them will replace Boris Johnson in No 10.
The long-running battle to be the next prime minister will draw to a close at approximately 12.30pm, with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, due to announce the winner at an event in central London.
The winner of the contest is then expected to deliver a short speech, with Ms Truss and Mr Sunak due to be told who has won ten minutes in advance.
Ms Truss is seen as the overwhelming favorite in the leadership election and a victory for Mr Sunak would stun Westminster.
Once the announcement has been made, the winner will then spend the afternoon and evening finalizing their choices for their Cabinet and wider ministerial roles before formally becoming PM tomorrow.
Follow the latest updates below.
Next PM faces ‘challenges on virtually every front’
Gavin Barwell, who was Theresa May’s chief of staff in No 10, has warned the next PM will face “one of the most difficult inheritances of any prime minister in my lifetime”.
In a lengthy Twitter thread posted this morning, Mr Barwell said that Mrs May had “inherited the huge Gordian knot of Brexit, but the rest of the political environment was (relatively) benign”.
But he said Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will face “challenges on virtually every front” as he highlighted spiking energy bills for families and businesses, strikes, the NHS backlog and “how to keep the lights on this winter” as just some of the difficult problems which will be in the next PM’s in-tray.
Lord Barwell said that “the new prime minister may want low taxes but events will make it difficult”. He said he wishes the winner of the leadership contest well but added he hoped “they are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge”.
Economist open to serving on Liz Truss’s council of economic advisers
Liz Truss is planning to set up a “council of economic advisers” if she becomes PM. That council would then help guide the next government’s economic policy as it tries to avoid a recession and combat the cost-of-living crisis.
Gerard Lyons, an economist who has backed Ms Truss’s economic plans, has been tipped for a role on the council.
Mr Lyons was asked this morning if he could be part of the advisory body and he told Times Radio that “clearly it is up to the prime minister who she chooses to be on a council”.
But he said he does believe the council would be useful to act as a “different body of opinion” to the Treasury on economic matters. He said “Treasury orthodoxy” has been a long-running problem and must be challenged.
Asked if he would be open to serving on the council if he is asked to do so, Mr Lyons said “of course” but he would “need to look at the detail”.
‘They could do a lot worse than U-turn’
Liz Truss is considering freezing energy bills for millions of households this winter if she wins the Conservative Party leadership race, the Telegraph understands (you can read the full story here).
Such a move would be welcomed by Labor which has already called for the cap on energy bills to be frozen.
Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, said this morning that Ms Truss should have already set out in detail how she intends to help struggling families.
He told BBC Breakfast: “It’s extraordinary that one of them will walk into Downing Street today with no idea what they’re going to do to help people. Now Labour’s winning the battle of ideas here, Labour’s come up with a fully-costed plan.
“They could do a lot worse than U-turn on what they’ve said in refusing help to families and look at what we’ve proposed and adopt it, as they have many times this year.”
Next Cabinet must be ‘broadly based’
Mark Harper, the Tory former chief whip and a supporter of Rishi Sunak, has said the winner of the leadership contest must appoint a “broadly based Cabinet” in order to get through what promises to be a rocky period in British politics in the months ahead. .
Mr Harper was told during an interview on Times Radio that some of Liz Truss’s supporters have been highly critical of Mr Sunak and his record as chancellor.
Asked if he believes it will be hard to unite the Conservative Party after the contest, Mr Harper said: “We have a democratic process here, party members will have made a decision… it is important for all Conservatives to get behind the new prime minister.”
Mr Harper said the key to unifying the Tories will be appointing a “broadly based Cabinet that covers all wings of the party”.
Good morning and welcome to today’s politics live blog.
It promises to be a truly momentous day in Westminster, with the winner of the Tory leadership contest due to be announced at 12.30pm.
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will finally discover which one of them will take over from Boris Johnson after what has been a lengthy and bruising battle between the pair.
The winner will then need to finalize their Cabinet plans before formally becoming PM tomorrow.
I will be on hand throughout this week to guide you through the key developments.