Key moments of the Tory leadership debate
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt clashed on a number of subjects.
Conservative leadership hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have taken part in what is thought to be their last head-to-head debate before the new prime minister is announced next week.
Here are some of the key moments of the debate hosted by The Sun and talkRadio.
– Mr Johnson’s personal life
The leadership favourite again refused to speak about his private life, including whether he would live with partner Carrie Symonds in Downing Street.
He said: “I’ve had a pretty ruthless rule on not commenting on that side of things and I don’t intend, if I may, to break it after 30 years.”
The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who was hosting the debate, pressed on it being a trust issue with the public that voters do not know who he would be living with in No 10.
Mr Johnson said: “I don’t want to get into any kind of presumptuous theorising about living in Downing Street at all.”
– Cabinet jobs
At one point Mr Hunt seemed to be offering his rival the job of chancellor, when he joked: “He’ll be in No 11 and I’ll be in No 10.”
Asked if Mr Hunt would keep his role as Foreign Secretary in a Boris Johnson-led government, the leadership favourite suggested that answering the question “would be an impertinent commentary on the future composition of the Cabinet I would be lucky enough to lead” but he added “what I can tell you is that I have the highest regard” for Mr Hunt.
When Mr Hunt was asked if he would give Mr Johnson, his predecessor as Foreign Secretary his old job back, he said: “Ermm Boris, you have nothing to worry about – you will have a very senior role.”
Mr Johnson joked that Mr Hunt had already suggested he could be in line for Amber Rudd’s job at the Department of Work and Pensions.
– Both declined to label Trump’s congresswoman comments racist
Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson criticised Donald Trump for telling four US congresswomen to “go back” to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came”.
While Mr Trump did not name the four, he is believed to have been referring to congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Only Ms Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born.
Mr Johnson said he “simply cannot use that kind of language” and that it was “totally unacceptable”.
Mr Hunt said the remarks were “totally offensive”, but challenged on whether the remarks are racist, he said “it is not going to help the situation” to describe the president of the United States in those terms.
– Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism
Both candidates were asked if they believed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was personally anti-Semitic, amid a long-running row about anti-Semitism in his party’s ranks and how it has handled the claims.
Mr Hunt replied: “Unfortunately, he may be.”
And Mr Johnson said: “I think by condoning anti-Semitism in the way he does, I am afraid he is effectively culpable of that vice.”
Both men ruled out backing the US in any war against Iran, with Mr Johnson saying: “Diplomacy must be the best way forward.”
Mr Hunt said: “I don’t think they are looking to do any kind of war, I really don’t. The risk we have is something different, which is accidental war.”
– Delivering Brexit
Arguing that he is the most likely candidate to get Brexit delivered by the current deadline, Mr Hunt said: “If people think with their heads as well as their hearts, they will see that my way of delivering Brexit is more likely to get us out by October 31 because I have a plan for no-deal but also the ability to negotiate a deal that can get through the Houses of Parliament.
“Being prime minister is not just about what you promise but what you can deliver.”
Mr Johnson said Brexit has to be done by October 31 adding the nation faces a “momentous choice” between the “same old failed can-kicking approach” between change and getting back “our mojo”.
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