Tory leadership latest: Penny Mordaunt backs ‘hope candidate’ Liz Truss at Exeter hustings

This contest is “a test that precedes an even greater test”, Penny Mordaunt says, hailing Liz Truss’s “bold economic plan” and the way she can “relate to people”.

“[She] understands that people need help with the cost-of-living now and… is going to rightly clobber our opponents… [and] most embodies the visions and values ​​the British public had in their heads and their hearts when they voted in 2016 and 2019.

To applause from the audience, she adds: “I’ve seen enough to know the person who I’m going to put my faith in is, and that is Liz Truss. Her graft, her authenticity, her determination, her ambition for this country, her consistency and sense of duty. She knows what she believes in and her resolve to stand up against tyranny and fight for freedom.

“That’s what our country stands for and that’s why I know with her we can win. And actually seeing her over the last weeks has made me want to help her, to help her win, to help build the team we need to win the country and to give ourselves as a party and as a nation the pride and the confidence we need to reach our full potential. In short, folks, to give us all hope. She for me is the hope candidate and that is why I am here tonight .”

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