A second poll shows Liz Truss extending her lead over Rishi Sunak as the pair prepare for the battle for Sky News’ number 10 | Political news

Liz Truss has been given a boost in her bid to become the next Tory leader as she and rival Rishi Sunak prepare to face the cameras on Sky News tonight.

A second poll in less than 24 hours showed the gap between the foreign minister and Mr Sunak enlargement.

The new survey of Conservative Party members by ConservativeHome released on Wednesday revealed Mrs Truss is the most likely to become the next prime minister – with 58% of those polled backing her.

Mr Sunak was found to have 26% support – while 12% were undecided.

Sajid Javid endorses Liz Truss as Prime Minister – Reuters

Meanwhile, the former health secretary and unsuccessful Conservative leadership candidate Sajid Javid also backed his campaign in a huge second hit of the day for Mr. Sunak.

Writing in The Times, Mr Javid said Mr Sunak’s refusal to cut taxes meant the UK was at risk of becoming a “middle-income economy”.

Read more about the Conservative leadership race

While, he said, Ms Truss had the “willingness to challenge the status quo”.

Mr Javid is the second former leadership candidate to endorse the Foreign Secretary this week after Penny Mordaunt declared her support on Monday.

A YouGov poll of Conservative members released on Tuesday also showed Ms Truss extends her lead over Mr Sunak to 34 points in the Conservative leadership race.

The survey, carried out for The Times, found that 60% of party members now say they will vote for the foreign secretary to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister.

This was compared to just 26% for former Chancellor Mr Sunak.

A spokesperson for Ms Truss’ campaign said polls show “Liz’s vision for the UK resonates with members”.

Truss “takes nothing for granted”

As the leadership race continues to heat up, candidates Mr Sunak and Ms Truss will face the cameras again tomorrow night on Sky News.

Mr Sunak will fight to catch up in a key week of the contest for the keys to number 10.

Taking place at 8pm tonight at Sky Studios in west London, The Battle for Number 10, will see the candidates take part in back-to-back questions from the live studio audience of Conservative Party members who remain largely undecided on who to vote on for.

This will then be followed by an in-depth interview with Kay Burley.

Yesterday, the two leadership candidates took part in the latest roundups held in Cardiff.

Ms Truss told the audience that she ‘takes nothing for granted’ and that ‘there is still a long way to go in this leadership election’.

In the early turbulence of her campaign, Ms Truss was forced on Tuesday to backtrack on a plan to link public sector wages to the regional cost of living.

On Monday night, the leadership contest favorite said she would save £8.8billion by introducing regional rather than national pay commissions to set salaries for civil servants, depending on where they live.

But experts have warned that to reach the sum, the plan would have to expand beyond government departments, with teachers, nurses and police also receiving lower salaries than workers in the south.

It sparked outrage among Tory MPs, and by lunchtime today – less than 24 hours later – Ms Truss’ team had issued a statement saying the policy would not be continued.

“Loyal, honest and hardworking”

Mr Sunak welcomed his U-turn, saying it would have meant ‘nearly half a million workers in Wales getting a pay cut’.

‘I don’t think cutting the pay of hundreds of thousands of workers here – and indeed in any part of the UK – is a Conservative policy that we should be taking and I’m glad she’s changed her mind’ , he told the public in Cardiff.

Elsewhere during the hustings, Mr Sunak hinted that he would consider abolishing inheritance tax if he became prime minister.

He told the crowd it was “not what he planned to do”, but it was something he could watch.

“I’ve set out a plan to systematically reduce income tax over time because I want to reward hard work. But I’m really, as you heard in my previous remarks, I’m someone who believes in supporting aspiration,” the former chancellor said.

“I think that’s a conservative value that many of us in this room will cherish and inheritance tax is one way to do that.

“So over time, is that something we should be looking at? Of course we should, because people who work hard should be rewarded for it.”

To give Mr Sunak’s campaign a boost, former Chancellor Nigel Lawson warned that the fiscal policy proposed by Ms Truss risked repeating the runaway inflation of the 1970s.

Mr Lawson, who previously backed Mr Sunak, told the Telegraph: “We have seen the impact of rising prices, crippling the economy and putting millions out of work.

“Savings have been eroded and investment has collapsed. I am deeply concerned that we risk repeating the mistakes of this decade.”

Meanwhile, the two contestants were also asked during the hustings to describe themselves in three words.

Mr Sunak said ‘loyal, honest and hardworking’ while Ms Truss said ‘determined, loyal and fun’.

‘The Battle for Number 10’ will be broadcast live for 90 minutes free of charge on Sky News channel 501, Freeview 233, Sky Showcase channel 106 and Sky News digital channels.