The former chancellor and health secretary took a swipe at his former mentee Mr Sunak over his vow to wait to reduce personal and business cuts until inflation is under control.

Sajid Javid became the latest former minister to back Liz Truss tonight as she threatens to move out of reach of Rishi Sunak in the race to become Tory leader and prime minister. 

The former chancellor and health secretary took a swipe at his former mentee Mr Sunak over his vow to wait to reduce personal and business cuts until inflation is under control.

Writing in the Times he warned that ‘tax cuts now are essential’ in order to get the economic out of a spiral of decline.

His endorsement ahead of a hustings in front of Welsh Tories in Cardiff this evening is the second from a big-name former leadership challenger for Ms Truss this week. 

Penny Mordaunt, who came third in the ballot of Tory MPs, announced her support on Monday. 

Javid’s endorsement of Truss over his friend Rishi Sunak may come as a blow to Sunak’s camp, as Javid was widely regarded a mentor to the former chancellor in his early political career.

It also means that the man whose resignation as health secretary last month kicked off the end of Boris Johnson’s time as leader is now in the same camp as most of his closest allies.

Senior figures including Nadine Dorries have taken pot-shots at Mr Sunak for resigning as chancellor – minutes after Mr Javid quit.

The former chancellor and health secretary took a swipe at his former mentee Mr Sunak over his vow to wait to reduce personal and business cuts until inflation is under control. 

His endorsement ahead of a hustings in front of Welsh Tories in Cardiff this evening is the second from a big-name former leadership challenger for Ms Truss this week.

Javid’s endorsement of Truss over his friend Rishi Sunak may come as a blow to Sunak’s camp, as Javid was widely regarded a mentor to the former chancellor in his early political career.

Ms Truss, the Foreign Secretary, opened up an astonishing 34-point lead in the latest opinion poll of Conservative members who make up the electorate, suggesting Mr Sunak has a mountain to climb.

Bank of England set for biggest hike in interest rates for 27 years to 1.75 per cent tomorrow 

The Bank of England is set to make the biggest hike in interest rates for 27 years to 1.75 per cent – amid warnings that inflation could hit 15 per cent at the start of next year.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may raise interest rates by half a per cent up from 1.25 per cent as part of aims to bring inflation back under control.

Previous predictions have forecast that Consumer Prices Index inflation would peak at around 11 per cent this autumn, before then falling back.

But the Resolution Foundation think tank has today warned that further financial misery may come.

While prices of some global commodities, including oil, have fallen from their peaks, the price of gas is currently obliterating household budgets.

A report said: ‘It is now plausible inflation could rise to 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2023.’

Gas prices are expected to be around 50 per cent higher this winter compared to the previous year due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

It comes as the annual energy bill this winter is already forecast to hit £3,615, according to analysis by energy consultant Cornwall Insight.

In a column for the Times, Javid insisted Truss had a ‘willingness’ to challenge the status-quo.

He also warned against Sunak’s fiscal plans would push Britain ‘into a high-tax-low-growth’ economy.

Javid said: ‘Over the long term we are more likely to be fiscally sustainable by improving trend growth.

‘Only by getting growth back to pre-financial crisis levels can we hope to support the high-quality public services people rightly expect. Some claim that tax cuts can only come once we have growth.

‘I believe the exact opposite – tax cuts are a prerequisite for growth. Of course we need more than that, especially significant supply side reform, but tax cuts now are essential.

‘There are no risk-free options in government. However, in my view, not cutting taxes carries an even greater risk.’

A former chancellor, Mr Javid also warned in an article for the Times that the nation risks ‘sleepwalking into a big-state, high-tax, low-growth, social democratic model which risks us becoming a middle-income economy by the 2030s’.

A spokeswoman for the Liz Truss campaign said: ‘Having worked closely with him for years in Cabinet, Liz is delighted to have Sajid on her team. We need the best players on the pitch and his experience provides yet another boost to our campaign. 

‘His support signals that Liz is bringing the party together and they’re uniting behind her bold plan to cut taxes, grow the economy and deliver for the country.’

It came as Mr Sunak’s allies suggested he could benefit from a voting delay caused by hacking fears 

The Conservatives party halted plans to start the voting process earlier this week after a warning from GCHQ that the mixed postal and online voting system could be ‘vulnerable’. 

Originally, Conservative party members were going to be given a postal ballot which had a code with it, individual to each voter. 

Afterwards, they could then submit their choice by post or online for the first time- and were able to change their decision later in the contest. 

But that has been abandoned because of fears the vote could be manipulated. Instead once a member has voted they cannot change it.

Sunak ally David Davis today suggested the  delay could be ‘helpful’ to the former chancellor. 

Tory leadership vote delay as spy chiefs warn ballots ‘could be vulnerable to hackers’ 

The Tory leadership vote has been hit by a delay after spy chiefs warned that ballots ‘could be vulnerable to hackers’.

Originally, Conservative party members were going to be given a postal ballot which had a code with it, individual to each voter. 

Afterwards, they could then submit their choice by post or online for the first time- and were able to change their decision later in the contest. 

According to the Telegraph, the chance to change the ballot was scrapped due to National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advice, after the organisation raised concerns about online hackers changing votes online which could have thrown the process into disarray.

Advice from the NCSC was more general and focused on the vulnerabilities of the voting process- there is believed to have been no threat from a hostile state. 

The new plans mean that each voter will have their unique code deactivated after they have made their candidate choice.

Ms Truss, the Foreign Secretary, opened up an astonishing 34-point lead in the latest opinion poll of Conservative members who make up the electorate, suggesting Mr Sunak has a mountain to climb.

Ms Truss, who has for weeks been the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, is supported by 60 per cent of Conservative members.

Just 26 per cent said they were backing former chancellor Mr Sunak, who has been launching a policy blitz in a bid to catch up with his rival.

The survey by YouGov for the Times also pours cold water on the former chancellor’s hopes of changing their minds, as he prepares for tonight’s third hustings in Cardiff.

More than 80 per cent of those who say they will support his rival insist their minds are already made up and they plan to cast their votes for her as soon as possible. 

Just 17 per cent say they might still change their mind while 29 per cent of Mr Sunak’s supporters say they might still vote differently.

But Mr Davis told the BBC: ‘A degree of delay is helpful to us … exposure to challenge is a very important part of this process.’

The Daily Mail has also endorsed Ms Truss for the leadership as ‘an authentic standard-bearer for low-tax, small-state Conservatism’.

A Truss campaign spokeswoman said:  ‘We have great momentum and Liz’s message of economic growth, low taxes and her ability to deliver from day one is resonating with members. 

‘We are not complacent and will continue to fight for every single vote. Liz is out across the country meeting as many members as possible and showing why she is the candidate who will deliver on our 2019 manifesto promises, unleash the full opportunities of Brexit and unite the Party.’ 

Tory MP David Davis, who is backing Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest, has played down the significance of recent polls.

Speaking to Sky News he said: ‘To be fair to the polls, these are difficult to do – how do you find Tory members? You know we don’t publish their names. You ring someone up – ”Are you a Tory member?”, ”Well, I voted Tory so that makes me a Tory member”, ”No, it doesn’t”.’

Mr Davis said the poll that does count is the one which comes in after around August 11 when people start sending their ballots in.

He added that the polls which came out on Wednesday were taken before Liz Truss’s U-turn on restricting public sector workers’ salaries.

‘I think the public will come to a view on judgment on that,’ he said. ‘It’s very, very important in this process.’

Miss Truss bolstered her lead despite pledging on Monday night to save £8.8billion by ending the process where civil servants’ pay is set nationally.

Her campaign said the introduction of regional pay boards would not only save money, by paying staff in the North or South West less than those in London, but also boost growth in areas where private firms struggle to match state wages.

But the policy was criticised by many who claimed that it would mean a pay cut for millions of public sector workers.

Tees Valley’s Tory mayor Ben Houchen said: ‘There is simply no way you can do this without a massive pay cut for 5.5million people including nurses, police officers and our armed forces outside London.’

The policy unravelled within a few hours yesterday morning after critics – including many in Miss Truss’s own party – warned it would undermine the Tories’ drive to ‘level up’ the country including the areas of the North and Midlands that secured the party’s majority at the last election.

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By Jon Doe