WATCH: Reed compares Tory leadership race to Doctor Who regeneration episode

Katie Neame

Labour’s Steve Reed has said the Tory leadership race is like an “episode of Doctor Who” where the character regenerates, adding that we do not know yet whether the Prime Minister will “come back reincarnated” as Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss.

The Foreign Secretary and the former Chancellor were selected as the final two candidates to replace Johnson as Tory leader in a fifth round of voting by their Conservative parliamentary colleagues on Wednesday.

In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Shadow Justice Secretary said: “After all of the ruckus that we’ve seen in the House of Commons, the Tories fighting each other like rats in a sack over the last few weeks, we’ve ended up with the two continuity candidates.

“Both of them very senior lieutenants in Boris Johnson’s government. Both of them voted and supported every one of the 15 tax hikes that were delivered under Boris Johnson. Both of them equally responsible for the high-tax low-growth economy that the Conservatives have delivered.

“So it’s a bit like an episode of Doctor Who where he’s going to regenerate into a new character. We just don’t know yet whether Boris Johnson is gonna come back reincarnated as Rishi or Liz. But they’re both responsible for every single economic error that has been made under the Johnson government.”

Sunak topped the ballot of Conservative MPs on Wednesday, receiving 137 votes. Truss was backed by 113 MPs, ahead of Penny Mordaunt who was eliminated after receiving 105 votes.

Commenting following the result, Labour’s Conor McGinn described Sunak and Truss as “stooges of the Johnson administration whose fingerprints are all over the state the country finds itself in today”.

The shadow minister without portfolio added: “Both are now desperately trying to distance themselves from the Tory record of the last 12 years. But both have backed every decision, including every one of Boris Johnson’s 15 tax rises.

“Rather than plans to tackle the Tory cost-of-living crisis or grow Britain’s economy, they are simply offering the fantasy economics of unfunded giveaways. Neither offers working people anything except more of the same.

“Whichever one of these continuity candidates wins, one thing is clear: the more time we give the Tories, the more damage they will do. Only Labour can provide the fresh start the country needs.”

The next stage of the leadership contest will see the two remaining candidates put to a ballot of the Conservative Party membership after a series of hustings around the country. The first hustings with Conservative members will take place on Thursday in Leeds.

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