Fiery Rishi Sunak sticks it to net zero critics but dodges pleas for tax cuts on day one of Tory Conference | The Sun

FIERY Rishi Sunak today hit out at critics of his new net zero rules, labelling them out of touch and unaware of the financial pressures facing hard-up homes across Britain.

But on the first day of Tory Conference in Manchester, the PM dodged questions about the fate of HS2 and refused to commit to tax cuts ahead of next year's showdown general election.

In his first conference interview, Mr Sunak told the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show that he is determined to hit net zero by 2050.

But he added he has no issues making tough calls to ensure families aren't left out of pocket in the process.

Mr Sunak said: "It's fine to criticise me, it's fine to disagree with me.

"But then you have to explain to families why you think it's right to impose those costs.

"I don't think it is and that's why we're charting a new course."


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The PM won plaudits from his backbenchers and households across the country last month after delaying the hated ban on petrol and diesel cars by five years to 2035.

He also vowed to no longer force homes to purchase £10,000 heat pumps.

Last night a fresh poll by Opinium showed the race between Labour and the Tories is now the closest it's been since Mr Sunak came into power.

Labour’s lead fell to 39% while the Conservatives were bumped up to 29%.

But while Mr Sunak was categorical on his plans for the environment, he swerved questions on whether HS2 will run all the way to Manchester.

The fate of the multi-billion pound project has cast a huge shadow over the annual gathering of the Tory tribes in Manchester's swanky Midland hotel.

Mr Sunak said: "I'm not going to comment on all this speculation.

"We've got a project, we've got spades in the ground and we're getting on with it.

But it's right to focus on levelling up.

The PM also refused to commit to tax cuts ahead of next year's mega general election.

He brushed of pleas to slash record high rates with a promise to halve inflation instead.

Last night Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove announced he would "like to see the tax burden reduced by the next election".

But Mr Sunak said: "The best tax cut that I can deliver for the British people right now is to have inflation.



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"Inflation is a tax. It's a tax that impact the poorest people the most.

"That is why the best tax cut that I can deliver is to have inflation and that is why I set it out."

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