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I don’t think it is responsible as a candidate for the position of Leader of the Conservative Party to be approaching domestic policy in an economically irresponsible way. Particularly as the winner of this race will become the next Prime Minister.

We might have a limited amount of fiscal headroom that may open up after Brexit but the OBR cautions that it might be far less than the Chancellor envisages due to the potential of higher interest rates and student debt coming onto the public balance sheet.

I am therefore not going to pledge to spend tens of billions of taxpayers’ money during this campaign as I think this would undermine the Conservative Party’s hard-earned reputation for effective financial management. There is a premium on trust in our politics because so many promises have been broken by politicians over recent years. We must avoid corroding our politics further in this leadership race.

As a country, we have made hugely difficult spending choices over the last decade to bring the deficit down from 9.9% of GDP to the under 2% we have now. I am not going to risk jeopardising that success through unfunded spending commitments, but I can share with you the three big domestic policy areas of a Harper government:

  1. Tackling big societal challenges
  2. A strong and credible package for businesses
  3. Spreading wealth and opportunity around the entire UK