Responding to the Conservative party leadership debate held in Exeter tonight, Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord, winner of the Tiverton and Honiton by-election, said:
“Tonight’s debate showed that Sunak and Truss have learned absolutely nothing from their Tiverton and Honiton by-election defeat.
“This is a dismal contest between the former Chancellor who repeatedly hiked taxes and a Foreign Secretary who sold out West Country farmers with botched trade deals.
“Rural communities across Devon spoke with one voice in the by-election – they demanded change.
“People told me they wanted a fair deal for local farmers, a plan to solve the NHS backlog, and targeted support for rural communities, who suffer higher energy bills and pay more for petrol.
“We saw no sign of such support tonight.”