Sunak’s allies reject Truss’ ‘mansplaining’ accusation

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clashed for the first time in the BBC Tory leadership debate – Getty

A senior ally of Rishi Sunak has dismissed claims by Liz Truss supporters that the former Chancellor was guilty of ‘mansplaining’ during the Tory leadership debate last night.

David Davis, the former Brexit secretary who backs Mr Sunak in the contest, dismissed the accusation and said the tone of the head-to-head debate was no different to where he went head-to-head with David Cameron during the 2005 Conservative Party leadership race. .

Warned that allies of Ms Truss had accused Mr Sunak of ‘aggressive mansplaining’ and ‘screaming behaviour’ during the debate, Mr Davis told Sky News: ‘We disagree on that. Look, like I said, when I had conversations with Cameron, I was just as forensic and difficult with him as Rishi was last night.

“No one has been accused – I don’t know what you would accuse me of, separating Cameron’s arguments – no one has accused me of anything untoward.

“I don’t think the rules should be that different if it’s a man and a woman or if it’s a man and a man or a woman and a woman.”

Last night’s debate saw the most heated attacks so far in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, which will be decided by Conservative Party members by September 5.

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