Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has joined the race for Prime Minister and has announced she will reverse the controversial national insurance hike if made the Tory leader.

She has insisted she can be “trusted to deliver”.

The senior Cabinet minister, who is widely expected to be a front-runner in the already crowded race, promised to “start cutting taxes from day one” to help with the cost of living.

There are now 11 Tories in the running for PM, as newly appointed Foreign Office minister Rehman Chishti also declared his candidacy on Sunday evening.

Other contenders include former health secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak, his successor Nadhim Zahawi, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and trade minister Penny Mordaunt.

Former minister Kemi Badenoch and senior backbencher Tom Tugendhat have also thrown their hats into the ring.

The Argus: (PA)(PA)

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Truss’s pledge to scrap the national insurance rise matched that of component Javid.

The rise came into effect in April and was introduced to raise funds for the NHS and social care but has proved controversial at a time when households are feeling the cost of living struggle from soaring food and energy bills.

Truss argued “it isn’t right to be putting up taxes now”, and as leader she would take “immediate action” to assist with living costs.

She said she would “keep corporation tax competitive” – hinting that she wants to look again at Mr Sunak’s plans to hike the rate in April 2023 but did not go so far as to match some of her fellow contenders’ pledges to scrap the rise entirely.

The Foreign Secretary said she would “get the private sector growing faster than the public sector, with a long-term plan to bring down the size of the state and the tax burden”.

Writing in The Telegraph, she said: “Under my leadership, I would start cutting taxes from day one to take immediate action to help people deal with the cost of living.

“I would reverse the national insurance increase that came in during April, make sure we keep corporation tax competitive so we can attract business and investment into Britain, and put the Covid debt on a longer-term footing.”

She said her plan would get the country back on track towards becoming a “high-growth and high-productivity powerhouse”.

“It is built on a clear and longstanding Conservative philosophy, including bold supply-side reform,” she added.