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Tory tax row erupts as Michael Gove sides with former foe Liz Truss in plea for cuts

MICHAEL Gove BACKED his former political foe Liz Truss today as he pleaded with Rishi Sunak to slash taxes ahead of next year's showdown general election.

On the first day of Tory Conference in Manchester, the Levelling Up Secretary said a desire to cut record rates - the highest since the Second World War - "is one that unites the Conservatives".

But just minutes earlier the PM refused to make the same commitment.

Instead, he told the BBC that the "best tax cut" he can initiate is halving inflation.

Mr Gove told Times Radio: "I think it's no secret that Liz Truss and I, we have not always agreed about everything in the past, but I completely agree with Liz here.

"I think that the principle that we should seek to reduce taxation is one that unites the Conservatives."

Ms Truss will join allies on the right of the party for a conference "growth rally", aimed at pressuring the PM to change course on the economy.

Alongside former cabinet secretaries, the ex-PM will call for corporation tax to be slashed from 25% to 19%.

She'll also argue Mr Sunak should make the Tories the “party of business again” and slash the size of the state.

Ms Truss will say: “Ahead of this year’s autumn statement, we must make the Conservative Party the party of business once again, by getting corporation tax back down to 19%.

“This is how we make Britain grow again. It is free businesses that will get us there, not the Treasury, not the Government and not the state."

Responding to the rallying cry, Mr Gove insisted he doesn't need to "sign any pledges to show my commitment to reducing the size of government".

He added: "I think that as a member of the government, the pledge that I make is I will work every day with our Chancellor and others to get value for money, to bear down on the cost of government.

"Judge me and judge this government on our actions."

It comes as Mr Sunak this morning refused to heed to the demands of his backbenchers and ministers by cutting taxes.

The PM said: "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."