Cardiff anti-poverty and environmental campaigners are set to protest outside the Tory leadership hustings in the city on Wednesday evening.

Candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are due to be grilled by Welsh Conservative Party members at the All Nations Centre in Gabalfa from 7pm.

Campaign groups - including The People's Assembly Against Austerity and Extinction Rebellion - say they will hold a "Tories Out" demonstration at the venue.

"Neither Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak are saying they will stop our household energy bills and living costs going through the roof," Adam Johannes, a People's Assembly activist, told The National.

"Our government could be helping people with the cost of living crisis - Portugal has frozen household energy bills, France is capping price rises at 4 percent.

"Spain, Germany and New Zealand are slashing public transport fares, some countries are imposing price controls to keep essentials like fuel and food affordable, and others have rent controls to keep housing affordable.

"The government could impose windfall taxes and wealth taxes on the mega-rich and big business to fund helping people."

Both Sunak and Truss have pitched themselves to the Tory membership as Thatcherite culture warriors - each has pledged cuts to taxes and regulations, alongside a wave of policies designed to further restrict the rights of asylum seekers and transgender people.

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Former chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that he would move to include "vilification of the UK" in the official definition of extremism, with people who express "an extreme hatred of our country" referred to the UK Government's controversial Prevent deradicalisation programme.

As this week began, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was pushed into a u-turn on her “war on Whitehall waste” pledge to cut the pay of public sector workers - including NHS staff and teachers - living outside of London and the south east of England.

Truss has also proposed cutting the holiday leave entitlement of civil service employees, as well as scrapping jobs aimed at boosting diversity and inclusion in the public sector.

Both candidates have committed to cracking down on the right of workers to strike.

Mr Johannes added: "Both Tory leadership candidates support more anti-trade union laws.

"We support the national strike wave, because every worker deserves a pay rise that matches rising living costs, and opinion polls suggest over two-thirds of the Welsh public believe the current rail strike is justified.

"Every week of Tory rule brings more iliberal attacks on longstanding human rights, civil liberties and democratic freedoms.

"It's time for them to go."

The debate comes as economists warn of an incoming recession, with The National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicting that inflation - a measure of increases to everyday living costs - will rise to "astronomical levels".

Ofgem is set to increase the energy price cap by an eyewatering 70 percent in October this year, taking the average annual household bill for gas and electricity to just over £3,300.

Charities have warned that the escalating cost of living crisis could push millions into further hardship.

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