Rishi Sunak has described his approach to the economy as “common-sense Thatcherism”.
The former chancellor spoke after officially launching his leadership bid to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.
In his campaign speech on Tuesday, Sunak pledged to cut taxes only when inflation is under control.
It is in contrast to his Conservative leadership rivals who have promised tax cuts immediately.
Speaking in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper, Sunak compared his economic approach to that of Margaret Thatcher, prime minister between 1979 and 1990.
The MP for Richmond in Yorkshire said that his strategy had bene endorsed by those with an understanding of “how she thought about these things”.
He said: “Our number one economic priority is tackling inflation and not making it worse.”
“Inflation is the enemy that makes everybody poorer. And if we don’t act to tackle inflation now, it’s going to cost families more in the long run, especially on their mortgage rates.
“So that’s what I’ll be focused on dealing with. But we will cut taxes, as I said, and we will do it responsibly. That’s my economic approach. I would describe it as common-sense Thatcherism.
“I believe that’s what she would have done. And my economics approach has been endorsed by lots of people who have a good understanding of how she thought about these things. I think it’s the right approach for the country.”
However, Sunak sidestepped a question of whether Thatcher would have backed his campaign.
“Everyone should be, I think, humble about comparing themselves to Margaret Thatcher,” he said.
“But look, in this particular instance, I do believe I’m best placed to restore trust, to rebuild the economy and reunite the country. I believe I can appeal in the broadest range of places.”