Tory Leadership Hopefuls Name Their Greatest Weakness, And It Was All You Could Hope For

The Conservative leadership candidates faced one of life’s great levelers when they were asked the nightmare interview question: What’s your greatest weakness?

During a virtual husting hosted by the Conservative Home website, the final five were ushered into standard job interview territory – and the answers were revealing.

Kemi Badenoch: I can be careless.

First, Badenoch said that she would “allow my sense of humor to appear as if I were taking subjects lightly.”

She added: “I remember situations where I was a little bit joking and people were offended or thought I wasn’t taking them seriously. So that’s what I’ve been working on. Now I’m very careful how I use my words, especially in Parliament on the mail box, especially in the media.”

Rishi Sunak: I am a perfectionist.

Sunak basically said that he strives too hard for perfection – the answer of all answers.

He said: “Most people know I probably have a reputation for working hard and getting the details across.

“I think in these jobs, especially as you get older, you don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

“Part of what I’ve had to do over time – and what I’m constantly working on – is finding the right balance between … getting over the details and understanding every aspect of something and then realizing that I know so much or have done as much as I need to and my time is better spent elsewhere.”

It’s worth noting that perfection didn’t extend to spell checking.

Liz Truss: I’m overly overzealous.

Truss also flirted with a modest boast, saying she’s had “excessively overzealousness in the past and sometimes I have to hold back.”

She added: “That’s what I think we need to do now. I think we need to focus on getting the economy going and not trying to do too much.”

Penny Mordaunt: My Burmese Cats.

Mordaunt said she was “tempted to say Burmese cats as I have four and introducing them in #10 might pose some challenges for Larry”.

And her real response didn’t seem like a weakness: “I think I’ve learned over the years to delegate to be more effective. But I think we all have to learn to build a team from all the party’s talents.”

Tom Tugendhat: I love the army too much

Tugendhat, who has made his military background a central pillar of his campaign, said: “I know this will surprise you, but I may be talking a little too much about the army, which is possibly a weakness.”

He added: “But it would be wrong to think it’s one size fits all. I know it’s not for everyone and I know we need to find many other organizations that help in different ways.”

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