Outsider Kemi Badenoch, who said that "we need to reinvigorate the case for free speech" has been knocked out, but the final two candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have varied records on the topic which is likely to become a battleground in the race to become Britain's next Prime Minister.
Secure Freedom of Speech"I think that whoever we have as Prime Minister, is now likely not to do very much [on free speech]," said Tettenborn.
"We have some useful legislation, of course, in the form of the Bill of Rights. Where we have a government consultation coming up. The Free Speech Union agreed to be fairly active in that I'm down to help draft what we say. I think could be quite useful," he added. The FSU is an organisation dedicated to upholding free speech in Britain.
Tettenborn added that he believed that the government's planned legislation that will make universities have a new duty to secure freedom of speech will go ahead.
"I doubt the Conservative government will take it much further than that," he said, adding that more needed to be done in regards to making extensions for free speech for employers and professional associations.
Free SpeechRishi was Chancellor of the Exchequer having previously served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. His resignation as chancellor on July 5 helped to trigger an avalanche of ministerial resignations.
Truss has held more positions including Education Minister, Secretary of State for the Environment, Justice Secretary, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, as well as Minister for Women and Equalities.
She is currently Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs.
In December 2021, when Truss was Minister for Women and Equalities Truss, she affirmed the government’s stance that free speech and religious liberty should be protected from a conversion therapy ban.
The Minister replied that what is important is that "we ensure that people are not coerced into conversion therapy, but it is also important to protect freedom of speech."
"I hear Opposition Members asking whether freedom of speech is a good thing. Yes, it is," added Truss.
"After the collapse of communism, many breathed a sigh of relief and called it the end of history—confident that freedom and democracy would inexorably go global under its own steam," she said.
She added that "societies turned inwards. Rather than engaging with the big ideas shaping the world, failed ideas ran rife, like the post-modern philosophy that there is no objective truth."
"Too many people have jumped on this woke bandwagon and lost sight of what most people want: a life in which they can live happily in a secure home, work in a good job, and send their children to a decent school. Rather than engage with these priorities, the Left has been swept up by a warped ideology and all its bizarre obsessions," said Truss.
On quotas, diversity agendas, and so-called "unconscious bias" training she called them "dehumanising, disempowering, and dysfunctional ideas do nothing in practice to make life fairer."
"Those behind this pernicious woke culture see everything in terms of societal power structures. To these zombies, truth and morality are merely relative," wrote Truss.
Define What a Woman IsAs Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak was responsible for the policy of furlough and if elected would also be Britain's first Asian prime minister.
Sunak did not offer his own definition and deferred to a definition previously used by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"I think we do need to speak out on cultural issues by really, really making clear that freedom of speech is sacrosanct," said Butcher.
"I think we have to remember that the Conservative Party is not a free speech party. And actually the majority of them didn't even vote for Brexit in the referendum," said Butcher, adding that he believed that nobody is saying that the Conservatives are a "sort of people's Populist Party."
Online Safety BillStill in the background is the Online Safety Bill, which is currently on ice until a new prime minister is in place in the autumn, a move that won praise from free speech supporters.
"And I think there is a place for further amendments to this legislation to make sure we're delivering it and also make sure that everybody is aware of the intention of the Bill as well, which is also important," she added.
Sunak said he would look into “legal but harmful” definitions in the Online Safety Bill.
"And we've got to find a way to protect children against that in the same way as we do in the offline world, so to speak," he told The Spectator.
Sunak said he was glad the government's paused the Bill so the government can refine its approach here, that the "challenge is whether it strays into the territory of suppressing free speech."
"And the bit in particular that has caused some concern and questions is around this area where the government is saying, look, here's some content that's legal but harmful, and it's that's this kind of area, which I think people rightly have said, well, what exactly does that mean?" he said.
"I have a funny feeling that it will miraculously turn out that there isn't parliamentary time for it," he said.
The Epoch Times contacted Sunak and Truss for comment.