London politics LIVE: Poll gives Labor 33-point lead over Tories as Kwasi Kwarteng, Liz Truss face mini-budget pressure
new poll has given Labor a 33 point lead over the Tories as Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss come under renewed pressure over their controversial economic plan.
The lead – thought to be the largest any political party has enjoyed since the late 1990s – comes as the Chancellor doubled down on his mini-budget, saying the Government “is sticking to the growth plan”.
The new YouGov poll, carried out on Wednesday and Thursday, put Labor on 54% with the Conservatives on 21%.
It follows market turmoil following last Friday’s mini-budget, which announced wide-ranging tax cuts funded by huge additional public borrowing.
On Thursday, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joined those criticizing the plan, as she said the package of measures “isn’t going to fight inflation” or promote long-term economic growth.
“Investors, business people want to see world leaders taking inflation very seriously, and it’s hard to see that out of this new government,” she said.
However Chancellor Kwarteng insisted the Government is “sticking to the growth plan” and that it is “going to help people with energy bills”.
In a message to Tory MPs, the Chancellor wrote: “I understand your concern. We are one team and need to remain focused. The only people who win if we divide is the Labor Party”.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also defended the fiscal plans but refused to guarantee whether people’s pensions are safe.
Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol during an interview round on Thursday, she was asked by presenter James Hanson if she could rule out further shocks to pensions after the Bank of England was forced to intervene on Wednesday.
Despite being pressed by the presenter, Ms Truss refused to rule out any further threats to pensions, instead saying: “Well, the Bank of England do that and they do a very good job of it.”
The Bank of England stepped in to stop a collapse in pension fund investments with a £65 billion bond-buying program to address what it described as a potential “material risk to UK financial stability”.
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Liz Truss defends mini budget
Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, Ms Truss has defended the Chancellor’s mini-Budget announcement.
She claimed the Government has taken decisive action with a cap on energy prices and that she understands families “are struggling”.
“What’s important to me is that we get our economy moving,” she said.
Asked on the mini budget, she said it has opened up new infrastructure projects which will be able to get on with helping local regions across the country.
Liz Truss: We acted to protect the public from energy costs
The prime minister continues by insisting the Government has put the country on the right path.
Considering the rise in inflation and interests rates, Ms Truss is asked if her initial measures have done enough.
In a pre-recorded clip, Lee, a Leeds resident claims he would not be able to survive if he didn’t have a food bank.
Ms Truss replied to say the action taken on energy bills means that many won’t be hit with bills of £6,000.
She adds the “action we have taken” will help get jobs to Leeds and build further infrastructure.
‘We had to act as a Government.’ says Liz Truss
Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, the prime minister continued her defense of the new measures.
Asked on the financial turmoil, Ms Truss said the situation would have been worse if the Government had not acted to reduce energy bills.
By doing so, she believes the Government has “avoided the economic slow down which was predicted”.
Ms Truss then adds that her priority was to protect the British public before saying “I have to do what is right for out country and to move it forward”.
She then insists that it is important the UK is on the front foot to growth, to make sure the economy grows.
Liz Truss: Our plan is the right one
Again, the prime minister insists that the protection of energy bills was an essential move for the British public.
Asked on local issues in Norfolk such as the NHS, Ms Truss refuses to comment on whether King’s Lynn will get a new hospital.
Liz Truss asked: ‘Are you ashamed of what you’ve done?’
The prime minister is quick to defend her Government’s measures following the mini-budget despite the backlash following the bold announcement.
Ms Truss claims the measures taken on energy bills will curb inflation by up to five per cent this winter.
Asked on the Bank of England’s intervention, she insists the Government is working in tandem with the financial institution to protect the economy.
After the pound plummeted last week, Ms Truss said the Government has “taken difficult decisions” and as prime minister, she is willing to continue to do so.
Liz Truss questioned on fracking
Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, the prime minister defended the decision to restart the controversial process, claiming that any fracking must have “local community consent”.
She then added that the UK has become dependent on global energy prices, and that she wants to see the country become more energy independent.
Liz Truss: Fracking will be done with local consent
The prime minister was asked about a local fracking site in Preston and insisted the Government will only proceed with local consent.
Ms Truss was further questioned about tax cuts and whether she believed Red Wall voters would see them as fair.
The prime minister defended her position before saying there was a “global economic situation” taking place.
She added: “What we’re also doing is taking action to speed up growth across the country.”
Ms Truss concluded by saying she “couldn’t allow the situation to drift”.
Liz Truss: Our energy plan has protected the UK
Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham, the prime minister said the UK was facing high inflation and a slowing economy before the measures were introduced.
Quizzed on the remarks by David Gauke and former Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, Ms Truss repeats her claim that the measures will protect against further inflation.
The prime minister then defends the move to protect energy bills, which would have closed shops and pubs across the country.
Asked about mortgage payments, Ms Truss said it was “important” the Bank of England can set interest rates independently but ultimately, the war in Ukraine has caused a rise in global energy prices.
“If we do not grow our economy, that means there won’t be new investment, there won’t be new jobs,” Ms Truss said.
Although the measures may be unpopular, the prime minister claims the Government wants to increase growth.
Ms Truss insists she and the Chancellor have “taken action” to help grow the economy.
‘We need to remember the situation we were facing,’ says Liz Truss
Speaking to BBC Radio Tees, Ms Truss repeats the benefits of the new energy price cap plans.
Played a clip from a woman who has been forced to sell her house due to the economic situation, Ms Truss said her priority was people who are facing “appalling fuel bills”.
The prime minister claimed the Government has taken “decisive action”.
“What I’m about is making sure the British people are protected from global energy prices,” Ms Truss said.
Asked wants on child poverty, and the rise in the northeast, Ms Truss said the Government to get more people into work to get high paid jobs.
‘This is all down to Putin,’ says Liz Truss
Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Ms Truss is asked on the fall out from the economic measures announced last week.
Ms Truss insists the international markets are struggling due to the war in Ukraine.
Asked if pensions are safe, Ms Truss said the Bank of England does a good job of helping to protect the economy.
She adds that this is a “global financial situation” and the Government has stepped in to help.
Ms Truss adds that it is important to have lower taxes across the board to prevent an economic slow down, and ultimately, move the public onto higher wages.