Liz Truss accused of 'inept madness' in Tory backlash to market turmoil

Liz Truss pictured shortly before Friday's mini-Budget which has been followed by market turmoil - Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Liz Truss pictured shortly before Friday's mini-Budget which has been followed by market turmoil - Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Liz Truss has been accused of "inept madness" by one of her own MPs as Conservatives round on her over market turmoil in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's 'mini-Budget' last week.

The Bank of England was forced to intervene on Wednesday morning in an attempt to avert a pension crisis.

Simon Hoare, the Tory chairman of the Northern Ireland select committee who was a supporter of Rishi Sunak's campaign, wrote on Twitter: "In the words of Norman Lamont on Black Wednesday: 'Today has been a very difficult day'.

"These are not circumstances beyond the control of the Government or the Treasury. They were authored there. This inept madness cannot go on."

Robert Largan, the MP for High Peak, voiced his "serious reservations" about some of Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng's measures, adding: "I do not believe that cutting the 45p Top Tax Rate is the right decision when the Government's fiscal room for manoeuvre is so limited.

"In my view, this is a mistake. This is a deeply worrying time. Elected officials need to be honest about the choices we face and Government needs to take a pragmatic, fiscally responsible approach on the short-term support needed for people & long-term strategic thinking to ensure our energy security."

04:05 PM

That's all for today...

As deputy leader Angela Rayner brought Labour's party conference to a close on Wednesday lunchtime, the spotlight could hardly have moved away from Merseyside any quicker.

On another day when the markets were making headlines for all the wrong reasons, with the Bank of England forced to stage a dramatic intervention, Tory disquiet privately expressed in the past few days became public in the form of sharply-worded tweets from backbenchers.

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have now been quiet for several days, a silence some would argue cannot feasibly hold ahead of the Conservatives' own party conference, which begins this weekend.

Ms Truss will hope she can help to weather the current financial storm as her Government goes for growth. How she reacts to the growing political storm, however, may prove just as important.

03:57 PM

Analysis: A major test for Truss

With Labour's party conference at an end, the mood in Liverpool in the past few days has been characterised by optimism about the future.

Shadow cabinet ministers appeared relaxed and it was clear Sir Keir Starmer has made a significant amount of progress in both winning over the Tory faithful and developing a more detailed policy platform, complete with indications as to how this would be funded.

But as the Conservatives gather in Birmingham from Sunday for their own annual conference, it represents a major test for Liz Truss. Already, some of her backbench MPs are publicly questioning her 'mini-Budget'. She has been in office for less than four weeks.

Ms Truss commands the confidence of a majority of the membership, but more than four in 10 Tory members voted for Rishi Sunak, who also topped the pecking order during the MP rounds of the leadership election.

With 'Trussonomics' being called into question by her own party, the Prime Minister may have a narrower window than she would have hoped to get her internal critics back on side in the face of spiralling market turmoil.

03:38 PM

Jeremy Warner: Thatcher knew that sterling parity with dollar would be a point of no return

Devaluation matters. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that it doesn’t, writes Jeremy Warner. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, the UK has been steadily devaluing ever since the First World War, which marked the end of the “classical” gold standard era of currency supremacy for the pound.

Each episode of it has been deeply symbolic of economic and geopolitical decline. On the eve of the First World War, a pound bought you $4.87; after the 10 distinct episodes or acts of devaluation that have occurred since, the pound is today worth scarcely more than a dollar, a devastatingly brutal verdict on a century of falling competitiveness and economic importance.

In nearly all cases, each devaluation has played some sort of a role in the subsequent fall of the government that presided over it. The judgment of voters has almost invariably been as harsh as that of the markets, with a weak currency widely thought indicative not just of a weak economy, but a weak and failing government.

Jeremy Warner: Why Thatcher's example must be heeded

03:24 PM

Watch: Angela Rayner's party conference speech in full

03:05 PM

Robert Largan: 'Our fiscal room for manoeuvre is increasingly small'

02:59 PM

The Tories are haunted by the fear the 1990s are repeating themselves

Perversely, Labour should hope the Truss/Kwarteng growth strategy works because history suggests the Left thrives in good times not bad, writes Philip Johnston.

But there is another element to Blairism which Sir Keir Starmer has yet to embrace – and that is to understand that most people do not regard their hard-earned money as something the state can just requisition and hand out as it sees fit.

You cannot hear him saying, as Peter Mandelson once did, that he was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes". Sir Keir is trying to emulate Blair rhetorically without the same commitment to wealth creation.

Labour just cannot resist attacking high earners who pay the most income tax. Without them, there would be less money for the public services that the Left always wants more to be spent on.

Philip Johnston: Why Starmer has to embrace wealth creation

02:43 PM

Starmer stops short of urging Truss to resign

Sir Keir Starmer urged Liz Truss to recall Parliament "tomorrow" and "immediately reverse the budget before any more damage is done".

But he did not go as far as calling on the Prime Minister to resign or demanding an immediate general election.

"I'm leader of the opposition, of course we want an election as soon as possible but there's an immediate crisis that's got to be dealt with."

02:37 PM

How the Bank of England is scrambling to stabilise markets

The Bank of England performed a dramatic U-turn this morning, putting the brakes on its plan to sell Government bonds and launching a new scheme to buy gilts instead.

Officials on the Financial Policy Committee, led by Andrew Bailey, the Governor, are seeking to push down the Government’s borrowing costs after a sharp spike in interest rate predictions in financial markets.

Interest rates are rising across the world, but investors were spooked by Kwasi Kwarteng's 'mini-Budget' last week which set out plans for significant tax cuts on top of the unlimited cost of the energy support package, indicating a steep rise in borrowing is on the way.

​Tim Wallace and Matt Oliver explain all

02:26 PM

Kemi Badenoch: Britain is an island of dynamism like Manhattan

Kemi Badenoch will sell Britain as an island of "dynamism and ingenuity" like Manhattan as part of a pitch to boost transatlantic trade, writes Daniel Martin.

The International Trade Secretary’s visit to New York comes a week after Liz Truss admitted that there was little chance of a free trade agreement with Washington in the next few years.

In her first speech in the role, Ms Badenoch will tell 400 US executives and investors that Britain is "going for growth" and is an "innovation nation".

She is expected to say: "The UK is going for growth in a big way, and we want American partners to join our growth story and benefit from it."

Read the full story here

02:09 PM

'This inept madness cannot go on'

Simon Hoare, the Tory chairman of the Northern Ireland select committee and a supporter of Rishi Sunak, has accused his own party's Prime Minister and Chancellor of "inept madness".

Have a read:

01:56 PM

'The worst unforced economic error of my lifetime'

Torsten Bell, the chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, described the mini-Budget as "by far the worst unforced economic policy error of my lifetime".

"The scale of the destruction it is bringing is hard to comprehend," he said.

"Higher import prices, surging mortgage bills, higher deficits risking big spending cuts to come, pension funds taking big losses on forced asset sales, and likely lasting risk premiums for UK firms and the Government."

01:52 PM

Labour: Truss has lost control of economy

Speaking at the end of Labour's party conference in Liverpool, Sir Keir told reporters Liz Truss’s administration had "clearly lost control of the economy".

"The move by the Bank of England is very serious,” he said. “And I think many people will now be extremely worried about their mortgage, about prices going up, and now about their pensions.

"What the Government needs to do now is recall Parliament and abandon this budget before any more damage is done."

01:39 PM

Breaking: Sir Keir Starmer demands recall of Parliament

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for Parliament to be recalled amid further market turmoil in the wake of the 'mini-Budget'.

More to follow.

01:23 PM

'Dismissing orthodoxy is dangerous indeed'

Paul Johnson at the Institute for Fiscal Studies has hit back at comments from some Tories who have dismissed the IMF's beliefs as economic "orthodoxy", writes James Warrington.

He acknowledges it needs to be tested, but says simply dismissing it is dangerous.

"It's an encapsulation of the knowledge drawn from decades of evidence based on experience of countries around the world," Mr Johnson said.

"It needs testing and challenging, but experience tells us that simply dismissing it is dangerous indeed."

01:17 PM

Judges wrong to release criminals because of barristers' strike, High Court rules

Judges were wrong to release suspected criminals from jail because of the barristers' strike, the High Court has ruled, but it effectively set the Government a two-month deadline to resolve the pay dispute.

Two High Court judges - Dame Victoria Sharp and Sir Martin Chamberlain - said the judges "made errors of law" when they refused to extend the custody time limits to keep defendants in jail after their barristers failed to turn up because of the strike.

They determined that the indefinite strike by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) may be "good and sufficient" cause in principle for people who reach the six months limit in custody to remain in prison.

Charles Hymas has the full story

01:03 PM

Breaking: Tugendhat backer hits out at Truss and Kwarteng over tax

Robert Largan, the Tory MP for High Peak, has broken ranks to voice his "serious reservations" about Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget.

In a thread on Twitter, Mr Largan said he welcomed the energy price guarantee and cutting income tax.

But he added: "However, I have serious reservations about a number of announcements made by the Chancellor. I do not believe that cutting the 45p Top Tax Rate is the right decision when the Government's fiscal room for manoeuvre is so limited.

"In my view, this is a mistake. This is a deeply worrying time. Elected officials need to be honest about the choices we face & Government needs to take a pragmatic, fiscally responsible approach on the short-term support needed for people & long-term strategic thinking to ensure our energy security."

12:59 PM

Badenoch: 'Never a better time' to invest in Britain

Dominic Penna, the Telegraph's political reporter, guiding you through the rest of the day now the Labour conference in Liverpool has come to a close.

The International Trade Secretary today insisted there "has never been a better time" to invest in Britain ahead of her visit to New York to "bang the drum for Britain".

Kemi Badenoch, who was appointed to the role earlier this month, will address more than 400 businessmen and entrepreneurs to make the case for doing more business with the UK.

"Free trade is key to securing long-term economic prosperity through innovation, jobs, and growth," Ms Badenoch wrote in the Express newspaper. "America loves a winner – and investing in the UK is a win-win."

12:42 PM

Rachel Reeves: Chancellor must make urgent statement

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said: "People will be deeply worried about the cost of their mortgage, about their pensions, and about the impact this will have on their cost of living.

“This is a serious situation made in Downing Street and is the direct result of the Conservative Government's reckless actions, which include tax cuts for the richest one per cent.

“Their decisions will cause higher inflation and higher interest rates - and are not a credible plan for growth.

“The Chancellor must make an urgent statement on how he is going to fix the crisis that he has made.”

12:36 PM

Labour Party conference draws to a close

Labour activists have now finished singing "The Red Flag" - the Labour Party's official anthem - and "Jerusalem".

That can only mean one thing: Labour Party conference has officially finished.

12:29 PM

'Let's rise to the moment'

Angela Rayner said a Labour government would be "radical, responsible, realistic".

Concluding her speech in Liverpool, Ms Rayner said: "Conference, this week we have shown how together we will transform this country. And the depth of talent across our party. And we have come together to honour our history as only Labour can.

"Be in no doubt, the times ahead are going to be tough. Now, let’s rise to the moment and deliver for the working people of Britain.

"Let’s build a Fairer, Greener Future, with a Labour Government in power once again."

12:22 PM

'I thought the clowns had escaped the circus'

Liz Truss's Cabinet was appointed on the basis of "loyalty, not ability", Angela Rayner has claimed.

The deputy leader of the Labour Party said: "And that brings me to this new government. Openly chosen for loyalty not ability.

"A ministry of all the talentless. Frankly when I looked at the benches opposite last week, I thought the clowns had escaped the circus. Not so much a flying circus as a lying circus."

12:20 PM

Boris Johnson to be a 'footnote of failure'

Angela Rayner suggested that Boris Johnson will become a "footnote of failure in the history books".

The deputy leader of the Labour Party said "at least that’s what the new Prime Minister must be hoping for".

She said: "Because he’ll be sat on the backbenches plotting his come back, with a glint in his eye, thinking I wasn't so bad after all...was I! What a sorry state of affairs."

12:16 PM

Tories not a 'patriotic party'

Speaking on the main stage in Liverpool, Angela Rayner said: "Never again can we let them pretend they are the patriotic party. I love my country. That's why I want so much better for it.

"But the Tories now think our biggest economic problem, is you. The working people of Britain. And while they think you are our country’s greatest weakness, we know that you are our greatest strength."

12:13 PM

Voters no longer face choice between 'heart versus head'

Angela Rayner said that voters will no longer need to choose between "heart versus head" when it comes to voting for Labour.

She said: "Too often when it comes to elections, people feel they have a choice of heart versus head. Values or competence. I say to those watching at home - this week we have shown it's a choice you will never have to make again.

"And this past week, the Tories have shown it too. The Conservative Party are no longer pretending to be competent and stable."

Angela Rayner addresses the Labour Party conference in Liverpool today  - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe
Angela Rayner addresses the Labour Party conference in Liverpool today - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe

12:10 PM

Angela Rayner urges activists to be proud of Labour achievements

Angela Rayner told activists in Liverpool: "When the Tories deliver one per cent of what they promised, they talk endlessly about that one per cent and we never hear about the list of broken promises.

"When we deliver 99 per cent of what we promised, we talk endlessly about the one per cent we didn’t instead.

"Just think about the historic Labour Governments and their legacy. They didn’t please all of our movement all of the time, including me. But those Labour Governments made history."

She added: "If we’re not proud of ourselves, don’t expect anyone else to do it for us."

12:08 PM

'I will never celebrate losing elections'

Angela Rayner is now on her feet in Liverpool as she delivers the closing address at the Labour Party conference.

Ms Rayner said that Labour has many traditions to be proud of but she added: "There is one part of our history that I will never celebrate and that is losing elections."

12:06 PM

Nicola Sturgeon calls for Parliament to be recalled

12:00 PM

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses Labour conference

The guest speaker at the close of Labour Party conference in Liverpool is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement.

She said that recent events in Belarus and in Ukraine have shown the world "what tyranny really means" and why it has to be defeated.

She said "a threat to democracy in one country is a threat to the whole world".

11:55 AM

SNP: 'Chancellor must come out of hiding'

Ian Blackford, the SNP's leader in Westminster, said: "The UK economic crisis shows exactly why Scotland needs to become an independent country - so we can escape the damage of Westminster control and get rid of the Tories for good.

"The disastrous Tory budget is taking the UK to the brink of catastrophe. The Chancellor must come out of hiding and act now to reverse the damage he has caused - and avoid the impending threat of an unprecedented UK economic crash."

11:50 AM

Liz Truss has '24 hours to fix economic disaster'

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said Liz Truss has "24 hours to fix this economic disaster" after the Bank of England announced it is intervening to stabilise the UK economy (see the post below at 11.25).

Sir Ed said: "We've now heard from the Bank of England but nothing at all from the Prime Minister. Liz Truss has 24 hours to fix this economic disaster and prevent people losing their homes.

"Now is the time for the Prime Minister to recall Parliament to reassure not just the financial markets, but also British homeowners at risk of higher mortgage costs.

"Truss and Kwarteng must come forward and spell out how they will repair the damage from their shambolic budget."

11:45 AM

'We will introduce breakfast clubs for every child'

A Labour government would introduce breakfast clubs for every child in every primary school in England, Bridget Phillipson has announced.

The shadow education secretary said: "I can tell you that the next Labour government will build a modern childcare system. One that supports families from the end of parental leave, right through to the end of primary school.

"One that gives our children the start to their day, and the start to their life, they deserve. One that gives parents time to succeed and our economy the chance to grow.

"Conference, as the first step on that road, today I can announce that we will introduce breakfast clubs for every child in every primary school in England."

11:43 AM

Labour vows to end 'tax breaks' for private schools

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, said a Labour government would end "tax breaks" for private schools.

Speaking on the main stage in Liverpool, she said: "We need an education system that enables every child to achieve and thrive. Our priorities will define that vision. Conference, that is why we will end tax breaks for private schools.

"We will use that money to deliver the most ambitious school improvement programme for a generation.

"Recruiting thousands more teachers to help children excel in science and maths and thrive with access to sport, art, music, and drama."

11:40 AM

'I'm loving Starmer instead'

Karaoke is a fixture at the UK's party political conferences, with events usually taking place on the penultimate night.

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, wowed the crowds at The Mirror's party last night with a rendition of "Angels" by Robbie Williams. However, some of the key words were changed...

11:32 AM

Chancellor meeting with City bosses ends

The Chancellor’s meeting with business leaders appears to have broken up, with executives from major banks leaving through the front door of the Treasury.

None of them responded to questions put by reporters about what assurances had been offered by Kwasi Kwarteng in the wake of the pound’s slumping value.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, meets with representatives from the investment banking sector at the Treasury this morning  - Simon Walker /HM Treasury 
Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, meets with representatives from the investment banking sector at the Treasury this morning - Simon Walker /HM Treasury

11:28 AM

Treasury issues statement in response to Bank of England action

The Treasury has issued the following statement in response to the announcement from the Bank of England that it is intervening in bond markets (see the post below at 11.25):

“The Bank of England, in line with its financial stability objective, carefully monitors financial markets and any potential risk to the flow of credit to the real economy, and subsequent effects on UK households and businesses.

"Global financial markets have seen significant volatility in recent days. The Bank has identified a risk from recent dysfunction in gilt markets, so the Bank will temporarily carry out purchases of long-dated UK government bonds from today (28 September) in order to restore orderly market conditions. These purchases will be strictly time limited, and completed in the next two weeks. To enable the Bank to conduct this financial stability intervention, this operation has been fully indemnified by HM Treasury. 

“The Chancellor is committed to the Bank of England’s independence. The Government will continue to work closely with the Bank in support of its financial stability and inflation objectives.”

11:25 AM

Bank of England forced to intervene on UK economy

The Bank of England has been forced to step into bond markets amid market turmoil that has sent government borrowing costs soaring.

The central bank has delayed plans to sell bonds and will start buying them instead to stabilise what it described as “dysfunctional markets”.

It said: “Were dysfunction in this market to continue or worsen, there would be a material risk to UK financial stability.”

The Bank didn’t give a figure on the size of the purchases but said they will be carried out on “whatever scale is necessary”.

You can follow the latest updates on the economy at The Telegraph's business live blog here.

10:51 AM

SNP 'very concerned' by IMF statement

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister has said he is “very concerned” after the International Monetary Fund issued a statement criticising the UK Government's tax plans (see the post below at 08.07).

The SNP's John Swinney told the BBC: “I’m very concerned by what the International Monetary Fund have said overnight. I think the warnings are very stark about the folly of the decision that have been taken by the UK Government.

“I think the IMF’s criticism of the unfunded tax cuts which will simply increase the cost of borrowing – and we’re already seeing that with punishing increases in interest rates which will affect people who have mortgages around the country and some of that increase in mortgage rates will dwarf the small savings that will be made in the unfunded tax cuts that have been made.”

10:32 AM

Labour guarantees mental health support within one month

Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, said a Labour government would guarantee mental health support within one month.

Speaking on the main stage in Liverpool, she said: "The next Labour government will guarantee NHS mental health support within a month and when I say ‘support’ I mean treatment, not just an assessment of need."

10:14 AM

'The cavalry is coming'

Concluding his speech in Liverpool, Wes Streeting said that a Labour government would deliver an NHS that is "fit for the future".

The shadow health secretary said: "The cavalry is coming with Labour. So, let’s go out there and win for Labour, win for the NHS and win for Britain."

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, addresses Labour Party conference in Liverpool this morning  - Phil Noble /Reuters
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, addresses Labour Party conference in Liverpool this morning - Phil Noble /Reuters

10:13 AM

Labour vows to 'bring back the family doctor'

Wes Streeting told Labour activists in Liverpool that "patients deserve better than a two week wait to see a GP" as he criticised the Government's recent announcement setting that as a target.

He said that a Labour government will give all patients the ability to book appointments online to end the "days of waiting on the phone at 8am to book an appointment".

He said: "Labour will give all patients the ability to book online, the opportunity to self-refer to specialist services where appropriate and a wider range of choice so that we can choose whether we want to see someone face-to-face, on the phone or via a video link.

"The days of waiting on the phone at 8am to book an appointment with your GP will be over and we will bring back the family doctor."

10:11 AM

Wes Streeting vows to tackle 'Tory miserablism'

Wes Streeting said Labour has a "10 year plan" for the NHS which will act as an "antidote to the Tory miserablism about the NHS and its future".

Pointing to the benefits of modernisation in the health care system, the shadow health secretary said the "biggest prize of all is the advance in genomics and the data revolution that will allow us to transform our model care from one that diagnoses and treats illness to one that can predict and prevent it".

He said: "This will be at the heart of Labour’s 10 year plan for change and modernisation. And so will higher standards for patients."

10:08 AM

'More doctors, more nurses, lower waiting times'

Wes Streeting confirmed a Labour government would seek to dramatically increase the number of doctors and nurses in the NHS, paid for by reversing the decision to scrap the 45p top rate of income tax.

The shadow health secretary said: "Labour believes the country needs doctors and nurses more than the richest need a tax cut. So, we will double the number of medical training places. And create an extra 10,000 nursing and midwifery clinical placements every year.

"More doctors, more nurses, lower waiting times, higher standards for patients. That’s the Labour pledge at the next general election."

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, delivers a speech at Labour Party conference in Liverpool this morning  - Peter Byrne /PA
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, delivers a speech at Labour Party conference in Liverpool this morning - Peter Byrne /PA

10:06 AM

Wes Streeting blasts Tories' record on NHS

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, is now on stage in Liverpool.

He said the state of the NHS is an "absolute disgrace", with the "highest NHS waiting list in history".

Mr Streeting said that the Conservative Party may try to blame the pandemic for problems in the health service but he argued many issues were already present long before coronavirus struck.

Mr Streeting said of the Tories: "The longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer patients will wait."

09:58 AM

JP Morgan boss arrives at Treasury

JP Morgan’s chief executive in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has arrived at the Treasury for a meeting with Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

Investment banker Viswas Raghavan did not respond to questions as he walked into the building.

09:22 AM

What is happening at Labour conference today?

Labour Party conference in Liverpool will close at noon after a final morning of speeches from frontbenchers.

The focus will be on public services, with speeches from Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, and Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary.

There will also be a speech from Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement.

Conference will then be brought to a close by Angela Rayner, the party's deputy leader.

09:18 AM

Kwasi Kwarteng to meet investment banks

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, will meet with investment banks today as he steps up his efforts to reassure the City about his economic plans.

Mr Kwarteng is expected to emphasise the importance of the reforms ministers will be setting out in the coming weeks to boost growth, including his “Big Bang 2.0” measures to further liberalise financial market regulation.

09:03 AM

'If people think that’s boring, I don’t care'

Sir Keir Starmer responded to claims he is "boring" by saying the most exciting thing he has done in his life is witness the birth of his two children.

The Labour leader told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Let me tell you the most exciting thing: the birth of my children – it was absolutely incredible to see the two most wonderful beings come into the world.

“It not only excited me when they were born, it has excited me every single day since. And if people think that’s boring, I don’t care. To me that is crucially important, I love it.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is pictured in Liverpool this morning  - Phil Noble /Reuters
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is pictured in Liverpool this morning - Phil Noble /Reuters

“I don’t shy away from the fact, when we’re facing a period of great uncertainty, we’ve got conflict in Ukraine, we’ve got a cost-of-living crisis, we’ve got a Government that has lost control of the economy, do we need a serious person steering the country calmly and competently to a better future? I think the answer to that is yes.

“If I came on here and said I’ve done a bungee jump you wouldn’t say, ‘Well, great, now we’ve got the prime minister we need’.”

08:54 AM

Tories can 'never again claim' to be party of 'fiscal responsibility'

The Conservative Party can "never again claim" to be the party of "fiscal responsibility" after Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, according to Sir Keir Starmer.

The Labour leader told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “It’s the worst of all situations for our country to find itself in. Rather than coming on and disparaging the IMF, the Government needs to come on and urgently review the plans that it set out last Friday.

“The Conservative Party can never again claim to be a party of fiscal responsibility, they’ve lost the right to claim that after what they did last Friday.”

08:50 AM

Starmer: Labour now closer to Blair than Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer said the Labour Party under his leadership is now closer to Sir Tony Blair’s New Labour than it is to the version of the party under Jeremy Corbyn.

Asked on Times Radio if he was comfortable saying Labour is closer to the party of Sir Tony than it is to Mr Corbyn, Sir Keir said: “I certainly hope so because Tony Blair won three elections and I want us to win the next election.”

He added: “We are firmly on the centre ground, common sense politics, practical answers to the challenges the country faces.”

08:46 AM

'We are the party of fiscal responsibility'

The Labour Party's economic plans are "hugely different" to the Conservative Party's, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

He told Times Radio: “We’ve got two rules that we put in place last year, which was we would pay for day-to-day spend, we would borrow to invest.

“If we look at the package that the Government has put on the table, we would not cut the top rate [of income tax] from 45 per cent to 40 per cent, we would cancel the tax cut for corporation tax.”

Labour would also extend the windfall tax on the excess profits of oil and gas companies.

“We are a long, long way from the Government and we’ve got clear fiscal rules," Sir Keir said.

“We are the party of fiscal responsibility – the Government has lost control of the economy.”

08:34 AM

Lib Dems call for Parliament to be recalled over IMF statement

The Liberal Democrats have called for Parliament to be recalled in the wake of the International Monetary Fund's statement on the UK Government's tax cutting plans (see the post below at 08.07).

Sarah Olney, the party's Treasury spokeswoman, said: "Truss and Kwarteng have been in Government for three weeks, and the IMF has already been forced to issue a statement on their reckless economic policy.

"Both are totally blinded by ideology, which is making millions across the UK suffer. We need to recall Parliament to fix this mess."

The House of Commons is currently in recess for party conference season, with MPs due to return to Westminster on October 11.

08:31 AM

Pictured: James Cleverly visits Korean DMZ

James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, is currently making his first trip in the role to East Asia as he looks to strengthen the UK's trade and security ties in the region.

He is visiting Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

During his stay in South Korea he visited the demilitarised zone (DMZ) bordering North Korea.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stands on border line separating the South and North of Korea during a visit to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) at Camp Bonifas in the Republic of Korea - Simon Dawson /No 10 Downing Street 
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stands on border line separating the South and North of Korea during a visit to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) at Camp Bonifas in the Republic of Korea - Simon Dawson /No 10 Downing Street

08:24 AM

'I think they should be very cautious'

Sir John Redwood, a Tory MP, has offered a robust defence of Liz Truss’s tax-cutting plans and warned against further intervention by the Bank of England on interest rates.

He told Sky News: “My message today is that the Government are right to see the main threat for the year ahead is recession not inflation because the good news is that all forecasters say inflation will come down a lot next year, and the sooner the better.”

On the Bank of England, he said: “I think they should be very cautious about taking more action because they have lurched from a monetary policy that was flagrantly too permissive and very inflationary to one which is now very tight.

“And I think it’s quite tight enough to do the job we need to do which is to get inflation down.”

08:22 AM

Tory MP dismisses IMF concerns

Sir John Redwood, a Tory MP and prominent Liz Truss supporter, has dismissed the concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund over the economic plan put forward by the Government (see the post below at 08.07) .

Appearing on Sky News, he said: “The IMF were very wrong, as was the Bank of England, over the inflation which they now rightly worry about.

"They didn’t warn us or the other central banks in the run up to the big inflation, that the monetary policies of 2021 were far too loose, interest rates far too low, and the money printing was getting out of control. It’s a great pity they didn’t warn about that."

08:20 AM

Starmer: Huq comments were ‘racist’ and ‘wrong’

Rupa Huq, the Labour MP, was yesterday suspended from the party after sparking outrage by saying that Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, is “superficially black”.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said this morning that the comments were “racist” and “wrong”.

He told LBC Radio: “Let me immediately say that what she said in my view was racist, it was wrong and she has been suspended from the whip in the party and that was done very, very quickly.

“I think that tells you how strongly I feel about those comments. She shouldn’t have said it. She will be dealt with and I will be absolutely clear it was racist.”

Ms Huq has apologised.

Rupa Huq is pictured this morning outside her London home - James Manning/PA
Rupa Huq is pictured this morning outside her London home - James Manning/PA

08:19 AM

'I don’t spend time saying which class I am'

Sir Keir Starmer has said he does not know what social class he would put himself in but that his working class upbringing has informed his politics.

Asked what class he considers himself to be, he told LBC Radio: “Firmly working class background. My dad worked in a factory, my mum, as you know, was a nurse, and we struggled with the bills, that is why the phone was cut off.”

He added: “Now, I don’t know what class I would put myself in but my background informs…”

Told that he is likely upper-middle class, the Labour leader replied: “I don’t spend time saying which class I am.”

08:16 AM

'I am concerned because we are on a variable'

Sir Keir Starmer today revealed that he does have a mortgage on his house and his monthly payments have increased by "a few hundred pounds" amid rising interest rates.

Asked if he has a mortgage, the Labour leader told LBC Radio: “I do. I am concerned because we are on a variable. We have got a mortgage, like millions of other people, we are on a variable mortgage and therefore like lots of other people our outgoings have gone up pretty significantly.”

Asked how much his monthly payments had increased by, he said: “A few hundred pounds as I am sure it has for other people.”

08:10 AM

'Most united, confident Labour Party' in 'many, many years'

Sir Keir Starmer has hailed Labour Party unity as he claimed it is now the "most united" it has been in "many, many years".

The Labour leader told LBC Radio: "People are now looking to the Labour Party for the answers to the very difficult questions that are out there.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is pictured in Liverpool this morning  - Ian Forsyth /Getty Images Europe 
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is pictured in Liverpool this morning - Ian Forsyth /Getty Images Europe

“This is a Labour Party that can confidently look the electorate in the eye and the electorate are looking back at the Labour Party.

“It is the most united, confident Labour Party we have seen for many, many years and that is not just me saying it, that is practically everybody here, including those that aren’t party members. They can feel something in the air and what they are feeling in the air, I think, is change.”

08:09 AM

Labour could tax wealth more heavily

Sir Keir Starmer has given a firm hint that a Labour government could tax wealth more heavily.

Asked if he would consider a "wealth tax", Sir Keir told LBC Radio: “We are looking at how we tax fairly. On wealth, I am looking at whether and how we tax all different forms of income.

"Some people obviously earn their income through a wage, other people earn it through stocks and shares and dividends and we are looking at what is a fair way to tax all income wherever it comes from.”

Told that it sounded a lot like a "wealth tax", the Labour leader said: "No, it is not really a wealth tax. It is looking at different forms of income, it is stocks and shares and dividends.”

08:07 AM

Sir Keir Starmer calls for 'urgent' review of Government's tax plans

The International Monetary Fund has urged Liz Truss to reverse the decision to abolish the top rate of income tax, in a highly unusual attack on the economic policy of a G7 country. (You can read the full story here).

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, was asked for his reaction to the IMF's intervention and he said the statement was "very serious" and it shows "just what a mess the Government has made of the economy and it is self-inflicted".

He told LBC Radio that the Government must now "urgently" review its tax plans.

He said: “I think the Government has got to respond to this, they have got to set out in terms how are they going to fix the problems that they have made. At the moment they are suggesting they might be doing something in November. That is far too long off. They have got to review the plans they put out on Friday, they have got to do it urgently in my view.”

08:04 AM

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.

It is the fourth and final day of Labour Party conference here in Liverpool and Sir Keir Starmer is on the morning media round as he looks to promote the vision for the UK which he unveiled in his big speech yesterday.

I will be on hand to guide you through the key developments.