Sir Keir Starmer has challenged Liz Truss to increase benefits in line with inflation next year as the political pressure on the Prime Minister continues to grow.
A row over uprating benefits dominated Conservative Party conference as the Government continues to refuse to guarantee that welfare payments will increase in line with surging prices.
Ministers have insisted no final decision has been made yet but they are understood to be considering increasing benefits in line with the lower metric of wage growth.
Tory MPs and some Cabinet ministers have argued that the normal link with inflation must be retained and Sir Keir today piled more pressure on Ms Truss as he also said inflation should be the measure used.
Asked if benefits should rise in line with inflation, the Labour leader told BBC Radio Manchester: "Yes. I think she is wrong about that and Boris Johnson actually made a promise, a commitment, that benefits would go up with inflation and it is wrong not to do that."
Increasing benefits in line with inflation would be expensive for the Government because inflation is currently approaching double digits. Any decision to ditch the link with inflation would spark a ferocious political backlash.
Follow the latest updates below.
That is all for today...
Thank you for joining me for today's politics live blog.
My colleague Dominic Penna will be on hand to guide you through tomorrow's political developments.
Starmer: PM has driven economy 'into a wall'
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has accused Liz Truss of driving the UK economy "into a wall".
Speaking during a visit to the West Midlands, Sir Keir told reporters: “The argument that what the Government did two weeks ago in the mini-Budget, is a plan for growth is ridiculous.
“The Prime Minister has taken the economy, driven it into a wall, and (is) pretending that this is pro-growth.
“If you have consequences that increase mortgage payments by hundreds of pounds per month, that is anti-growth. It’s a destroyer of growth. It certainly isn’t pro-growth.”
Sir Keir Starmer: Nation 'paying the cost of Government's recklessness'
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said "millions of people" are "paying the cost of the Government’s recklessness" as he renewed his attack on Liz Truss's mini-Budget.
Speaking during a visit to Acorns to Oaks Financial Services in Bilston, Wolverhampton, Sir Keir said: “I think the reaction of many people is not just frustration but anger. We had a kamikaze mini-Budget two weeks ago.
“As a direct consequence, mortgages are going up, and not by a little; hundreds of pounds, £500 is the average, per month. There are not many people, not many families that can afford that kind of increase.”
He added: “It has human consequences, millions of people paying the cost of the Government’s recklessness."
Lib Dems call for Cobra meeting after National Grid warning
Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has urged Liz Truss to convene a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee after the National Grid warned of potential rolling blackouts under a worst-case scenario this winter (see the full story here).
Sir Ed said: "Too much time has already been wasted by the Conservative Government in failing to protect Britain from blackout misery and even higher prices this winter. Liz Truss must convene Cobra immediately and spell out her plan for our country.
"We need stronger leadership from this new Prime Minister. The political squabbles in her divided Conservative party must stop getting in the way of governing Britain."
Liz Truss poses for 'family photo' in Prague
Liz Truss joined European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the so-called “family photo” at the European Political Community summit.
The Prime Minister appeared relaxed as she stood alongside fellow leaders, smiling and appearing to chat to Dimitar Kovacevski, the Macedonian Prime Minister.
PM delivers opening speech in Prague
Liz Truss, in a short address at a meeting of the European Political Community in Prague, used the history of the Czech Republic to speak about the need to stand up for freedom.
The Prime Minister is attending the summit with energy and migration at the top of her agenda.
It is understood that Ms Truss referenced Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic following the collapse of communist rule, in her five-minute speech to the plenary session.
Prague Castle, where the summit is taking place and where Mr Havel was once sworn in as president, is a reminder of the need not to let history slip back and the need for freedom to succeed, Ms Truss said.
PM's allies criticise Nadine Dorries
Liz Truss’s allies have accused Nadine Dorries of acting as a mouthpiece for Boris Johnson after she launched a stinging attack on the new Prime Minister.
It comes after the former culture secretary said Ms Truss had made some "big mistakes" during her first weeks in office and does not have a mandate for her radical agenda.
You can read the full story here.
UK faces prospect of rolling blackouts
Britain faces the prospect of rolling blackouts this winter if it is unable to import enough energy from Europe.
National Grid has warned that households and businesses could be cut off for up to three hours a day if electricity supplies run short.
The electricity would be cut off in some areas of the country to ensure power does not go down more widely.
You can read the full story here.
'It sends the signal that we want to cooperate'
The German ambassador to the UK said Liz Truss's attendance at the European Political Community summit in Prague today sends a “signal that we want to cooperate” as he also welcomed a “clear willingness to re-engage” on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, Miguel Berger said: “We are really very satisfied, we are glad to see that the Prime Minister is taking part at this meeting in Prague. A very important step because it sends the signal that we want to cooperate."
Pictured: Liz Truss meets Czech PM
Liz Truss and Micheal Martin speak in Prague
Liz Truss spoke with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin briefly at a meeting of the European Political Community in Prague.
The Prime Minister, still a new figure on the international stage, mingled with European leaders ahead of the plenary session of the summit.
It comes amid increased hopes of progress in UK-EU talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Labour seizes on Bank of England graph
Sir Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, has written to Mel Stride, the Tory chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, to set out how the Bank has intervened in the UK economy in recent weeks.
The letter contains the following graph which shows how the cost of government borrowing has changed.
Labour has seized on the graph and said it proves the Government's mini-Budget - shown on the graph as "fiscal event" - was directly responsible for the recent "economic chaos".
Pat McFadden, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "This shows once and for all that the Tories’ kamikaze budget is responsible for the economic chaos we have seen, leaving people with skyrocketing mortgage rates.
“This is a Tory crisis made in Downing Street. The Government’s reckless mistakes show they cannot be trusted to manage the public finances. They must revisit this Budget as soon as possible and urgently publish OBR forecasts tomorrow when they receive them.”
Ban on new grammar schools unlikely to be lifted before next election
The ban on creating new grammar schools is unlikely to be lifted before the next election due in 2024 amid fears it will be blocked by the Lords, The Telegraph can reveal.
Liz Truss promised to end the ban, which has been in place since the New Labour years, during her successful Tory leadership campaign this summer.
But the policy was not in the 2019 election manifesto, meaning it is not protected in the Lords by the “Salisbury convention”, which applies to policies voted for by the electorate.
It means that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and crossbench peers could use their majority over the Conservatives in the Lords to torpedo the proposals.
You can read the full story here.
Truss and Czech PM agree importance of 'united front against Putin’s brutality'
Liz Truss and Petr Fiala, the Czech Prime Minister, agreed "the importance of likeminded European democracies presenting a united front against Putin’s brutality" when they met in Prague today, Downing Street said.
No 10 has just sent out a readout of the meeting.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Fiala for hosting today’s gathering of European leaders, welcoming the important opportunity to discuss regional issues like energy security and migration.
“The leaders were in strong agreement on the importance of likeminded European democracies presenting a united front against Putin’s brutality.
“They discussed the UK and Czech Republic’s early support for Ukraine’s defence and the need to continue military aid, help on reconstruction and sanctions on Putin’s regime."
Scottish Government to unveil draft budget on December 15
The Scottish Government will unveil its draft budget for the coming year on December 15.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney – who is responsible for the finance and economy brief while Finance Secretary Kate Forbes is on maternity leave – said he is “content to support” that date.
However, he warned “ongoing turmoil and uncertainty” over the UK’s Government’s budget plans will have an “obvious impact” on the Scottish Government’s ability to draw up tax and spending proposals for 2023-24.
Tory MPs 'openly talking about ousting Truss as PM'
Nick Timothy, who was Theresa May's joint chief of staff in No 10, has told The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast that "it's not impossible" that Liz Truss could be ousted.
"To be honest, there was a kind of meltdown amongst MPs and the mentality shifted and people did start openly talking about whether she would need to be removed," he said.
You can listen to the podcast in full here.
Liz Truss arrives at Prague Castle
Liz Truss has arrived at Prague Castle for a meeting of the European Political Community.
The Prime Minister, who did not speak to the waiting European media, was greeted by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala at the entrance to the summit in the Czech capital.
“Are you happy to be in Europe, Prime Minister?” one reporter shouted at Ms Truss as she walked by.
Smiling, the pair of leaders gestured to the sky where rainclouds have darkened overhead.
'Window of opportunity' for Brexit deal
Leo Varadkar, the Irish Tanaiste, has said he believes there is now a “window of opportunity” for the UK and the EU to strike a compromise deal on post-Brexit border arrangements in Northern Ireland.
He said: “There is a window of opportunity now over the next couple of weeks to see if we can come to an agreement on the protocol.
“That would be very beneficial for Ireland and Northern Ireland because it would allow us to get the executive up and running, and could be helpful for Britain as well in economic terms.”
Varadkar: Protocol is 'a little too strict'
There are growing signs that the EU and the UK could soon strike a compromise deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland's deputy premier, has now said that the protocol as it was originally designed is a “little too strict”. He also said there is room for “further flexibility for some changes”.
Speaking in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said: “We should not forget that the protocol is working. It was designed to prevent a hard border between north and south, and there is no hard border between north and south.
“It was designed to protect the integrity of the single market and it has, and also the Northern Ireland economy is outperforming the rest of the UK economically. But one thing that I would concede is that perhaps the protocol, as it was originally designed, was a little too strict. The protocol has not been fully implemented and yet it is still working.
“I think that, you know, demonstrates that there is some room for further flexibility for some changes that hopefully would make it acceptable to all sides.”
'It is an ideological game'
Sadiq Khan has suggested the Government's emphasis on pursuing economic growth is not genuine and that the Tories are actually seeking to use the issue as a "dividing line".
Speaking to LBC Radio, the Labour Mayor of London said: "So let's not pretend that the Government is concerned about growth because they are really concerned about growth - it is an ideological game they are playing saying 'you are either with us and by the way only our policies will lead to growth and if you don't agree with our policies you are anti-growth'.
"It is a caricature and it is this, what we call in politics, a dividing line that you try and portray and so anyone who is not for my policies is anti-growth, anti-my policies."
Sadiq Khan: Join EU single market if you want growth
Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, today argued that if the Government's focus is on securing economic growth then it should agree to join the EU's single market.
He told LBC Radio: "If you park for a second the EU, let's accept we left the EU because it is clearly a fact we have actually, if your obsession is growth, the easiest way, the quickest way to get growth is to join the single market.
"You are still outside the EU but by joining the single market you increase growth almost overnight and by the way, what does it do to the confidence of the market? It boosts it."
The comments risk reigniting an internal Labour Brexit row.
Sir Keir Starmer used his conference speech in Liverpool last week to stress that the "policy of my Labour government will always be to make Brexit work".
What will Liz Truss tell her European counterparts?
Liz Truss is expected to deliver a short speech at the opening of today's summit of the European Political Community in Prague.
The PM is expected to say the following about Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine:
"The threat was left to fester for far too long. Now, at last, we are tackling Putin’s aggression head on.
"And we should take the same approach with other challenges before us – including longstanding regional issues like energy and migration.
"Instead of the old approach which merely dealt with the symptoms, it’s time to address the fundamental causes.”
Liz Truss meets Czech counterpart
Liz Truss thanked the Czech Prime Minister for attending the funeral of the Queen last month, when she met him in Prague this morning.
The Prime Minister, who will have a working lunch with Petr Fiala as she attends a meeting of the European Political Community, thanked him for travelling to London for the Queen’s funeral.
“So nice to meet you,” she told him, as the pair stood outside the Czech premier’s official residence, with a view of Prague's famous Charles Bridge in the background.
Liz Truss arrives in Prague
Liz Truss has now landed in the Czech Republic for a key set of meetings in Prague as she attends the first meeting of the European Political Community.
The Prime Minister tweeted this morning that Europe must "continue to stand firm" with Ukraine.
Ms Truss is first meeting with Petr Fiala, the Czech Prime Minister, before heading to the summit where she is due to hold bilateral meetings with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.
Europe is facing its biggest crisis since the Second World War with unity and resolve.
We must continue to stand firm to ensure that Ukraine wins this war, dealing with the strategic challenges that it has exposed.
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) October 6, 2022
£21 billion raid on incomes despite 'tax-cutting' Budget
The Treasury will impose an additional £21bn of income taxes despite Liz Truss's "tax-cutting" mini-Budget, a detailed analysis released today has revealed.
The average household will be £1,450 per year worse off as a result of the stealth raid, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank.
The typical basic rate taxpayer will pay an added £500 in income tax and National Insurance per year by 2026 while higher rate earners are facing a £3,000 annual increase.
The figures are based on analysis of the decision by Kwasi Kwarteng to freeze tax thresholds, which in three years' time will deliver an extra £41bn to the Exchequer amid high inflation and rising wages. Meanwhile, his cuts to personal taxes will be worth only £20bn.
You can read the full story here.
Sir Keir Starmer: Benefits should rise in line with inflation
Sir Keir Starmer has said benefits should rise in line with inflation next year as he laid down the gauntlet to Liz Truss.
Asked if benefits should rise in line with inflation, the Labour leader told BBC Radio Manchester: "Yes. I think she is wrong about that and Boris Johnson actually made a promise, a commitment, that benefits would go up with inflation and it is wrong not to do that.
"But we shouldn't be in this position. We have had a kamikaze mini-Budget two weeks ago, lost control of the economy, and now we are talking about choices we shouldn't have to be making."
The Government is currently looking at what to do with benefit uprating, with ministers said to be considering increasing welfare payments in line with wage growth rather than in line with inflation as is normal.
'You would likely see some rolling blackouts'
The current political focus is on mortgages and the wider state of the economy but that could quickly turn back to energy problems.
Adam Bell, a former head of energy strategy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has said the possibility of blackouts is high in the coming months if there is a very cold winter and the situation in Ukraine does not change.
He said: “The chances of a very cold January itself are quite low, it’s only 10 per cent or one in every 10 years. But in that scenario, given the constraints Europe is under, given the constraints our system is under, even with the interventions the National Grid already have planned, which includes reopening some coal plants and paying people to turn down their demand, you would likely see some rolling blackouts for domestic customers.”
Mr Bell said such a situation would be caused by “a very cold January, we’re unable to import power from the continent, we can’t get more gas because everywhere in Europe is demanding it as well and this means that we have to shut down some of our gas power stations”.
Kwasi Kwarteng to hold crunch meeting with mortgage lenders
Kwasi Kwarteng is due to hold talks today with the UK's banks and building societies amid turmoil in the mortgage sector sparked by the Government's mini-Budget.
The Chancellor will sit down with senior executives from major lenders ahead of his upcoming plans to loosen regulation in the financial services sector.
It comes amid increasing woes in the lending market, with a number of banks having pulled mortgage deals in the last week as mortgage rates go up.
Starmer warned to stop using the word 'kamikaze'
The word of Sir Keir Starmer's morning radio interview round has been "kamikaze". The Labour leader used it over and over again to describe Liz Truss's mini-Budget.
He used it so much that he was actually challenged on it during an interview with BBC Radio Surrey.
The presenter told Sir Keir that if he used the word again then he would ring a bell. Sir Keir laughed and said “but you understand how angry it makes me feel, I mean, you know, to do something like that? People are going to have to pay the consequences”.
'I fundamentally disagree with that'
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said "totally rejects" the economic approach taken by Liz Truss.
Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford, he said: "I want to totally reject the idea of Liz Truss that the way you grow the economy is to make rich people richer and some how one day a bit of it might trickle down to the rest of us.
"I fundamentally disagree with that."
Government 'must wait to make benefits decision'
The Government does not yet have the relevant inflation figures it needs before it can make a decision on the uprating of benefits, Jake Berry has said.
The Tory chairman told LBC: "The Government must make a decision based on facts. The situation with benefits is that some benefits as a matter of law are uprated in line with inflation, and other benefits… it is a decision of the Government. They do tend to be those out-of-work benefits to which you refer.
“But the inflation figures that are used are the inflation figures for the autumn. The Government actually doesn’t have those figures at the moment."
Tory chairman says conference was 'positive'
The chairman of the Conservative Party has insisted the Tory conference in Birmingham was "positive".
Jake Berry told LBC Radio: “We had a good positive conference. I mean, it’s my first one as chairman, so I can’t reflect on being chairman at any other.
“But if you talk to delegates there, I think everyone had a good time, people were safe, people enjoyed the policy debates that we had.”
Jake Berry claims interest rates would have risen 'in any event'
Jake Berry has claimed interest rates were likely to have gone up in the coming months regardless of the Government's mini-Budget.
The chairman of the Conservative Party told Times Radio: “It’s very likely if you look at global trends that interest rates set by the independent Bank of England would have gone up over the coming months ahead in any event, so imagine if the Government hadn’t have acted.
“Imagine if families were faced with a £6,000 energy bill that they couldn’t afford and their mortgages going up. That would be completely unsustainable."
Starmer labels Truss the 'destroyer of growth'
Sir Keir Starmer has labelled Liz Truss the “destroyer of growth” as he hit back at the Tory leader's claim that Labour is part of the so-called "anti-growth coalition".
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, the Labour leader said: “For heaven’s sake. The enemies of growth?
“She’s just passed a kamikaze mini-Budget which has lost control of the economy, is putting hundreds of pounds on people’s mortgage bills, that is the absolute opposite of a plan for growth.
“She’s… not just anti-growth, she’s the destroyer of growth.”
'We want to reduce the tax burden'
Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, has denied that Labour would raise taxes if it gets into Government.
She said: “We want to reduce the tax burden on working people by getting growth back into the economy. When we do borrow to pay for day-to-day spending, we’ll only do so when the independent Office for Budget Responsibility says there’s a crisis.
“We won’t saddle working people with more debt.”
'I don't want to be complacent'
Sir Keir Starmer is embarking on a tour of regional radio stations this morning.
He was on BBC Radio Devon first and the Labour leader appeared to be keen to dampen talk of a landslide victory at the next general election after a series of opinion polls gave his party a commanding lead over the Tories.
Asked if Labour will win, Sir Keir said: "We very much hope to win that next general election, I think it is very important that we have a Labour government to stabilise the economy and to have a plan for an economy that works for working people everywhere, including Devon.
“But I know I have got to earn every vote. I don’t want to be complacent. Obviously the polls at the moment are looking favourable for us but as leader of the Labour Party my job is to persuade everybody I can to vote Labour.”
Jake Berry 'regrets' his 'clumsy' comments about rising bills
Jake Berry faced criticism after saying on Sunday that people struggling with rising bills should get a "new job".
He had said: "People know that when their bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary, higher wages, go out there and get that new job."
The chairman of the Conservative Party has now said that he regrets making the "clumsy" comment.
He told Times Radio: “I am quite pleased you have raised that because to be honest I actually think my language was a bit clumsy in that regard and I regret it.”
Tory chairman rejects Dorries' claims
Jake Berry, the chairman of the Conservative Party, has rejected the claim made by Nadine Dorries that the Tories are "lurching to the right".
He told Times Radio: “What I would say to Nadine is to look really carefully at the Prime Minister’s speech.
"I think she set out a vision that is something that every Conservative MP, former minister or not, can get behind and I also think she spoke to every British household because her desire to create growth is about ensuring that Britain gets on and every British household gets on.”
Nadine Dorries warns of Tory election 'wipeout'
Nadine Dorries, a former Cabinet minister who supported Liz Truss during the Tory leadership race, has warned the Prime Minister faces a "wipeout" at the next general election unless she changes course.
Ms Dorries suggested the Government is "lurching to the right". She told The Times: “I understand that we need to rocket-booster growth but you don’t do that by throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You don’t win elections by lurching to the right and deserting the centre ground for Keir Starmer to place his flag on.
“If we continue down this path, we absolutely will be facing a Stephen Harper-type wipeout. I’m sure she’s listened and will stop and rethink.”
Former Canadian prime minister Mr Harper lost power to Justin Trudeau in the 2015 election.
Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.
Liz Truss is heading to Prague this morning to attend a meeting of the European Political Community as she tries to move on from a Conservative Party conference largely dominated by internal division and infighting.
The Prime Minister will be keen to shift the focus away from the rumbling row over the mini-Budget and the Government's priorities and onto international matters.
But back in the UK the battle over the direction of the Government continues with senior Tory figures criticising Ms Truss's plans. I will guide you through the key developments.