Liz Truss repeats Keir Starmer’s ‘growth, growth, growth’ economic slogan
The Bank of England has been forced to step up its emergency intervention for a second day running to prevent a “fire sale” in UK government bonds and market dysfunction it warned posed a “material risk to UK financial stability”.
But deputy PM Therese Coffey insisted people “should be assured” about the economy’s health, and said chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s had brought forward his new fiscal plan because he “decided that we are in a good state”.
It came as experts warned that Liz Truss and Mr Kwarteng will be forced to impose a “savage” £60bn austerity hit unless they reverse more of their tax cuts.
Britain is heading for recession until 2024 and Mr Kwarteng will be forced to either abandon his mini-Budget giveaways or cut public services by some 15 per cent, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said.
And Tory MPs warned there would be strong opposition to the latter option, with one former minister tellingThe Independent: “There is no way Tory MPs are going to stomach savage austerity in a post-Covid cost of living crisis. Liz has driven herself into a cul-de-sac.”
Coffey fails to say how government will pay for ‘£60bn black hole’
Therese Coffey has failed to lay out any plans for how the government will pay for a £60bn “black hole” identified by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, my colleague Holly Patrick reports.
The deputy PM said: “That’s not for me to say. That’s their forecasts. The chancellor will be speaking at the end of the month with the medium-term fiscal plan.”
Therese Coffey fails to say how government will pay for ‘£60bn black hole’ laid out by IFS
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 12:06
Truss will be ‘ship that passes in night’, says Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver has said Liz Truss will be a “ship that passes in the night”, warning that the Tory party needs an injection of kindness.
Liz Truss will be ‘ship that passes in night’, says Jamie Oliver
Celebrity chef attacks embattled PM’s apparent approach to growth as ‘completely bonkers’
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 11:50
Starmer to lose chief of staff as part of restructuring of party
Sir Keir Starmer has restructured his party in a bid to put Labour on “election footing”, which will see policy and communications roles move from the leader’s office to Labour HQ, reporting to general secretary David Evans.
The party’s London headquarters will move imminently from the Southside building in Victoria Street in Westminster.
The leader’s chief of staff Sam White will leave as part of the merger of roles from Sir Keir’s office and party headquarters.
“Sam has played an incredible role taking our operation to the next level. Under his leadership the team has become better and stronger,” Sir Keir said. But “with the merger, running the leader’s office becomes a smaller role than Sam signed up for and we both agree, as we’re making this change, now is the right time to go”.
Beyond the departure of Mr White, who was appointed chief of staff last summer, no other jobs are at risk.
Liz Truss government ‘could fall at any time’, says Keir Starmer
Tory collapse ‘has given us a huge chance’, says Labour leader as he puts party on election footing
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 11:27
Bank of England action sees gilt yields fall – but pound remains down
The Bank of England has said it will now widen the scope of its bond-buying programme to include purchases of index-linked gilts – a type of UK government bond which tracks inflation
On Monday, the central bank doubled its daily bond-buying limit to £10bn, while chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng brought forward his new fiscal plan and independent economic forecasts to 31 October in an attempt to calm turbulent markets.
The Bank’s latest action helped sharply lower yields on long-dated gilts on Tuesday morning in welcome relief after 30-year government bonds yields hit 4.7 per cent on Monday – the highest level since the Bank was forced to intervene in the market last month to stop pension funds from collapsing.
But the pound remained under pressure, standing at $1.10, despite the Bank’s extra measures.
Kwarteng held undisclosed meetings with Saudi oil firms
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng faces questions after it emerged that he held undisclosed meetings in January with senior figures from Saudi Arabia’s oil firms while business secretary.
Documents released to The Guardian via Freedom of Information (FoI) requests show, in a two-day visit to the kingdom,Mr Kwarteng held talks with the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the chief executive of Sabic and the chair of Alfanar Group, with some of his flights in the kingdom covered by Saudi Aramco.
However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had not declared the details of Mr Kwarteng’s discussions when transparency documents on ministerial meetings were originally published.
A government spokesperson blamed an “administrative oversight” for the initial failure to declare the talks in the usual way, with records since updated.
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has the report:
Kwasi Kwarteng held undisclosed meetings with Saudi oil firms
Green MP Caroline Lucas urges chancellor to ‘come clean about dealings with Saudi oil giants’
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 10:56
Starmer ‘puts Labour on election footing’ as government ‘could fall at any time’
Sir Keir Starmer has carried out a long-planned restructuring of key roles within the Labour Party which he said would put it on a general election footing – as he claimed Liz Truss’s government “could fall at any time”.
He told Labour Party staff: “The government’s collapse has given us a huge chance. The instability means they could fall at any time. Because of that we need to get on an election footing straight away.”
The leader said his party needed to “seize the opportunity we have and show the British people we are the party that can lead our country forward”.
“These changes to the structures of the party that will move us onto that election footing,” Sir Keir said. “We’ve been planning this for a while but the scale of the Tory collapse has brought it forward.”
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 10:42
Liz Truss accused of ‘betraying’ renters as no-fault eviction ban could be ditched
Reports of a government U-turn on ending no-fault evictons would be a “truly devastating blow”, a housing charity has said.
Matt Downie, chief executive of Crisis said: “How can it be right that stopping needless and no-fault evictions is not a priority? This U-turn betrays an electoral promise, and spells disaster.”
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has more:
Liz Truss accused of ‘betraying’ renters as no-fault eviction ban could be ditched
Government also said to be considering plan to drop affordable housing requirements
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 10:26
Deselected Labour MP hits out at ‘manufactured political circus’
Labour MP Sam Tarry has demanded further details about the vote which led to his deselection as a candidate, calling it a “manufactured political circus”.
The former frontbencher said he was “utterly crestfallen” at the result in Ilford South on Monday night which saw him fail to see off a challenge from the leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal.
He said he was “extremely concerned” by the result, saying it did not reflect the feeling his campaign team got or the “meticulous data” they gathered.
“I am taking some time to consider what’s next, but in order to be assured of the integrity of the result I am asking the party to share with me the full information of who cast electronic votes, by what method, and when they were cast,” he said.
Former shadow minister Sam Tarry de-selected as Labour candidate
Sam Tarry was sacked from Labour’s front bench after giving interviews from RMT picket line
Talk of nuclear weapons is ‘very dangerous’, says GCHQ chief
GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming has warned that talk of nuclear weapons in relation to Russia’s war with Ukraine is “very dangerous”.
The intelligence chief told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous, and we need to be very careful about how we’re talking about that.”
Suggesting that GCHQ has not seen any signs of Russia preparing for use of nuclear weapons, he added: “They [Russia] are staying within the doctrine that we understand for their use, including for nuclear weapons.
“I would hope that we would see indicators if they started to go down that path. But let’s be really clear about that – if they are considering that, that would be a catastrophe in the way that many people have talked about.”
Further clarifying that part of GCHQ’s role is to look for those indicators, Sir Jeremy said: “It is in part to look for those indicators, yes.”
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 09:51
Labour attacks health secretary as ‘clueless’ over tobacco plan
Labour has accused health secretary Therese Coffey of being “clueless” after she was unable to say whether she is scrapping a plan to get England smoke free by 2030.
The government has promised to publish a tobacco control plan “later this year” – but The Guardian reports that ministers are expected to break the commitment.
However, Ms Coffey was unable to say whether this is the case or not, instead saying her priority is on her “ABCD” – ambulances, backlog, care, doctors and dentists – ambitions, telling Sky News: .“I’m not aware any target has been scrapped.”
Her Labour counterpart Wes Streeting said: “The health secretary is ‘unaware’ of a major plank of her own government’s health policy because she spends little time in her own department and most of her time firefighting in No 10. Clueless and hopeless.”
Andy Gregory11 October 2022 09:35