Interest rates could be hiked “by as much as needed” to control inflation, the Bank of England warned.
Its announcement came after the pound plunged to an unprecedented low of $1.03 this morning.
The markets have panicked over new chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on Friday, in which he announced controversial tax cuts worth £45 billion – including the axing of the 45p tax.
Minutes after markets closed, the Bank’s governor Andrew Bailey said he’s ready to increase interest rates in a bid to rein in inflation.
It comes after the Treasury said that Mr Kwarteng’s currently-uncosted tax giveaway will be detailed in his medium-term fiscal plan on 23 November.
At the same time, the Office for Budget Responsibility will publish its updated forecast for the rest of the calendar year before the spring Budget, the Treasury added.
Meanwhile, a former Tory minister claimed that letters of no confidence in Liz Truss being have begun stacking up – just weeks after she became prime minister.
The MP told Sky News that the PM and Treasury ministers were “playing A-level economics with people’s lives”.
Bank of England could hike interest rates ‘by as much as needed'
Kwasi Kwarteng to detail medium-term fiscal plan next month
Sterling plunges to all-time low in scathing appraisal of Liz Truss' plan
Starmer resisting pressure from inside own party over reversal of tax cuts
‘Shocking’: Labour condemns Truss paying chief of staff through lobbying firm
Monday 26 September 2022 05:11 , Namita Singh
Welcome to the UK politics blog for Monday, 26 September 2022 where we provide the latest from Westminster.
Sterling plunges to all-time low in scathing appraisal of Truss plan
Monday 26 September 2022 05:44 , Namita Singh
Sterling tumbled nearly 5 per cent to an unprecedented $1.0327, extending 3.61 per cent dive from Friday, when finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng unleashed historic tax cuts, and the biggest increase in borrowing since 1972 to pay for them.
Economists and investors said prime minister Liz Truss’s government, in power for less than three weeks, was losing financial credibility by unveiling such a plan just a day after the Bank of England hiked interest rates to contain surging inflation.
Sterling was last down 2.7 per cent at $1.0560. Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, called the currency’s record plunge “incredible”.
“The weekend press tarred and feathered sterling with assertions of its emerging-market status,” he said.
“I don’t buy that schadenfreude. Still, there is now bound to be speculation of an emergency BOE meeting and rate hike.”
Starmer resisting pressure from inside own party over reversal of tax cuts
Monday 26 September 2022 05:54 , Namita Singh
Sir Keir Starmer will resist pressure from within his own party to reverse Liz Truss’s 1p cut for basic-rate taxpayers because of fears it could deal a fatal blow to Labour’s chances of victory at the coming election.
The Labour leader dramatically pledged to reinstate the 45p income tax rate for Britain’s wealthiest people, abolished by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in his mini-Budget on Friday in what Sir Keir described as a “wrong-headed” Tory policy to “allow the rich to get richer”.
But he was facing demands to go further by restoring the 20 per cent basic rate of the levy, due to be reduced to 19 per cent in April, after Mr Kwarteng brought a planned cut forward by a year.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:
Labour pledges new ‘wealth fund’ to give taxpayers stake in green British industries
Monday 26 September 2022 06:04 , Namita Singh
A Labour government would give taxpayers a stake in British industry with the creation of a national wealth fund that would invest billions of pounds in green businesses over the next decade, the party says.
The money created would be ploughed back into local areas, Rachel Reeves will pledge in a speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool.
As well as providing skilled jobs, she promised “wealth that will flow back into your community and onto your high street. Wealth that the British people will own a stake in”.Labour also accused the Conservatives of letting good jobs go overseas during its 12 years in power.
My colleague Kate Devlin reports:
The mini-Budget is a constitutional gamble, too
Monday 26 September 2022 06:14 , Namita Singh
The economic risks of the chancellor’s tax cuts are evident but they also leave the Scottish government with a dilemma, writes my colleague Alastair Jamieson.
‘Shocking’: Labour condemns Liz Truss paying chief of staff through lobbying firm
Monday 26 September 2022 06:24 , Namita Singh
Liz Truss is paying a lobbying company for the services of her chief of staff, the government has admitted, triggering Labour condemnation.
In an unprecedented arrangement for such a senior aide, Mark Fullbrook receives his salary as a contractor through the firm, Fullbrook Strategies, he set up in April – rather than as an employee.
Previous holders of the key No 10 role have been treated like any other special adviser by being appointed on a temporary civil service contract and paid a salary that is made public.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, called the admission “shocking”, saying it “raises serious questions about the new prime minister’s judgement”.
Read more in this report from our deputy political editor Rob Merrick:
Labour in line for a big majority while Johnson could lose his seat, poll suggests
Monday 26 September 2022 06:34 , Namita Singh
Sir Keir Starmer could secure a comfortable 56-seat majority for Labour and unseat Boris Johnson at the next general election, according to a new poll released on the first day of the party’s annual conference in Liverpool.
The Savanta ComRes survey of more than 6,000 voters put Labour a clear 12 points ahead of the Conservatives, on 45 per cent, with Liz Truss’s party on 33 per cent.
It suggests that there has been no “Truss bounce” for the Tories following the election of their new leader at the start of September, with the Conservative Party down two points and Labour up three compared with the previous month.
And constituency-by-constituency analysis of the results showed that the Tories could shed a massive 146 MPs, including many in key red-wall seats won by Mr Johnson in 2019.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more:
Ex-England star Neville due at conference as Labour sets out investment plan
Monday 26 September 2022 06:44 , Namita Singh
A Labour government would create a state-owned investment fund to back projects which could generate wealth for the nation.
Ms Reeves has the main speech at the gathering on Monday, but party leader Sir Keir Starmer will also appear at the conference alongside former England footballer Gary Neville.
Read the details in this report:
‘A matter for the Bank of England’: Liz Truss refuses to discuss if UK in recession
Monday 26 September 2022 06:54 , Namita Singh
The Bank issued the warning last week – as it hiked interest rates to 2.25 per cent, their highest level for 14 years – but the prime minister argued it was not her responsibility.
Speaking to CNN in the United States, Ms Truss also dismissed suggestions of a referendum on Irish reunification now that Catholics outnumbered Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Rob Merrick reports:
ICYMI: Sadiq Khan announces free travel for thousands of lowest paid transport workers
Monday 26 September 2022 07:05 , Namita Singh
The move is designed to aid those who keep Londoners on the move. Around 5,000 transport workers not previously eligible for free travel will benefit, including cleaning, catering and security staff, with the costs shouldered by City Hall.
The cost of living has soared in recent months, with the latest figures showing inflation running at almost 10 per cent.
The government has stepped in to help households cope with skyrocketing energy costs, but say the average home’s bills will still amount to £2,500 a year, a massive hike for many.
Kate Devlin reports:
Schools ‘on knife edge’ with finances prompting campaign to fund books and pencils
Monday 26 September 2022 07:16 , Emily Atkinson
Headteachers have warned that schools are “on a knife edge” due to strained budgets, forcing them to launch a campaign to fund the basics such as books and pencils.
Schools are having to cut back on staff, trips and courses as soaring energy bills and unfunded pay rises eat up budgets.
Stretched finances were having a “real, genuine negative impact” on the quality of education, one primary school leader in the West Midlands said.
Zoe Tidman reports:
Online searches for ‘food bank near me’ soar by 250%, Labour finds
Monday 26 September 2022 07:27 , Emily Atkinson
Online interest in food bank services has risen by 250 per cent amid the cost of living squeeze, a Labour party analysis of search trends shows.
Ahead of his conference party speech, shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth conducted an analysis of Google trends data which shows searches for “food bank near me” have increased by 250 per cent compared with the first week of March 2020.
The research also shows searches for “energy bill help” have reached their highest level in at least the last five years.
Meanwhile, searches for “apply for universal credit” have increased by more than 50 per cent compared with pre-pandemic.
And searches for “universal credit advance payment” have more than doubled compared with pre-pandemic.
Sterling falls due to ‘loss of confidence in government’, says John McDonnell
Monday 26 September 2022 07:37 , Emily Atkinson
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said sterling has fallen to be almost at parity with the dollar because of a loss of confidence in the government.
The Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, who was shadow chancellor under Jeremy Corbyn, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s because internationally people have - not just us - lost confidence in this government and the mini budget, I think, came as a shock to everybody ... not just because it was so unfair, because it was unstable and didn’t give a way through for the economy.”
‘Selling-off’ of pound to hit public services ‘already on their knees’, says shadow chancellor
Monday 26 September 2022 07:47 , Emily Atkinson
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said she is “incredibly worried” about the sell-off in the pound as she blamed chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax and spending plans.
The Labour MP told Times Radio: “I started my career as an economist at the Bank of England and, like everybody else, I’m incredibly worried about what we’ve seen both on Friday with market reactions to the chancellor’s so-called mini-budget and to the reaction overnight.”
She warned that the fall in the pound’s value will raise the cost of government debt, meaning “more and more of government spending will go on servicing the debt rather than going on public services, which are on their knees right now”.
Ms Reeves said: “The pound is now at an all-time low against the dollar and that is not the same for other currencies, including the euro. So, there’s something going on in the UK and it’s not just dollar strength. There’s a selling-off of the pound and that was on the basis of the chancellor’s so-called mini-budget on Friday.”
Government ‘absolutely focused’ on growth package despite pound plunge
Monday 26 September 2022 07:58 , Emily Atkinson
The government remains focused on delivering its growth package despite the fall in the pound, a minister has said.
Asked by Sky News about the slide, Work and Pensions secretary Chloe Smith said: “I am not going to be able to comment on particular market movements and there are various factors that always go into those.
“But the government is absolutely focused on delivering the growth package as we set out, with various ways that we will be helping both businesses and households to move ahead to growth, and, as I say, to greater opportunity.
“For me in particular in the Work and Pensions department, I want to then be able to help more people into more good and well-paid jobs.”
Asked about the poor polling the Tories were facing, Ms Smith added: “I have every confidence that the kind of support that the Conservatives were delighted to have in 2019 will continue to follow Liz Truss and be able to have a Conservative government in the years to come.”
Truss and Kwarteng ‘behaving like two gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run’
Monday 26 September 2022 08:08 , Emily Atkinson
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has accused Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss of recklessly gambling with the UK’s finances.
One of the chancellor’s allies told The Times the drop in the pound’s worth is “City boys playing fast and loose with the economy”.
The Labour MP told Times Radio: “Instead of blaming everybody else, the chancellor and the prime minister, instead of behaving like two gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run, they should be mindful of the reaction not just on the financial markets but also of the public.
“The idea trickle-down economics - making those at the top richer still - will somehow filter through to everybody else has been tried before, it didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
“So, financial markets are unimpressed, the British public are unimpressed and the chancellor and the prime minister need to take note because they’re not gambling with their own money, they’re gambling with all our money, and it’s reckless and it’s irresponsible as well as being grossly unfair.”
Chancellor must set out ‘credible plans’ for economy, says Reeves
Monday 26 September 2022 08:20 , Emily Atkinson
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has demanded that her Conservative counterpart, Kwasi Kwarteng, sets out “credible plans” after the pound sank to an all-time low against the dollar.
The Labour MP told Sky News: “This is a serious situation, a cause for concern.
“The chancellor instead of doubling down on his position on Friday needs to now set out credible plans.”
Liz Truss and Kwarteng accused of ‘gambling with public’s money’ as pound plummets
Monday 26 September 2022 08:30 , Emily Atkinson
Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves accused the PM and the chancellor “behaving like two gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run”, after Mr Kwarteng hinted at tax cuts beyond the £45bn package in his mini-Budget.
One of the chancellor’s allies told The Times the sharp drop in the pound’s worth was “City boys playing fast and loose with the economy”.
Adam Forrest has more on the shadow chancellor’s stinging morning remarks here:
Former deputy governor of Bank of England says he would be worried were he still in role
Monday 26 September 2022 08:41 , Emily Atkinson
Sir John Gieve, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, said he would be worried if he was still in the job as sterling falls against the dollar.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think I would be worried.
“The bank, and indeed the government, have indicated that they are going to take their next decision in November and publish forecasts and, so on that point, the worry is that they may have to take action a bit sooner than that.”
Food bank interest surges with 250% increase in online searches
Monday 26 September 2022 08:52 , Emily Atkinson
Interest in food bank services has surged dramatically – with a 250% increase in online searches for “food banks near me” since March 2020, Labour Party analysis shows.
Ahead of his conference party speech, shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth visited the Big Help community group in Liverpool, which provides wrap-around services with food, employment, and debt support.
During his visit, Mr Ashworth revealed Labour’s analysis of Google trends data, which shows searches for “food bank near me” have increased by 250% compared with the first week of March 2020, immediately before the pandemic.
Pound plunge may trigger beer price hike
Monday 26 September 2022 09:02 , Emily Atkinson
Paul Davies, chief executive officer at Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, has suggested the fall of the pound may cause a rise in beer prices.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the drop was “worrying” for the British beer industry, which imports beer and hops from overseas.
Asked if the value of the pound mattered, he said: “Yes it does, many of the hops used in this country are actually imported and a lot of them, particularly for craft brewers, are imported from the States, so changes in currency is actually worrying for industry, for sure, and then of course people drink a lot of imported beers from Europe, and the euro vs the pound is also something we’re watching very closely at the moment.
“Of course things will rise, I would say as an industry we’re generally using British barley and we’re using a lot of British hops, but of course if you’re drinking double IPA that requires a lot of Citra hop and other hops from the States, and at some point that is going to have to be passed through to both the customer and the consumer if prices are this volatile.”
Truss tax cuts like something from Latin America, says Tory grandee
Monday 26 September 2022 09:13 , Adam Forrest
Tory grandee Ken Clarke compared the Liz Truss-Kwasi Kwarteng tax cut plan to Latin American governments.
He told BBC Radio 4: “I don’t accept – I never have, the Conservative party never has – the overall premise of the budget, which is that you make tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 per cent, and it makes them work so much harder, and [there’s a] rush to invest.”
He added: “I’m afraid that’s the kind of thing that’s usually tried in Latin American countries without success.”
Reeves accuses Kwarteng of fanning flames of falling pound
Monday 26 September 2022 09:22 , Emily Atkinson
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has accused Kwasi Kwarteng of having “fanned the flames” of the falling pound by hinting at further “unfunded” tax cuts.
The Labour MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is incredibly concerning.
"I do think the Chancellor fanned the flames in suggesting that there may be more stimulus, more unfunded tax cuts"
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves told @Marthakearney the government was "gambling all of our money".https://t.co/JqnmIupjz4 | #R4Today pic.twitter.com/6WvZir3XbE
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) September 26, 2022
“I think many people had hoped over the weekend things would calm down but I do think the chancellor sort of fanned the flames on Sunday in suggesting there may be more stimulus, more unfunded tax cuts, which has resulted overnight in the pound falling to an all-time low against the dollar.”
Commons sleaze watchdog rejects call to ditch probe into Boris Johnson ‘lies’
Monday 26 September 2022 09:31 , Emily Atkinson
Parliament’s sleaze watchdog has firmly rejected demands to call off its inquiry into Boris Johnson.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has this breaking story:
Time to recall parliament, say Lib Dems
Monday 26 September 2022 09:42 , Emily Atkinson
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to recall parliament so MPs can scrutinise the mini-Budget and discuss the plummeting pound.L
ib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said it would give chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng a chance to “fix this failed budget, before it does any more damage to our economy and people’s livelihoods”.
She added: “It’s clear the Conservatives are totally out of touch and don’t have a proper plan to steer the economy through the difficult months ahead. MPs must be given a chance to scrutinise these disastrous proposals now before it’s too late.”
Gary Neville says Liz Truss is ‘taking the Mickey’ over tax cuts for rich
Monday 26 September 2022 09:55 , Emily Atkinson
Gary Neville has condemned the government’s “immoral” mini-Budget, which last week outlined tax cuts set to benefit the most wealthy during the cost of living crisis.
The former England international accused Liz Truss of “taking the absolute Mickey out of us” by helping workers at the top end of the tax bracket while offering significantly less to the poorest households.
In Friday’s mini-Budget, chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng axed the 45p top rate of income tax giving high earners making more than £150,000 an extra £10,000 a year, while also scrapping the cap on bonuses for bankers.
My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:
Cabinet minister ‘perfectly comfortable’ with benefits being cut
Monday 26 September 2022 10:05 , Adam Forrest
Work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith says it was “absolutely fair” that benefit claimants in part-time jobs should work hours or risk having their money withdrawn.
Claimants currently allowed a “light touch” arrangement if working nine hours a week are being asked to take “active steps” to work up to 12 hours a week, and then 15 hours a week from January.
Ms Smith said she was “perfectly comfortable” for benefits to be cut – saying there were “rights and responsibilities” in the welfare system.“I’m really excited by this measure,” she told LBC.
“Essentially what we’re asking people to do is work more hours before they no longer have to come in to speak to their job coach at the JobCentre.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith says she is 'perfectly comfortable' with people having their benefits taken away if they 'do not engage' with job offers or support.@NickFerrariLBC pic.twitter.com/hgkfd0gcZd
— LBC (@LBC) September 26, 2022
Exclusive: Pound worth less than €0.92 at London bureau de change
Monday 26 September 2022 10:15 , Emily Atkinson
The collapse in sterling since the chancellor’s mini Budget on Friday is already hitting travellers hard – with the pound buying less than a euro or dollar at international bureaux de change.
Just before 8am on Monday morning, the Change Group office at London St Pancras International was selling €100 for £108.84 – valuing the pound at less than 92 euro cents.
The station is the hub for Eurostar trains to Paris, Lille, Brussels and Amsterdam.
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder reports:
Ian Blackford says blame for recession 'lies squarely’ doors of Kwarteng and Truss
Monday 26 September 2022 10:26 , Emily Atkinson
The UK is hurtling towards a “recession beyond what should be the case”, Ian Blackford has warned in response to forecasts that the Bank of England base rate will rise to 5.8 per cent in a 12 month’s time.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, the SNP Commons leader said: “With the trend rising this may not be the peak of interest rates. This is going to cost in terms of higher mortgage costs and borrowing costs for businesses. This means a recession beyond what should be the case. The blame lies squarely at @trussliz and @KwasiKwarteng door.”
With the trend rising this may not be the peak of interest rates. This is going to cost in terms of higher mortgage costs and borrowing costs for businesses. This means a recession beyond what should be the case. The blame likes squarely at @trussliz and @KwasiKwarteng door. https://t.co/4lTZfWXnFk
— Ian Blackford 🇺🇦🏴 (@Ianblackford_MP) September 26, 2022
Public services braced for huge cuts as Liz Truss abandons spending review
Monday 26 September 2022 10:35 , Emily Atkinson
Struggling public services face billions more in spending cuts because Liz Truss is set to crush hopes that budgets will be topped up to cope with soaring inflation.
On the campaign trail, the future prime minister suggested she would hold an emergency spending review – with allocations having been made when prices were expected to rise by a peak of just 4 per cent.
With inflation now around 10 per cent, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned an extra £18bn will be needed in each of the next two years to restore “the real-terms generosity that was intended”.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Corbyn loses bid to stand as Labour candidate in next election
Monday 26 September 2022 10:48 , Emily Atkinson
An attempt to pave the way for Jeremy Corbyn to stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election has been defeated.
Former Labour leader Mr Corbyn remains a party member but sits in the Commons as an Independent MP after having the whip withdrawn due to his response to an Equality and Human Rights Commission report into antisemitism in the party.
Some party delegates forced a vote on a proposed rule change in a bid to allow Mr Corbyn (Islington North) to be re-selected as a Labour candidate.
Supporters said it was focused on allowing a constituency Labour party (CLP) to be in control of who their candidate is rather than the parliamentary Labour party (PLP).
But the party believed the proposal represented a “significant legal risk” to it.
The proposal - card vote six - was rejected by 40.84 per cent to 59.16 per cent.
Liz Truss facing more cabinet backlash over moves to bring in more overseas workers
Monday 26 September 2022 11:01 , Emily Atkinson
Liz Truss is facing a cabinet backlash over plans to expand the shortage occupation list in order to help businesses more recruit more overseas workers.
The prime minister and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are understood to be preparing plans to relax visa rules so more migrant workers can meet labour shortages in areas such as the food and farming sector.
Adam Forrest reports:
Tory MPs unease at plummeting pound
Monday 26 September 2022 11:12 , Adam Forrest
Tory MP Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury select committee, has suggested the chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng had been wrong to signal further tax cuts, amid the decline in the value of the pound.
“One thing is for sure – it would be wise to take stock of how through time the markets weigh up recent economic announcements rather than immediately signalling more of the same in the near term,” he said.
On the pound hitting an all-time low against the dollar this morning, Tory backbencher Simon Hoare tweeted: “This is not good news. V worrying indeed.”
One thing is for sure - it would be wise to take stock of how through time the markets weigh up recent economic announcements rather than immediately signalling more of the same in the near term.
— Mel Stride (@MelJStride) September 26, 2022
Pound plunge ‘really serious’, says Labour shadow chief secretary to Treasury
Monday 26 September 2022 11:24 , Emily Atkinson
Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden has described the fall in the pound as “really serious”.
He told Times Radio: “What the government was doing was taking a big risk by announcing so much borrowing at a time when inflation was already high and the Bank of England was already raising interest rates, and what you’ve seen - you saw a bit of it on Friday, but then we had the weekend and then today with booster rockets, you’ve seen the market reaction.
“Now, it’s quite easy to think about these things as just being a chart on TV, but this has real-world implications.
“I think the British economy is too important to be used as a sort of experiment from people who’ve talked about this for many years and have now finally (got) a chance to do it.”
Lord Mandelson said: “What the Conservatives are offering is the opposite of stability.
“The markets have got to have faith that it’s affordable, that it could be sustained, that it’s not going to be whacked off course by spiralling inflation, borrowing costs which are going to hit both businesses and mortgage holders.”
Why has the pound hit a record low?
Monday 26 September 2022 11:40 , Emily Atkinson
Sterling dropped by 4.9 per cent to $1.0327 as trading opened in the Asian markets on Monday morning. It then regained some ground to around $1.05, when the euro also hit a fresh 20-year low amid recession and energy security fears.
But why has the pound hit a record low and what does it mean for the economy? Holly Bancroft has the details:
Tory MPs sending no-confidence letters over fears Truss will ‘crash the economy’, says ex-minister
Monday 26 September 2022 11:55 , Emily Atkinson
Some Conservative MPs have already sent letters of no-confidence in Liz Truss’s leadership over fears she will “crash the economy”, a former minister has claimed.
Top economists, currency markets, opposition parties and some Tory MPs have reacted with dismay to the prime minister and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s borrowing-fuelled tax cut spree.
An ex-minister in Boris Johnson’s government told Sky News that the letters which could trigger a confidence have already been sent to 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady.
Adam Forrest reports:
Truss and Kwarteng’s mini-budget a ‘catastrophic disaster’, says Sturgeon
Monday 26 September 2022 12:10 , Emily Atkinson
Nicola Sturgeon has described the economic plans laid out by the Conservative government as a “catastrophic disaster”, saying the Scottish government following suit would be the “wrong thing to do”.
“We’ll take a sensible approach, which will be in stark contrast to the one we’re seeing from the UK government,” she told the PA news agency on a visit to Graham’s dairy in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling.
“We have a situation right now where everybody bar the most tribal Tory supporters thinks what the chancellor has done is morally repugnant, fiscally damaging and reckless.
“And yet somehow, there is an expectation that the Scottish government should follow suit - that would be absolutely the wrong thing to do.
“So, we’ll take sensible, careful decisions that are about helping those who need help most.”
Investors treating Tories as ‘doomsday cult’, says top economist
Monday 26 September 2022 12:20 , Adam Forrest
Paul Donovan, chief economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, said investors “seem inclined to regard the UK Conservative Party as a doomsday cult”.
Criticising the Liz Truss government’s radical tax cut and borrowing plan in a daily update, he said: “Modern monetary theory has been taken into a corner by the bond markets and beaten up.”
“This also reminds investors that modern politics produces parties that are more extreme than either the voter or the investor consensus.”
Kwarteng will not make statement on sterling tumble, No 10 says
Monday 26 September 2022 12:30 , Emily Atkinson
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is not expected to make a statement or comment on the dramatic fall in sterling, No 10 has confirmed.
Downing Street also refused to comment on the pound’s tumble.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said on Monday: “I think that the chancellor has made clear that he doesn’t comment on the movements around the market and that goes the same for the prime minister.
“The UK with the second lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 is investing in its future. That’s through a growth plan while remaining fiscally responsible and committed to driving down debt in the medium term.
“The growth plan, as you know, includes fundamental supply side reforms to deliver higher and sustainable growth for the long term, and that is our focus.”
Rachel Reeves accused Tories of ‘energy disarmament'
Monday 26 September 2022 12:34 , Emily Atkinson
Labour shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told conference delegates that she will be the first “green chancellor” and accused the Tories of “energy disarmament”.
Addressing energy, Ms Reeves said: “A proper windfall tax would mean that working people didn’t have to foot the bill.”
On climate change, she said: “We are feeling the consequences of a 12-year Tory experiment in unilateral energy disarmament.”
She said under Labour fracking “will not happen”, adding the alternative was Labour’s “green prosperity plan” to provide “the only sustainable solution to the energy crisis”, which she said would involve investing in renewables and nuclear power.
She said: “On climate change, the costs of inaction today will mean far greater costs tomorrow. I refuse to leave our children to pick up the pieces of our failure.
“I will be a responsible chancellor. I will be Britain’s first green chancellor.”
No 10 refuses to say if Kwarteng to have crisis meeting with Bank of England governor
Monday 26 September 2022 12:40 , Emily Atkinson
No 10 has refused to outline whether or not the chancellor will meet with the governor of the Bank of England as a matter of urgency to discuss the state of the pound.
It comes amid speculation the Bank of England will be forced to again raise interest rates.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “I know he speaks regularly to the Governor of the Bank of England. I don’t know when the next conversation is scheduled to be.”
The pair meet “regularly”, the spokesman said.
“I’m not aware of any change to that regular series of meetings that they have which the chancellor set out over the weekend.”
Labour pledges thousands more doctors, nurses and midwives by restoring 45p tax rate
Monday 26 September 2022 12:50 , Emily Atkinson
Labour is promising thousands more doctors, nurses and midwives by reversing the Tories’ abolition of the 45p tax rate for top earners.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said the billions saved would deliver ‘one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history” – instead of handing rewards to the UK’s richest people.
She also pledged to introduce a much higher minimum wage in line with “the real cost of living” on “day one” of Labour winning power.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has this breaking story:
‘Trickle-down is a very simple idea - and a very wrong one,’ says Reeves
Monday 26 September 2022 13:05 , Emily Atkinson
Rachel Reeves has accused the government of “12 years of failure” as she criticised the “inadequate” trickle-down economics approach.
The shadow chancellor said: “I dare any Tory MP to tell a nurse or a care worker to their face that what our country really needs right now is bigger bonuses for bankers.
“Trickle-down is a very simple idea - and a very wrong one.”
Ms Reeves said the government’s “ideology” has “nothing” to offer workers “beyond longer hours, lower pay and less respect”.
Bank of England ‘emergency meeting’ needed, say economists
Monday 26 September 2022 13:20 , Emily Atkinson
Some economists have raised the possibility that the Bank of England may have to call an emergency meeting to raise interest rates again.
Leading economist Mohamed El-Erian told BBC Radio 4 that the Bank should raise the interest rate “by one full percentage point to try and stabilise the situation”.
Sushil Wadhwani, former monetary policy committee at the Bank, said the governor Andrew Bailey should call an emergency rate hike meeting next week.
“The argument for waiting a week would be to give them time to properly assess the extra news.”
Asked Sir John Gieve, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, told the BBC Radio 4: “That is what they’ll have to do if they want to change base [interest] rates.”
However, Sir John added: “Emergency meetings are avoided if at all possible and I am sure they will try to avoid it.”
Labour will ‘never waver’ from fiscal responsibility
Monday 26 September 2022 13:21 , Rory Sullivan
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has reiterated her party’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
This comes after the government’s “mini Budget” spooked investors and caused the pound to drop to a historic low against the US dollar.
“Labour will never waver in our commitment to fiscal responsibility,” Ms Reeves said, adding that there would no return to austerity.
“Every policy that Labour announces and every line in our manifesto will be carefully costed and fully funded,” she said.
When is the next Bank of England interest rate announcement?
Monday 26 September 2022 13:30 , Rory Sullivan
After the pound’s rapid slump, it is expected the the Bank Of England will have to intervene by raising interest rates to curb inflation.
The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is not scheduled to discuss interest rates until early November. However, it may be forced to act sooner.
My colleague Joe Sommerlad reports:
Labour pledges minimum wage that ‘reflects real cost of living’
Monday 26 September 2022 13:40 , Emily Atkinson
Rachel Reeves has pledged to guarantee a minimum wage that “reflects the real cost of living” if she becomes chancellor.
She told delegates: “On day one as chancellor, I will write to the Low Pay Commission with a simple instruction: that the minimum wage will be set at a level that reflects the real cost of living.
“The last Labour government delivered Britain’s first national minimum wage.
“The next Labour government will introduce a genuine living wage. That’s how we will give working people respect, that’s how we will give working people security and that’s how we will grow our economy too.
“It is time for a government that is on your side.”
PM and chancellor are ‘out of control’, says Reeves
Monday 26 September 2022 14:00 , Emily Atkinson
Liz Truss and and Kwasi Kwarteng are “out of control”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has told the Labour party conference – a stinging remark met with rapturous applause and a standing ovation.
“This government has undermined the Bank’s independence, sacked the respected permanent secretary to the Treasury and gagged the Office for Budget Responsibility,” she said.
Reiterating her comparison of the prime minister and chancellor to “desperate gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run”, she said: “They are not gambling with their money, they’re gambling with yours.
“They’ve lost credibility, they’re losing confidence, they’re out of control.”
How is British pound performing against other currencies?
Monday 26 September 2022 14:20 , Rory Sullivan
The pound has fallen against currencies around the world following the chancellor’s mini-Budget on Friday, as traders rush to sell off sterling, writes Holly Bancroft.
The British currency is down against the Albanian Lek, the Lebanese pound and the Malaysian Ringgit among others.
Peter Mandelson predicts ‘sea change’ akin to 1997
Monday 26 September 2022 14:35 , Emily Atkinson
Peter Mandelson has suggested that the next election could be comparable to the 1997 victory by Tony Blair for Labour.
“I do feel there is vibrancy in the conference and among people here. There is not the sort of rancour that you experienced here when you came to conference during the Corbyn years, which was so factional. It really sowed so much poison and division amongst people in the party,” Lord Mandelson told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme.
“It was like a permanent state of war going on. That has completely evaporated.”
He acknowledged that some hard-left members had been “purged and marginalised”, calling the party a “very different animal” under Sir Keir.
Calling the current government “exhausted and run out of steam”, he said: “I think we may well be seeing a time at the next election, a sea change in attitudes among the electorate of the sort that we saw in 1997.”
Furious Tory MPs hit out at chancellor after they are invited to a meeting to discuss his budget
Monday 26 September 2022 14:45 , Emily Atkinson
One angry MP said: “Chancellors have resigned and parliaments have been recalled for less, but we MPs are being invited to meetings.”
Our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin reports:
Truss adviser says Kwarteng must reassure markets ‘head-on'
Monday 26 September 2022 14:55 , Emily Atkinson
One of Liz Truss’s external advisers has said the government must urgently address market worries “head-on”.
Speaking after the pound tanked, Gerard Lyons, chief economic strategist at Netwealth, told the BBC: “What it suggests is that on Friday the chancellor failed to address the market worries.
“The chancellor probably could have done more work ahead of Friday to keep the markets onside and there’s clearly a need now, as we’ve seen from the market reaction, to address head-on those market worries.”
Nicola Sturgeon calls Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget 'morally abhorrent disaster'
Monday 26 September 2022 15:05 , Emily Atkinson
Emergency Bank of England statement understood to be imminent
Monday 26 September 2022 15:12 , Emily Atkinson
It is understood that the Bank of England is considering making an emergency statement this afternoon after the pound dropped to its lowest ever level against the US dollar.
British tourists urged to watch currency movements ‘carefully'
Monday 26 September 2022 15:15 , Emily Atkinson
British tourists have been warned to watch currency fluctuations “carefully” before switching money for their travels.
Nick Boden, head of foreign currency provider Post Office Travel Money, said that “sterling’s volatility makes it impossible to predict how exchange rates will behave in the coming weeks”.
“Our advice for people planning overseas trips is to watch rate movements carefully in the weeks leading up to their departure, and change money at times when the rate rises,” he added.
Buying $500 last week cost roughly £440, but this has now shot up to £480, as the pound dropped to all-time low against the US dollar.
Exclusive: Labour in green tech export bid to make UK ‘world leader in net zero’
Monday 26 September 2022 15:25 , Emily Atkinson
Labour is to set out plans for a national network of climate business centres to win the UK export opportunities as the world switches to cleaner, greener technology, The Independent has learnt.
The move follows Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to put environmental investment at the heart of Labour’s offer at the next election, with the promise to make the UK a green “superpower” by 2030 by massive investment in solar and wind to wean the electricity system off fossil fuels.
Shadow international trade secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds will use his speech to the party’s annual conference in Liverpool to make the case that green technology can deliver dividends for Britain not just in terms of fighting climate change but also in the creation of high-skill jobs and carving out new markets for the industries of the future.
Our poltical editor Andrew Woodcock reports:
Andy Burnham pits boosting public services above cutting income tax in diversion from Starmer
Monday 26 September 2022 15:40 , Emily Atkinson
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has said he would prioritise public services and helping those on the lowest incomes rather than cutting income tax.
After Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said they would not reverse the government’s 1p cut in the basic rate, Mr Burnham again said he would have done things differently.
“Public services are facing a really challenging winter and we all need them to be able to keep going during that challenging winter,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.
“I would have said it is a moment to secure public services with pay rises for public servants who otherwise will see their heads slipping below the water in a cost-of-living crisis and those on the very lowest incomes.”
Mr Burnham denied he was seeking to cause trouble for the leadership at the Labour Party conference but said he had a duty to give them a “blast of reality” on behalf of the people he represented.
“I’m talking from the real world as I see it and I see residents in Greater Manchester at risk. I didn’t come here to cause trouble. It is my job to give them that blast of reality,” he said.
Labour conference backs motions to renationalise rail and Royal Mail
Monday 26 September 2022 15:50 , Emily Atkinson
The Labour conference has voted for motions aimed at committing the next Labour government to bringing rail and Royal Mail back into public ownership.
The conference also voted for a motion which calls for a negotiated settlement in the rail dispute and “supports all Labour MPs attending the picket lines until such an outcome is reached”.
Delegates also unanimously voted in favour of pay increases at least in line with inflation, a £15 per hour minimum wage and to strengthen collective rights.
What could the Bank of England do after pound plummets to record low?
Monday 26 September 2022 16:00 , Emily Atkinson
Many analysts have been calling on the governor Andrew Bailey to step in before things get worse and the Bank of England is not denying that they will issue a statement on sterling later on Monday.
Some market experts want the Bank to increase interest rates to “restore credibility” to the UK economy, but such a move would pitch the Bank of England directly against the Treasury - with Mr Bailey effectively cleaning up the mess made by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
Holly Bancroft has the details:
Watch: Kwarteng refuses to answer questions after pound hits all-time low against US dollar
Monday 26 September 2022 16:15 , Lamiat Sabin
Kwasi Kwarteng to detail medium-term fiscal plan next month
Monday 26 September 2022 16:32 , Lamiat Sabin
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is set to announce details of the government’s medium-term fiscal plan on 23 November.
The Treasury said it will include how the government intends to ensure debt falls as a share of GDP in the medium term.
At the same time, the Office for Budget Responsibility will publish its updated forecast for the rest of the calendar year.
The Treasury also confirmed that there will be a Budget in the spring, with a further forecast by the OBR.
Bank of England could hike interest rates ‘by as much as needed'
Monday 26 September 2022 17:06 , Lamiat Sabin
Interest rates could be hiked “by as much as needed” to control inflation, the Bank of England warned.
Its announcement came after the pound plunged to an unprecedented low to $1.03 this morning.
The markets have panicked over new chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on Friday, in which he announced controversial tax cuts worth £45 billion – including the axing of the 45p tax bracket.
Minutes after markets closed, the Bank’s governor Andrew Bailey said he’s ready to increase interest rates in a bid to rein in inflation.
Read the full story by political editor Andrew Woodcock here:
Labour vows to ban ‘fire and rehire’ and repeal anti-union law
Monday 26 September 2022 17:15 , Lamiat Sabin
Labour will immediately ban the highly-controversial “fire and rehire” tactic that some employers use to downgrade workers’ contracts, it was pledged today.
Shadow communities secretary Lisa Nandy said, during the Labour conference in Liverpool, that the party will also repeal the 2016 Trade Union Act and raise wages for the lowest paid in the first 100 days of being elected into government.
She said: “We believe that when people have a stake in the outcome, they work harder, they try longer, they think more creatively, and they do more.
“The people of our country are our great untapped asset. Labour will tilt the balance of power back in their favour.
“In the first 100 days we will end fire and rehire, repeal the 2016 anti-Trade Union Act and raise wages for the lowest paid.”
Lisa Nandy: ‘Labour will restore UK’s council housing stock’
Monday 26 September 2022 17:30 , Lamiat Sabin
“Council housing, council housing, council housing” will be Labour’s mantra, Lisa Nandy said.
In her speech, the shadow communities secretary evoked the late 1990s when Tony Blair famously used the slogan “education, education, education” before he was elected prime minister.
Today, Ms Nandy told delegates at the party’s conference in Liverpool that Labour will restore social housing to the second-largest form of tenure in the UK.
— Best for Britain (@BestForBritain) September 26, 2022
She said: “Council housing is not a dirty word. So today, I can announce we will be the first government in a generation to restore social housing to the second-largest form of tenure.
“This will be our mantra: council housing, council housing, council housing. We are going to rebuild our social housing stock and bring homes back into the ownership of local councils and communities, with homeownership opened up to millions more.
“And for private renters, we will tilt the balance of power back to you through a powerful new renters charter and a new decent homes standard – written into law.”
She added that homes fit for human habitation is not a market but a “fundamental human right.”
Sarwar: ‘Scottish Labour will make no deals with SNP’
Monday 26 September 2022 17:46 , Lamiat Sabin
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar insisted that the party will strike no deals with the SNP as there is “nothing progressive about Scottish nationalism”.
He told Labour conference in Liverpool: “Let me be clear: no ifs, no buts, no deals with the SNP, but a coalition of the people to beat the Tories.”
Mr Sarwar also said: “Independence goes against the values of solidarity and social justice. It is an ideology based on what divides us, not what unites us.”
On the Tories, he said prime minister Liz Truss is “more dangerous than Margaret Thatcher”.
Mr Sarwar said: “Let’s be clear this a corrupt, lying, incompetent, failing, cheating, economically illiterate, morally bankrupt shower, and the sooner we boot them out of Downing Street the better.
“The other truth is that far from being the great defenders of the UK, the Tories are a gift to those who want to break us apart.
“In Scotland, the Tories’ failings have allowed the SNP to double down on their campaign of division rather than face up to their own record of failure in Scotland.”
ICYMI: Kwarteng to reveal fiscal rules in November
Monday 26 September 2022 18:00 , Lamiat Sabin
In case you missed it...
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is to reveal his fiscal plan on 23 November, the Treasury said amid market panic over his tax cut spree.
The government said the statement would include details on the new approach to borrowing, spending and tax-raising rules, including a pledge to ensure debt falls as a share of GDP in the “medium term”.
You can read the full story here by Adam Forrest
Labour: ‘Damning indictment Bank steps in to calm market’
Monday 26 September 2022 18:15 , Lamiat Sabin
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the UK cannot wait until the end of November for the government to detail its new fiscal plans.
The Labour frontbencher’s comments come after the Bank of England and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were forced to make announcements to reassure markets after the pound plunged to a historic low against the US dollar.
The Bank said interest rates could be hiked “by as much as needed” to control inflation.
The Bank’s announcement came after the Treasury said that Mr Kwarteng will detail his economic plans – including how controversial tax cuts will be funded and how debt will be reduced – on 23 November.
People are rightly worried about what these market movements mean for them and their families.
And they want to know what the government will do to fix the problems it created through its reckless borrowing. 1/3https://t.co/qSZns9kIUx
— Rachel Reeves (@RachelReevesMP) September 26, 2022
Ms Reeves said: “People are rightly worried about what these market movements mean for them and their families, and want to know what the Government will do to fix the problems it created through its reckless borrowing.
“But there is no time to waste, waiting until November is not an option.
“The Government must also look again at the plans they put forward in their fiscal statement last week.
“It is unprecedented and a damming [sic] indictment that the Bank of England has had to step in to reassure markets because of the irresponsible actions of the Government.”
Labour delegates vote in favour of proportional representation
Monday 26 September 2022 18:30 , Lamiat Sabin
Labour members voted in favour of three electoral reform motions, including replacing ‘first past the post’ (FPTP) with a form of proportional representation at general elections.
One of the motions, at the party’s conference in Liverpool, stated: “Labour must make a commitment to introduce proportional representation for general elections in the next manifesto.
“During its first term in office, the next Labour government must change the voting system for general elections to a form of PR.”
Truss accused of lying over meeting with Gulf nation leaders
Monday 26 September 2022 18:45 , Lamiat Sabin
Prime minister Liz Truss has been accused of “lying” by the chair of a parliamentary committee about what was said during a meeting with the leaders of Gulf nations.
Ms Truss, who was previously the foreign secretary, had told the foreign affairs committee that she used the meeting to raise human rights issues with the rulers of countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
But the Foreign Office has repeatedly refused to give any specifics, or even say which countries or issues Ms Truss asked about.
You can read the full story here by policy correspondent Jon Stone
Liz Truss has first call with Mohammed bin Salman as PM
Monday 26 September 2022 19:04 , Lamiat Sabin
Liz Truss spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in their first call since she became prime minister, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
According to a read-out of the call, Ms Truss “thanked the Crown Prince for his personal role in securing the release of five British detainees held by Russia-backed forces in Eastern Ukraine last week, to the great relief of their families”.
The spokesperson added: “They discussed the strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia across a range of issues, including cooperation on defence and energy security.
“The leaders welcomed progress in ending the conflict in Yemen and agreed on the importance of continuing political dialogue to extend the truce.
“The Prime Minister reiterated her focus on agreeing a strong UK-GCC trade deal and growing bilateral trade and investment in areas like aviation and clean technology.
“She also offered the UK’s continued support and encouragement for progress in Saudi Arabia’s domestic reforms.
“The Crown Prince extended his sincere condolences on the death of Her Majesty the Queen, and the leaders looked forward to continuing to grow the strong relationship fostered during her late Majesty’s reign.”
Lammy: ‘Labour government will be nice to UK’s allies'
Monday 26 September 2022 19:30 , Lamiat Sabin
Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has accused the Tories of “getting into fights” with Britain’s allies.
He pledged to rebuild relations with France and Ireland if Labour gets into power.
Mr Lammy condemned the government’s proposals to unilaterally scrap parts of Northern Ireland Protocol as “entirely unacceptable”, as he suggested the key starting point to diplomacy is to “be nice”.
“Getting into fights with our close allies and partners, I’m thinking here principally of the Irish, describing the French as our enemy or our foe, this is unrecognisable in terms of the geopolitics of Europe at this time,” he said.
“We in this country have got to be in a position where we’re rebuilding relations with our allies.
“This is a time to huddle together. It’s not a time to pull apart.”
The MP for Tottenham was speaking at a Labour fringe event hosted by the Electoral Reform Society, where he also said that he was “disturbed” by former PM Boris Johnson “running to Saudi Arabia to get an oil deal”.
Labour leads by 13% in new Redfield & Wilton poll
Monday 26 September 2022 20:00 , Lamiat Sabin
Labour leads by 13%, tied largest lead for Labour that we've recorded.
Westminster Voting Intention (25 Sept.):
Labour 44% (+2)
Conservative 31% (-1)
Liberal Democrat 11% (-1)
Green 6% (+1)
SNP 4% (–)
Reform UK 2% (-1)
Other 1% (–)
Changes +/- 21 Sept.https://t.co/cWtiqoPvgI pic.twitter.com/iVmgq25ft0
— Redfield & Wilton Strategies (@RedfieldWilton) September 26, 2022
‘Truss’s lack of fiscal responsibility a huge chance for Labour'
Monday 26 September 2022 20:30 , Lamiat Sabin
PM Liz Truss’s decision to abandon the Conservatives’ commitment to fiscal responsibility has “foolishly allowed” Labour to present itself as more economically trustworthy, Andrew Grice writes.
The Tory government’s mini-budget on Friday has promised borrowing of huge sums in a “remarkable turnaround” that has made “Labour [look] serious and sensible and the Tories the incompetent party,” he adds.
But some Labour insiders are worrying that their party’s proposals would need more work, and are also concerned that they are at risk of falling into the trap of becoming “the prophets of economic doom”.
One insider said: “That would play into the Tories’ hands; they are aching to accuse us of running the country down.”
You can read the full story here:
Burnham: Labour’s proportional representation vote ‘historic’
Monday 26 September 2022 21:00 , Lamiat Sabin
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham praised Labour members for voting in favour of proportional representation (PR) at the party’s conference today.
Delegates members have voted in favour of making a manifesto commitment to PR at the next election even though Sir Keir Starmer has ruled out the idea of scrapping first-past-the-post (FPTP).
This afternoon, Labour conference passed a series of motions on electoral reform, including scrapping FPTP, introducing PR, abolishing the House of Lords, and strengthening standards for MPs.
Mr Burnham praised members’ “historic decision” to back PR when he spoke at a New Statesman event on the fringes of the party conference in Liverpool.
He argued that “levelling up Britain” requires “rewiring Britain”.
Andy Burnham: “The party made a historic decision today to talk about electoral reform…I’d like to see the removal of the whip system, a senate of the nations and regions, and maximum devotion to empower the regions. If you want to level up Britain you need to rewire Britain”
— Josiah Mortimer (@josiahmortimer) September 26, 2022
Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell have also expressed support for PR.
Truss congratulates far-right leader set to be Italy’s first female premier
Monday 26 September 2022 21:30 , Amy Gibbons
Liz Truss has sent her congratulations to the far-right leader set to become Italy’s first female premier.
In a message to Giorgia Meloni, whose party the Brothers of Italy is expected to deliver the country’s first far-right-led government since the Second World War, the Prime Minister described the UK and Italy as “close allies”.
Ms Truss tweeted: “Congratulations to GiorgiaMeloni on her party’s success in the Italian elections.
“From supporting Ukraine to addressing global economic challenges, the UK and Italy are close allies.”
Congratulations to @GiorgiaMeloni on her party's success in the Italian elections.
From supporting Ukraine to addressing global economic challenges, the UK and Italy are close allies. 🇬🇧🇮🇹
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) September 26, 2022
Italy’s left wing has warned of “dark days” ahead as near-final results show Ms Meloni’s party has won the most votes in the country’s national elections.
But right-wing political figures from across Europe, including France’s Marine Le Pen and Spain’s Santiago Abascal, have sung her praises.
In a victory speech earlier on Monday, Ms Meloni said: “If we are called to govern this nation, we will do it for everyone, we will do it for all Italians and we will do it with the aim of uniting the people.
“Italy chose us. We will not betray it as we never have.”
Monday 26 September 2022 21:45 , Lamiat Sabin
That’s it for today’s politics liveblog. Thanks for following.