Liz Truss Tory conference speech disrupted by Greenpeace protesters; PM claims cutting taxes ‘right morally and economically’ – live

1 month ago

Truss's speech disrupted by environmental protesters

Protesters are disrupting the speech. At least two of them are in the hall shouting, and waving a banner that says Greenpeace on it.

The audience boo. The protesters are taken out.

Greenpeace protest
Greenpeace protest Photograph: Reuters
Environment protester being led from conference hall.
Environment protester being led from conference hall. Photograph: Guardian Video
Protester’s conference pass being ripped off.
Protester’s conference pass being ripped off. Photograph: Reuters

Key events

Truss says the government is improving energy security to make the UK less dependent on authoritarian regimes.

Turning to immigration, she says the “brilliant” new home secretary, Suella Braverman, will introduce legislation to ensure no European judge can overturn the government as it takes decisive action to strengthen the borders.

(She does not elaborate on what this means.)

She also says Labour has no plan for illegal immigration.

Turning to the NHS, Truss confirms the government commitment to ensuring all patients can get an appointment with a GP within two weeks. People who need urgent care will be seen on the same day, she says.

Truss says her government will 'realise promise of Brexit'

Truss says she will “realise the promise of Brexit”. She goes on:

By the end of the year, all EU red tape will be consigned to history.

Brexit will allow the UK to do things differently, she says.

Truss says she is also committed to economic reform.

She says businesses have been held back by barriers to growth such as “militant unions, nationalised industries and outdated City regulations”.

Planning rules also delay building and infrastructure projects, she says. She goes on:

I love business. I love enterprise. I love people who take responsibility, start their own businesses … I want to see more of that.

Truss says she believes in fiscal responsibility.

I believe in getting value for the taxpayer. I believe in sound money and a lean state. I remember my shock opening my first pay cheque to see how much money the tax man had taken out.

I know this feeling is replicated across the country.

She says she will bring down debt as a proportion of national income.

Truss claims cutting taxes is right morally and economically

Truss says she and her “dynamic” new chancellor will focus on three things.

First, they will cut taxes. Cutting taxes is the right thing to do, morally and economically. Tax cuts are morally right because it is people’s money, and economically right because, with more of their own money, they will do more of what they do best.

She sums up some of the tax cuts she has announced.

Tax rates have to be internationally competitive, she says. Cutting taxes shows Britain is open for business.

She says cutting the 45% rate became a “distraction”. That is why is is not longer part of the plan.

I get it. And I have listened.

Truss says she has three priorities for economy: 'growth, growth and growth'

Truss makes her argument about needing to grow the pie, “so that everyone gets a bigger slice”, not just argue about redistribution. (See 9.13am.)

She says a new approach is needed.

As the last few weeks have shown, it will be difficult.

Whenever there is change, there is disruption. Not everyone will be in favour. But everyone will benefit from the result: a growing economy and a better future. That is what we have a clear plan to deliver.

Truss says she has three priorities for our economy: “growth, growth and growth”.

Truss says the energy package was the biggest part of the mini-budget.

She says for too long the economy has not grown fast enough.

She grew up in Paisley in the 1980s, she says. She knows what low growth means. It means lower wages, fewer opportunities and less money to spend on what matters.

And it means the country falling behind other countries, she says.

That is why they need to level up everywhere.

Truss says she is going to talk about the anti-growth coalition later in her speech. She jokes the protesters timed their intervention too early.

Truss's speech disrupted by environmental protesters

Protesters are disrupting the speech. At least two of them are in the hall shouting, and waving a banner that says Greenpeace on it.

The audience boo. The protesters are taken out.

Greenpeace protest
Greenpeace protest Photograph: Reuters
Environment protester being led from conference hall.
Environment protester being led from conference hall. Photograph: Guardian Video
Protester’s conference pass being ripped off.
Protester’s conference pass being ripped off. Photograph: Reuters

Truss says she knows what it is like to have to fight for things in life.

She recalls as a child being on a plane and being given a junior air hostess’s badge. Her brothers got junior air pilot’s badges. It was not the only time she was treated unfairly because of her sex.

And, as a child, she saw other children being let down by low expectations, and by a Labour council more concerned about politics than about children’s education.

She is the first prime minister to have gone to a comprehensive school.

(Of course, Truss’s account of the flaws with the school she attended has been dismissed as untrue by many people who were there at the time – for example, in this article.)

Truss says this is a vital time. These are stormy days. We mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth, “the rock on which modern Britain was built”.

In these tough times, we need to step up. She says she wants to put Britain on a stronger footing.

I believe that you know best how to spend your own money, to get on in life, to realise your ambitions.

That is what conservatism is about.

She says she is not interested in how many two-for-one offers people buy at the supermarket, or in virtual signalling.

(Boris Johnson was going to ban buy-one-get-one-free offers for unhealthy food items.)

Liz Truss is taking the stage now. She gets a standing ovation as she arrives.

She says it is great to be here in Birmingham. It’s fantastic to see cranes across the skyline building new buildings, the trams going down the streets, and the bull at the heart of Birmingham.

This is what a city with a Tory mayor looks like. It’s positive, it’s enterprising, it’s successful, and Andy Street is a human dynamo, delivering for the people of Birmingham.

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