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Keir Starmer Says Liz Truss Is The “Destroyer Of Growth”

Liz Truss at Conservative party conference (Alamy)

3 min read

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called Liz Truss the “destroyer of growth” after the Prime Minister claimed he was part of an “anti-growth coalition” in her speech to Conservative party conference.

Truss told party members in Birmingham on Wednesday that opposition parties, trade unions, environmentalists and “vested interests dressed up as thinktanks” were standing in the way of economic growth.

“The fact is they prefer protesting to doing. They prefer talking on Twitter to taking tough decisions," she told party members. 

“They taxi from north London townhouses to the BBC studio to dismiss anyone challenging the status quo. From broadcast to podcast, they peddle the same old answers.” 

But Starmer has dismissed the accusations, claiming that Truss’s policies were likely to damage the economy.

“Oh for heaven’s sake, the enemies of growth? She has just passed a kamikaze mini-Budget which has lost control of the economy,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday morning. 

“It’s 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.”

Starmer also told BBC Radio Surrey that he “fundamentally” disagrees with Truss’s economic approach, claiming that it benefitted the richest in society.

"I want to totally reject the idea of Liz Truss that the way you grow the economy is to make rich people richer and somehow one day a bit of it might trickle down to the rest of us," he said. 

"I fundamentally disagree with that."

Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy also criticised Truss’s claims in Birmingham, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that they were “laughable”.

"She's the leader of that anti-growth coalition", Nandy continued.

“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.”

But Conservative party chairman Jake Berry defended Truss’s speech on Thursday morning, insisting that it would be a uniting force for the party.

“I think colleagues saw yesterday that when the going gets tough, the Truss gets going,” he told LBC.

"And in an absolutely brilliant speech I think she has set out a plan that colleagues across the Conservative Party… they can get behind and I would urge them to get behind."

He continued: “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.”

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