Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has warned that Liz Truss shows “all the signs of allowing another wave of Tory sleaze to fester” after it emerged that her No 10 chief of staff Mark Fullbrook was being paid through his lobbying firm.
Also accusing Ms Truss’s new administration of “miring itself in sleaze, not even a month into the job”, the Lib Dems’ Daisy Cooper claimed it was “proving to be nothing more than the same as Boris Johnson’s”.
However, Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester mayor, said he believed both should go, saying: “I don’t think it’s a time for tax cuts, it’s a time to support people through this crisis.”
Liz Truss may allow another wave of Tory sleaze to fester, warns Angela Rayner
Keir Starmer would reverse 45p tax rate decision but keep planned cut to basic rate...
... while Andy Burnham says both tax cuts should go
Kwasi Kwarteng denies tax cuts favour richest
Starmer applauded after calling trickle-down economics a ‘piss take’
Sunday 25 September 2022 20:18 , Andy Gregory
That’s us wrapping up the liveblog for today, thanks for following here. My colleagues will be back tomorrow morning for the second day of Labour’s annual conference.
You can find all of The Independent’s most recent coverage of UK politics here.
Or else keep scrolling to read about the day’s events, as we reported them:
Sunday 25 September 2022 09:26 , Zoe Tidman
Good morning and welcome to our coverage of UK politics as the fallout from the mini-Budget continues.
Mini-Budget ‘flagrant act of vandalism’, Andy Burnham says
Sunday 25 September 2022 09:28 , Zoe Tidman
Andy Burnham has slammed the mini-Budget and its tax cuts in an interview with Sky News this morning.
“You have a budget that splurges billions on the wealthiest people in the country and actually doesn’t do anything meaningful to get people through the autumn and the winter. So honestly, I can barely believe it. “
“Having been through a period of national unity, the way I would describe it Friday’s budget was a flagrant act of vandalism on the social cohesion of this country.”
Watch the clip from the interview here:
'It doesn't do anything meaningful to get people through the winter'
Greater Manchester Mayor @AndyBurnhamGM says the mini-budget announced on Friday was a "flagrant act of vandalism on the social cohesion of this country"#Ridge: https://t.co/ZuCd9svJmz
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/6YYMmYGiHU
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) September 25, 2022
Andy Burnham says Labour should reverse tax cuts
Sunday 25 September 2022 09:54 , Zoe Tidman
Andy Burnham has said a future Labour government should reverse the 1p income tax cut and bring back the 45p rate in a challenge to party leader Sir Keir Starmer, Kate Devlin reports:
Starmer says Labour would bring back higher rate of tax for top earners
Sunday 25 September 2022 09:58 , Zoe Tidman
And on that note, Sir Keir Starmer has announced a Labour government would bring back the 45p tax rate for the highest earner
But it would not reverse the planned 1p cut to the basic rate, our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin reports:
UK has ‘very big political divide’, Starmer says
Sunday 25 September 2022 10:05 , Zoe Tidman
Sir Keir Starmer said there was now a “very big political divide”.
“You have got the Conservative Party now saying the future of this country is one where the rich get richer and we offer nothing meaningful to working people,” he told the BBC.
“You have got the Labour Party saying we do need to grow our economy - that’s been the single biggest failure of the last 12 years of this Tory government - but we need to recognise who grows this economy.”
He said Labour would “grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out” rather than “this theory that it’s only those at the very top, the very wealthy, that create and drive our economy”.
Kwarteng brushes off question about mini-Budget and pound
Sunday 25 September 2022 10:24 , Zoe Tidman
Kwasi Kwarteng has brushed off questions about the pound slumping following his mini-budget.
The chancellor said he was “focused on the economy” when asked whether he was nervous about sterling diving to its lowest level in decades, the stock markets falling and the cost of government borrowing going up.
“We’ve got to have a much more front-footed approach to growth and that’s what my Friday statement was all about,” he told BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme.
“I think that if we can get some of the reforms ... if we get business back on its feet, we can get this country moving and we can grow our economy, and that’s what my focus is 100 per cent about”.
Here is a reminder of what happened earlier in the week:
Sir Keir Starmer and zero-carbon electricity
Sunday 25 September 2022 10:43 , Zoe Tidman
Back to the Labour leader, here is Sir Keir Starmer on plans for zero-carbon electricty:
Labour leader Keir Starmer says he wants all of the UK’s electricity to be generated from zero-carbon sources by 2030 but admits that fossil fuels may still need to be used as a fall-back #BBCLauraKhttps://t.co/lA3FRrRNop pic.twitter.com/Cvf7KVAtQu
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 25, 2022
Starmer calls trickle-down economics a ‘piss take'
Sunday 25 September 2022 10:54 , Zoe Tidman
Sir Keir Starmer called trickle down economics a “piss take” as he tore into the new tax cuts announced by the government.
He got a rapturous applause, cheering and whooping as he spoke to a crowd of delegates ahead of the annual Labour Party Conference.
Rob Merrick, our deputy political editor, reports:
Kwarteng denies tax cuts favour richest
Sunday 25 September 2022 11:10 , Zoe Tidman
Kwasi Kwarteng has denied that his new tax cuts favour those at the top, stating that he is “focused on tax cuts across the board.”
When it was put to him that his mini-budget “favour overwhelmingly people at the very top”, he told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “They favour people right across the income scale.”
Mr Kwarteng also indicated that there are more tax cuts to come.
Minute silence for Queen at Labour conference
Sunday 25 September 2022 11:20 , Zoe Tidman
Labour has held a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II and sung the National Anthem at its party conference:
National Anthem & minute’s silence for the Queen at Labour conference goes off without incident. Keir Starmer will be very proud of that. pic.twitter.com/pQPz9xQ0u2
— Rachel Wearmouth (@REWearmouth) September 25, 2022
Our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin is there and shared this on Twitter:
The words to the National Anthem - as Labour prepares to pay tribute to the Queen at its conference. pic.twitter.com/dzS0FzqJvE
— Kate Devlin (@_katedevlin) September 25, 2022
‘Impossible to imagine Britain without Queen,’ Starmer says
Sunday 25 September 2022 11:49 , Zoe Tidman
Sir Keir Starmer paid tribute to the Queen at the Labour Party conference.
“The late Queen Elizabeth II was this great country’s greatest monarch,” he said.
“She created a special, personal relationship with all of us. A relationship based on service and devotion to our country.”
The Labour leader added: “Even now, after the mourning period has passed, it still feels impossible to imagine a Britain without her.”
Here are some images as the party conference paid tribute to the monarch:
Kwarteng hits more tax cuts could be on the horizon
Sunday 25 September 2022 12:06 , Zoe Tidman
Kwasi Kwarteng has hinted of more tax cuts ahead - and ruled out any limit on government borrowing - as he appeared to shrug off criticism of his mini-Budget ‘gamble’.
Kate Devlin reports:
Labour ‘will oversee wave of insourcing'
Sunday 25 September 2022 12:25 , Zoe Tidman
Angela Rayner has told the Labour Party conference her party would promote insourcing.
“The Tories have become too dependent on handing away our public services on the cheap, and now we are paying the price,” the shadow secretary of state for the future of work said.
“We will oversee the biggest wave of insourcing for a generation.”
She added: “Today I can announce that before any service is contracted out, public bodies must show that the work could not be better done in-house.”
Angela Rayner unveils ‘fair work standard'
Sunday 25 September 2022 12:43 , Zoe Tidman
Angela Rayner has revealed Labour’s plans for new standards and rights for workers.
The party’s deputy leader outlined a “fair work standard” that would “underpin a new fair work code for the public sector, guaranteeing fair conditions, job security, wellbeing, proper training, rights at work, and union access”.
Ms Rayner said: “We will also create a fair work gold standard to champion the very best of employers, and a Labour government will be on the side of the self-employed too.
“We will give genuinely self-employed workers the right to a written contract and timely payment by law so they aren’t left out of pocket and chasing invoices.
“Because our fair work standard will raise standards for all.”
Kwarteng refuses to confirm changes to immigration rules
Sunday 25 September 2022 13:00 , Zoe Tidman
Moving away from the Labour Party conference for a moment, Kwasi Kwarteng has refused to confirm the government is planning to change Brexit immigration rules.
Images from Labour Party conference
Sunday 25 September 2022 13:19 , Zoe Tidman
Let’s take a look at the images coming out of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool so far:
Labour ‘ready to govern’, party chair says
Sunday 25 September 2022 13:34 , Zoe Tidman
Labour can “unite the country” and “clean up our politics”, party chair Anneliese Dodds said as she set out a series of policies aimed at winning the next election.
The plans contained in the policy review include a decade-long commitment to overhaul social care, a promise to recruit 6,500 new teachers and extend statutory maternity leave.
The Stronger Together policy review - unveiled at the party’s conference in Liverpool - is based on 12 months of consultation with Labour’s frontbench teams and extensive discussions with unions and party members.
She said it was Labour’s “roadmap to a fairer, greener future” for the UK.
“From tackling the cost of living and climate crises to building a stronger, more secure economy, delivering a new deal for working people to investing in high-quality public services and safe and secure communities, this report shows that Labour is ready to govern and ready to take on the challenges the country faces,” Ms Dodds said.
Labour foreign policy would be ‘green’, Lammy says
Sunday 25 September 2022 15:21 , Zoe Tidman
David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, has vowed to make Labour’s foreign policy “green”.
He tweeted out Andrew Woodcock’s exclusive on this:
The climate crisis is the biggest challenge the world faces. It is not a distant threat, but here today, devastating the lives of millions of people.
While Liz Truss tries to row back on our Net Zero commitments, @UKLabour's foreign policy will be Green.https://t.co/GdSzUAqxmc
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) September 25, 2022
Mick Lynch criticises government anti-strike plans
Sunday 25 September 2022 13:56 , Zoe Tidman
Mick Lynch, the RMT union boss who is at the Labour Party conference, was interviewed on LBC this morning.
He criticised the government’s new anti-strike action plans in a clip that can be watched here.
Labour government ‘will advance equality’, Dodds says
Sunday 25 September 2022 14:20 , Zoe Tidman
Anneliese Dodds has told the Labour Party conference said the next Labour government will match the record of the last one to “advance equality”.
“We will act to eradicate gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps,” the shadow women and equalities secretary said.
“We will bring in strong family-friendly rights. We will measure what we do and be accountable for it - equality impact assessing every budget.”
She also reiterated Labour‘s commitment to making the women and equalities brief a secretary of state-level role and to make misogyny a hate crime.
ICYMI: Starmer would reverse 45p tax rate decision but keep planned cut to basic rate
Sunday 25 September 2022 14:43 , Zoe Tidman
Sir Keir Starmer says Labour would reverse the decision to axe the 45p tax rate for the highest earners - but would keep the planned 1p cut to the basic rate.
“I’ve long made the argument that we should reduce the tax burden on working people,” he told BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme.
“That’s why we opposed the national insurance increase earlier this year, which of course the government is now reversing.”
Kate Devlin, our Whitehall editor, has the full story:
Reminder: Andy Burnham disagrees with both tax cuts
Sunday 25 September 2022 15:00 , Zoe Tidman
As we reported earlier, Andy Burnham isn’t a fan of either tax cut policy - and believes a Labour government should get rid of both.
“I don’t think it’s a time for tax cuts, it’s a time to support people through this crisis,” the Greater Manchester mayor said.
Kate Devlin has more:
Ed Miliband says basic rate cut should be kept
Sunday 25 September 2022 15:19 , Zoe Tidman
Ed Miliband, a member of the shadow cabinet, agreed with Sir Keir Starmer in saying the cut to income tax’s basic rate should be kept.
“No, we don’t think that should be reversed,” he told Sky News.“Because, remember, we are talking about this basic rate cut, which people start paying at £12,500.”
He dodged the question when asked if he therefore disagreed with Andy Burnham. “I don’t think we should reverse that tax cut,” he repied.
Watch the exchange here:
'Would a Labour government reverse the 45p cut?' - @SophyRidgeSky
Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary @Ed_Miliband says Labour is going to be "consistent in our election manifesto"#Ridge: https://t.co/ZuCd9svJmz
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/PhQeTVZxTT
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) September 25, 2022
Labour on track to win next election, poll finds
Sunday 25 September 2022 15:34 , Zoe Tidman
In other news, 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.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports on the findings released on the first day of the party’s conference:
Watch: Starmer pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
Sunday 25 September 2022 15:53 , Zoe Tidman
As mentioned earlier, Sir Keir Starmer paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as he opened the Labour Party conference.
You can watch his speech here:
Pictures from Labour conference
Sunday 25 September 2022 16:19 , Zoe Tidman
Here’s some more pictures from the Labour Party conference today:
Labour condemns Liz Truss paying chief of staff through lobbying firm
Sunday 25 September 2022 16:21 , Andy Gregory
The government has admitted that Liz Truss is paying a lobbying company for the services of her chief of staff.
In an unprecedented arrangement for such a senior aide, Mark Fullbrook receives his salary not as an employee but as a contractor through Fullbrook Strategies, a firm he set up in April.
The arrangement is reportedly causing “huge concern” among the Conservative Party, with officials said to be “appalled”.
This is causing huge concern among the Conservative Party, given Liz Truss had promised to clean up No10.
One former No10 advisor tells me, “It's entirely unprecedented for a chief of staff or any senior appointment like it. Every official I've spoken to is appalled”. https://t.co/a0jNJTktTt
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) September 25, 2022
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, called the admission “shocking”, saying it “raises serious questions about the new prime minister’s judgement”.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the full report here:
Ukraine and workers’ pay among topics to be debated at Labour conference
Sunday 25 September 2022 16:31 , Andy Gregory
Ukraine, workers' pay, health, social care, the climate crisis and violence against women and girls are among the 12 topics chosen to be debated at the Labour Party conference.
Meetings will take place to develop motions to be considered by delegates.
The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot reports that Momentum failed to get a single preference on the ballot except for health.
💥 I understand Momentum failed to get a single preference on the ballot - other than health - which was also supported by the centrist/Starmer backing Labour to Win https://t.co/t5EzwTCKJu
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 25, 2022
Labour conference delegate proposes ban on property developers becoming councillors
Sunday 25 September 2022 16:44 , PA
Property developers and lobbyists should be barred from becoming local councillors, a Labour Party delegate has said.
Speaking on the main stage at the party’s conference, Hassan Ameen, from the Newcastle Upon Tyne Central Constituency Labour Party, proposed “placing a ban on anyone who is a property developer or lobbyist, aside from charities and trade unions, from becoming a local councillor”.
The call came as the party debated potential rule changes known as constitutional amendments on the main stage of the conference.
He said: “These two professions in particular create a conflict of interest for the councillor between themselves and the common people.
“For example, a councillor who is a property developer or lobbyist is able to control their business’s success with their position in council, meaning that their interests as a councillor are more than likely shifted towards their business’s prosperity compared to that of the working class.”
Sadiq Khan announces free travel for thousands of lowest-paid transport workers
Sunday 25 September 2022 17:17 , Andy Gregory
Thousands of the lowest paid transport workers are to travel for free across London to help with cost of living crisis after an intervention by the Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, our Whitehall editor Kate Devlin reports.
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 perk is already given to those directly employed directly by Transport for London (TfL), which runs the city’s transport networks, including the Tube. Oyster cards are also issued to bus drivers and operators of other TfL services as part of their benefit package.
The new scheme will operate for eligible staff of TfL’s suppliers by April.
Truss comments on Putin contrast with those of EU foreign policy chief
Sunday 25 September 2022 17:30 , Andy Gregory
Liz Truss’s claim that Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat is “bogus” (see post at 5:02pm) are in noticeable contrast with the warning yesterday from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that the Russian president’s words must be taken seriously.
Here is our report on Mr Borrell’s comments:
Starmer faces demands to allow Corbyn to stand as Labour candidate in next election
Sunday 25 September 2022 17:49 , Andy Gregory
Sir Keir Starmer has faced fresh demands to pave the way for Jeremy Corbyn to stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election, with conference delegates forcing a vote on a proposed rule-change allowing the former leader to do so.
Mr Corbyn remains a party member but sits in the Commons as an independent MP after having the whip withdrawn over his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into antisemitism.
Supporters of the rule change say it is focused on allowing a Constituency Labour Party (CLP) to be in control of who their candidate is rather than the parliamentary Labour party (PLP).
Peter Talbot, of Islington North CLP, said: “We need a range of Labour candidates. We need to demonstrate that the Labour Party truly is a broad church. And that’s particularly important in relation to the thousands of young people that Jeremy brought into supporting Labour.”
But the party believes the proposal represents a “significant legal risk to it”, with Michael Wheeler, vice-chair of Labour’s national executive committee organisation sub-committee warning the party “must be able to show there it’s applying its rules consistently and fairly” in order to successfully defend legal claims.
Tories faces fresh accusations of ‘Tory sleaze’ over Truss’s chief of staff
Sunday 25 September 2022 18:10 , Andy Gregory
Opposition parties have levelled accusations of “Tory sleaze” at the government – the first of Liz Truss’s new premiership – after it emerged that her chief of staff Mark Fullbrook is being paid through his lobbying company instead of directly as a government employee.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the revelation that Mr Fullbrook is “on loan” from a lobbying firm “raises serious questions about the new prime minister’s judgment.
“The fact that this bombshell comes days after alarming reports that Mr Fullbrook is also embroiled in a foreign bribery probe involving the FBI will only add to public concern.
“While Liz Truss shows all the signs of allowing another wave of Tory sleaze to fester, a Labour government would create an Independent Ethics and Integrity Commission to clean up public life and restore the basic standards we expect.”
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Liz Truss’s administration is proving to be nothing more than the same as Boris Johnson’s, miring itself in sleaze, not even a month into the job.
“Her top advisers must not appear to be above the rules and laws of the land. We need to see an urgent independent investigation into any conflicts of interest - anything less than this risks looking like an admittance of wrongdoing”.
‘A matter for the Bank of England’: Liz Truss refuses to discuss if UK in recession
Sunday 25 September 2022 18:30 , Andy Gregory
Liz Truss has refused to discuss fears raised by the Bank of England earlier this week that the UK is already in recession, with the prime minister insisting the downturn in the economy is “a matter for the Bank of England” when questioned on the matter by CNN.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the full report here:
Starmer vows to fight any attacks on unions ‘every step of the way'
Sunday 25 September 2022 19:19 , Andy Gregory
Labour will fight any attacks on trade unions “every step of the way”, party leader Sir Keir Starmer has pledged.
Speaking at a fringe meeting of Labour conference, after some tensions were caused by his ban on frontbenchers joining picket lines, the Labour leader told an audience of trade unionists that his party and unions had a “long, strong future together”.
“The government is on an ideological mission based on the idea that if you make the rich richer, money will trickle down,” Sir Keir said. “We will fight attacks on trade unions every step of the way. We are already committed to reversing the anti-union legislation.”
He said there was a confidence about the Labour Party, adding: “People don’t just hope for a Labour government, they believe in a Labour government.”
Labour’s mission is to win votes of a ‘disillusioned and disaffected country’, Wes Streeting says
Sunday 25 September 2022 19:33 , Andy Gregory
Labour is “fighting to defend the very basis on which the NHS was built” as it seeks to attract the votes of a “disillusioned and disaffected country”, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has said.
Speaking at a Labour to Win rally in Liverpool, Mr Streeting said: “On the NHS we face the biggest challenge we have ever faced in our history, because the challenge is bigger than it was in 1997.”
The party’s mission is “to persuade a disillusioned and disaffected country to turn its face to Labour once again, to place its trust in Labour once again”, Mr Streeting said.
In an apparent reference to the victory of Labour’s moderate wing in a series of conference votes on Sunday, he said: “We have won the party, now let’s go out there and win the country.”
Ukrainian ambassador pleas for continued ‘generosity and patience’ from refugee hosts
Sunday 25 September 2022 19:51 , Andy Gregory
The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK has issued a plea for continued “generosity” and “patience” from those offering a home to refugees in Britain, as he warned that Westminster must provide “much more” support for the war effort.
Addressing a fringe event hosted by Labour Friends of Ukraine in Liverpool, Vadym Prystaiko said: “We hoped to reach a six-month period by the sponsorship agreement between most of the UK citizens and Ukrainians who came here.
“I just hope that the generosity, tolerance, kindness, patience of these people will allow us to engage with Ukrainians who still need some support here.”
The government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme in March so people could sponsor refugees by offering them a home for at least six months. Ministers have since faced calls to consider increasing the monthly thank-you payments to hosts who extend their offer beyond the initial period they committed to.
Warning that government assistance for the war effort “is needed again and again and again,” Mr Prystaiko added that although Russia will struggle to arm, feed and equip the hundreds of thousands of recruits called up in Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation of reservists, their “sheer mass” is “something formidable”.
Britain’s defence spending to double to £100bn next year, says Ben Wallace
Sunday 25 September 2022 20:08 , Andy Gregory
Britain’s defence spending will double to £100bn next year after Liz Truss’s pledge to raise the UK military budget to 3 per cent of GDP, Ben Wallace has said.
The British armed forces are “actually going to grow” for the first time since the Cold War ended after decades of “shrinking budgets”, the UK defence secretary said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph.
My colleague Emily Atkinson has the full report: