Liz Truss promises to ‘move the UK forward out of the storm’

British Prime Minister Liz Truss at the Conservative Party Congress, Wednesday, October 5.

Weakened after only a month in power, British Prime Minister Liz Truss tried to regain control on Wednesday, October 5, on the last day of a chaotic Conservative Party congress in Birmingham, undermined by internal dissension over the policy to be followed to get the United Kingdom out of the crisis. “In these difficult times, we must act. I am determined to move the UK forward to get us out of the storm”launched the head of government, in a speech without announcement of a little more than half an hour in front of the elected officials and activists of his party.

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With the desire to renew a conservative power at the head of the country for twelve years, the Prime Minister said she wanted “end the cycle of low growth” and repeated his goal of making “to grow the British economy”. “The status quo is not an option”, she insisted. Trying to silence those who, even in her ranks, accuse her of already being out of the game – barely a month after she came to power – she again insisted on her priorities: lowering taxes, improving the health and the fight against illegal immigration.

Interruption by Greenpeace

Two Greenpeace activists briefly interrupted his speech, holding up a banner asking: “Who voted for this? » On Twitter, the environmental NGO explained that it wanted “exposing the “shredding” of Party promises [conservateur] in 2019 » : “The Prime Minister is flip-flopping on fracking, strong climate action and leading environmental protections. Who voted for this? »

Faced with the energy crisis, Truss promised to accelerate the exploitation of oil and gas in the North Sea. His government has already lifted the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a polluting technique for extracting hydrocarbons from shale.

The Prime Minister also once again defended her budgetary approach ” responsible “while his “mini-budget”, introduced on September 23 to tackle the cost of living crisis, drew a host of criticism for its debt-funded tax cuts and sent the pound plummeting. Under pressure from its own majority, the government waived on Monday to remove the highest tax bracket, a measure that crystallized the opposition because benefiting the richest taxpayers.

Dissension among conservatives

This volte-face, carried by the Minister of Finance, Kwasi Kwarteng, weakened the Prime Minister, who assured that” there [avait] no shame for a leader to listen”. Will his speech to Congress be enough to reassert his authority, when Interior Minister Suella Braverman on Tuesday accused conservatives of openly criticizing Truss for launching a putsch against her?

The stakes are high, at a time when former transport minister Grant Shapps, who had supported ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak against Mme Truss in the race for Downing Street, spoke on Tuesday of the danger of a vote of no confidence from Conservative parliamentarians. “I don’t think Conservative MPs, if they see the polls continue like this, will sit idly by”he warned.

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Mme Truss took advantage of this speech to once again assure Ukraine of its “solidarity” against Russia. “The illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory by [Vladimir] Putin is just the latest act in his campaign to overthrow democracy and violate international lawstormed the Prime Minister. We must not give in to those who want a deal that sacrifices Ukrainian land. They propose to pay in Ukrainian lives for the illusion of peace. We will stand by our Ukrainian friends for as long as necessary. »

The World with AFP


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