Liz Truss promises to pull the UK 'out of the storm'
Even more unpopular than Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister wants to breathe new life into her mandate.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers a speech during the Conservative Congress on October 5 in Birmingham.
Already weakened after a short month in office, British Prime Minister Liz Truss sought to regain the upper hand on Wednesday, promising to pull the UK out of “the storm” through growth, following a #x27;a conservative congress marked by doubts and dissension.
In these difficult times, we must act. I am determined to move the UK forward to get us out of the storm,” Ms Truss said. Growth, growth, growth, she hammered in a speech without announcement in front of elected officials and activists of her party gathered in Birmingham (central England).
With the desire to renew a conservative power at the head of the country for 12 years, the Prime Minister reaffirmed her desire to end the cycle of high taxes and low growth and insisted on her objective of increasing the British economy. The status quo is not an option, she argued in a speech introduced by a 1990s hit, Moving on up, which talks about being fed up and separation without return.
Trying to silence those who in her ranks do not hide their doubts, and saying she is once again ready to make the difficult choices, she insisted on her priorities: lowering taxes, improving public services, in particular health , and fight against illegal immigration.
At the podium, she attacked what she called the anti-growth coalition bringing together opposition parties, trade unions and environmental organizations and who she says would rather protest than act.
Two women activists interrupted the British Conservative Congress to hold up a banner that read: 'Who voted for this? .
Briefly interrupted by Greenpeace activists denouncing the end of the fracking moratorium, Ms Truss reaffirmed at length the UK's support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.
She also once again defended her responsible budgetary approach, while her mini-budget presented on September 23 to deal with the cost of living crisis was strongly criticized for its tax cuts financed by debt, causing the pound to fall.
Under pressure from its majority, the government on Monday backed away from scrapping the highest tax bracket, a volte-face that weakened Ms. Truss, casting doubt on her ability to stay the course.
Among the militants present at the congress, the speech seems to have reassured. It was much better than I expected, Debbie Richard, a 66-year-old local councilor from Suffolk who was worried after the about-face, told AFP.
But markets found nothing reassuring, and the pound slipped 2.01% against a buoyant US dollar, falling to $1.1241 late Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday morning, it was trading at 1.1336.
Rating agency Fitch meanwhile downgraded the outlook for the UK's rating from stable. to negative, in the wake of a similar decision by the S&P agency linked to the significant tax cuts announced.
Will this speech be enough to reaffirm the authority of the Prime Minister, when the Minister of the Interior Suella Braverman accused of a putsch on Tuesday certain conservatives who openly criticized her?
< p class="e-p">Former transport minister Grant Shapps, who had backed Ms Truss's rival, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, in the Downing Street race, has warned that party MPs would not sit idly by if the polls remain dire.
According to a YouGov survey published just before Ms Truss's speech, she is at 14% in favor, lower even than her predecessor Boris Johnson's worst score.
Prime Minister Truss is less popular than former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (archives)
A number of mined files are still awaiting his government and could fuel the revolt, in particular the future revaluation of social benefits, about which the new government does not consider itself bound by the commitment made by Boris Johnson to increase them to the tune of inflation.
Several voices were raised within the majority to remind Liz Truss not to stray too far from the program of Boris Johnson, who had in December 2019 won the Conservatives an unprecedented triumph since Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.
The next elections are expected within two years and the Labor opposition has emerged reinvigorated from its late September congress.
The Tories still refuse to give up their suicide bomber budget that blew up the economy, Labor leader Keir tweeted Starmer.
A recent poll gives them 33 points ahead of the Tories, unheard of since the late 1990s when Tony Blair came to power.