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Starmer accuses Truss of ‘insulting’ British workers

The Labour leader will tell the TUC a Labour government will repeal any new legislation restricting the right to strike.

19 October 2022

Sir Keir Starmer will accuse Liz Truss of “insulting” British workers while pledging a Labour government will repeal any new Conservative legislation restricting the right to strike.

In his address to the annual TUC conference on Thursday, the Labour leader will say the Tories are “completely out of touch with the reality of the British economy”.

He will highlight a leaked audio recording of Ms Truss when she was treasury chief secretary under Theresa May saying workers in the UK lacked the “skill and application” of their foreign counterparts and needed “a bit more graft”.

“To get our country out of the hole that they dug, they turn to austerity and they turn to you – to your members and their rights,” he will say, according to advance extracts of his speech.

“It’s delusional. It’s insulting. If they bring forward further restrictions on workers’ rights or the right to strike, we will oppose and we will repeal.

“We will meet their attacks with hope, provide the leadership this country so desperately needs and build a Britain where working people can succeed again, where working people are backed as the people who really create economic growth.

“That’s the Labour choice.”

Sir Keir will denounce the “discredited” tax-cutting agenda behind former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s now abandoned mini-budget.

“Working people will not be better off because we make the rich richer,” he will say.

“It’s pure dogma – the world has moved on from these discredited ideas. And every day the Tories stick to them, is a further nail in the coffin for Britain’s economic credibility.”

At the same time he will warn that the damage inflicted on the public finances will mean that a Labour government will face difficult decisions if it is to restore confidence in the UK economy.

“When we talk about economic stability, I want to be frank. The damage the Tories have done to our finances and public services means things are going to be really tough,” he will say.

“Now and during my Labour government we will not take any risks with the public finances. We will restore economic stability as the party of sound money.

“When you lose control of the economy – as the Tories have done – you lose the ability to do anything – and working people pay the price. That will not happen with Labour – I won’t let it.”

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