Labour leader Keir Starmer accuses Liz Truss of 'grotesque chaos'

Labour leader Keir Starmer accuses Liz Truss of ‘grotesque chaos’ after she sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor

  • Keir Starmer blasted Liz Truss after weeks of political and economic chaos
  • The Labour leader accused the PM of ‘clinging to power’ in a speech in Barnsley 
  • He referenced Neil Kinnock’s famous 1985 speech attacking militant members 
  • Starmer spoke of the ‘grotesque chaos’ of Kwasi Kwarteng being sacked 

Keir Starmer has accused Liz Truss of ‘grotesque chaos’ after she sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor – the latest twist a week of political and economic upheaval.

The Labour leader referenced Neil Kinnock’s famous 1985 party conference speech at an event in Barnsley after a day which saw Kwarteng sacked as Chancellor and Conservative MPs plotting to oust the Prime Minister. 

Starmer pointed to the ‘grotesque chaos of a Tory Prime Minister handing out redundancy notices to her own Chancellor’ – quoting Kinnock’s anti-militant speech. 

He blamed Liz Truss for damaging the economy with the government’s mini-budget last month and hinted there should be a general election.

At a speech in Barnsley, Keir Starmer attacked Liz Truss over the economic fallout from the government’s mini-budget  

Starmer quoted Neil Kinnock’s famous 1985 speech to the Labour conference where he attacked far-left party members 

Labour have surged ahead in the polls following Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget last month, with many suggesting they would win a landslide majority if an election was held soon  

Polls have put Labour further ahead of the Conservatives than the party has been for 20 years following Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget in September.   

Starmer also said there was ‘no historical precedent’ for the current situation facing the Conservative government.

The Labour leader said: ‘There are no historical precedents for what they have done to our economy. Britain has faced financial crises before but the prime ministers and chancellors who wrestled with them all acted fast.

‘When their policies ran against the rocks of reality, they took decisive action.

‘But this lot, they didn’t just tank the British economy, they also clung on as they made the pound sink. Clung on as they took our pensions to the brink of collapse.

‘Clung on as they pushed the mortgages and bills of the British public through the roof.

Kinnock was heckled and jeered at by left-wing activists as he made the speech in 1985

‘They did all of this – all the pain our country faces now is down to them.’ 

Starmer also accused Liz Truss of clinging to power as rumours swarm that Tory MPs could remove her from office within weeks after a disastrous first month as Prime Mnister. 

‘There is still one person clinging on’, he said.

‘The Prime Minister.’

‘No doubt we will hear plenty of laughable excuses in the coming days. 

‘After 12 years of stagnation, that’s all her party has left but even they know she can’t fix the mess she has created.

‘And deep down, her MPs know something else. They no longer have a mandate from the British people.’

The government has also come under fire from businesses – ASDA Chairman Lord Rose told the Today programme that new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt were unlikely to fix the economic turmoil.

He said the: ‘current situation is completely untenable and cannot be sustained.

‘In my view the Prime Minister is now a busted flush.’

Asked how Labour would tackle knife crime and teenage violence, Sir Keir Starmer told reporters in Barnsley: ‘I spent five years as director of public prosecutions in charge of criminal prosecutions, so I know the impact on this community, on these communities.

‘There is no doubting that the Tories have failed us when it comes to law and order, and by ripping out lots and lots of police officers, they’ve left our communities exposed.

‘Now they’re desperately trying to backfill, but what we need is community policing, working in their community, and that’s what we’re committed to as a Labour Party, because I know the importance of community policing and the difference it makes, not just to knife crime but to many, many other sorts of crimes.’

The speech Starmer referenced in his speech today was made by Neil Kinnock in 1985 – an attack on the far-left Militant faction in the Labour party. 

The then-leader criticised the in-fighting and disorganisation caused by left-wing activists while the party was in the political wilderness during the Thatcher government.

Kinnock told the conference: ‘I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. 

‘You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that. 

‘Outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council – a Labour council – hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers.’

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