The British Labor leader accuses the government of ruining the economy

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labor Party accused the ruling Conservatives of losing control of the economy and vowed on Tuesday to lead Britain out of an “endless cycle of crisis” if his party, after more than 10,000 the power returns a decade.

Union leader Keir Starmer is trying to convince voters – and especially businesses – that his left-wing party can be trusted to run the economy. The new Conservative government…

CONTINUE READING

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labor Party accused the ruling Conservatives of losing control of the economy and vowed on Tuesday to lead Britain out of an “endless cycle of crisis” if his party, after more than 10,000 the power returns a decade.

Union leader Keir Starmer is trying to convince voters – and especially businesses – that his left-wing party can be trusted to run the economy. The new Conservative government of Prime Minister Liz Truss campaigned with one of its first actions.

The value of the British pound fell and the cost of the UK government’s borrowing rose after the government on Friday announced the biggest package of tax cuts in decades without providing a detailed breakdown of the costs.

Financial markets reacted with alarm, sending sterling to a record low of 1.0373 against the US dollar. It later rallied to around $1.08 but still lost about a fifth of its value against the dollar over the past year.

“What we have seen in recent days has no precedent,” Starmer said in a speech at the Labor Party’s annual conference, held in Liverpool, north-west England. “The government has lost control of the UK economy – and for what? You crashed the pound and for what? … For tax cuts for the richest 1 percent of our society.”

Labour, one of Britain’s two main parties, has lost four straight elections, most recently losing in 2019, its worst performance since the 1930s. Britain has had four Conservative Prime Ministers since Labor was last in power in 2010: David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and now Truss.

Starmer, who replaced far-left Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2020, is determined to end that run. The 60-year-old former prosecutor wants to convince voters that Labor is the “centre party” and not the high-taxing party of the urban left that its critics like to portray.

A risky bundle of conservative economic policies with the stated goal of boosting economic growth by cutting regulation and lowering taxes on businesses and high earners has helped Starmer portray Labor as the moderate choice.

Opponents say the measures will push up inflation, which is already close to 10%, and worsen a cost-of-living crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Do not forget. Don’t forgive,” Starmer said. “The only way to stop this is a Labor government.”

Starmer also unveiled a plan to boost the UK economy by investing in alternative energy. He vowed to make the UK a “green growth superpower” and said Labor will set up a clean energy public company to expand solar, wind and wave power and make Britain’s electricity grid carbon neutral by 2030.

Opinion polls show Labor are up to 17% ahead of the Tories. With the next UK general election slated for 2024, Labor Starmer’s current popularity has helped unite his often fractious party, at least for now.

But there is still unrest among some who want Labor to stick to the policies of nationalization and spending increases promised by Socialist Corbyn.

In a gesture symbolizing Starmer’s determination to conquer the middle ground, Labor members observed a minute’s silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II and sang the national anthem “God Save the King” as the conference opened on Sunday – a rebuff Respondent the Party of Lack of Patriotism.

Starmer was also careful to cite former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s maxim that Labor is “the political wing of the British people”.

Blair is a divisive figure within the party, maligned by many for dragging Britain into the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. But he is also the only Labor leader to win three straight elections.

Former Government Secretary Peter Mandelson, an architect of Blair’s first landslide victory in 1997, said the Conservatives were “running out of steam” and that the next election could bring “a sea change in electorate attitudes such as we saw in 1997.”

Victoria Honeyman, Associate Professor of British Politics at the University of Leeds, said a Labor victory in the next general election was “absolutely not a done deal”.

“If the Conservatives lose, they will lose because the economy has stalled,” Honeyman said. “If Labor wins the next election, they need to sit down and find a way to get this all sorted out.”

___

Lawless reported from London

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users within the European Economic Area.

Comments are closed.