Latest from Liz Truss: Kwarteng bows to pressure to bring forward medium-term budget

Nadhim Zahawi calls for unity as any delay in government plans would ‘end in defeat’

Quasi Quarteng has bowed to pressure to set out its medium-term fiscal plan and publish it alongside independent economic forecasts on Halloween.

The Ministry of Finance confirmed the move to speed up the publication of the financial strategy and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast from November 23 to October 31.

In a letter to the chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee Mel StrideMr Kwarteng said he hopes “this short additional delay is acceptable”.

It comes after Mr Kwarteng was urged to “act now” and set out his fiscal plan in the wake of new analysis which suggested more than 3,000 households faced “dwindling increases” in their mortgage repayments each day.

The Liberal Democrats warned of a “tenth mortgage bomb” as the party predicts around 168,000 more homeowners will have been hit with a new higher interest rate when the chancellor publishes a medium-term fiscal plan on November 23.

In other news, Liz Truss has sent a signal that she intends to bridge the divide that decimated the Tory party when she handed a government job to Greg Hands, a Conservative who backed his rival Rishi Sunak in the leadership race.


Real benefits could push 450,000 people into poverty

The Legatum Institute said increasing gains in earnings over inflation could push a further 450,000 Britons into poverty.

It comes after Baroness Philippa Stroud, Tory peer and chief executive of the think tank, warned that “you don’t build growth on the backs of the poor”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today’s program: “We want to say stop this argument and make sure we upgrade in line with inflation.”


Kwasi Kwarteng will bring forward the financial plan for October in another u-turn

Quasi Quarteng will set out the government’s medium-term fiscal plan from November to the end of October following calls to calm markets, it has emerged.

The chancellor said in a letter to Mel StrideTory chairman of the Treasury committee that the spending and borrowing plan would be announced on October 31 – instead of November 23 as promised.

Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has this breaking story:


James Cleverly calls new Russian strikes ‘unacceptable’

James Cleverly has called Russia’s firing of missiles into Ukrainian cities “unacceptable”.

The Foreign Secretary retweeted comments by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “terrorist who talks with missiles”.

Sir. Cleverly wrote: “Russia’s firing of missiles into civilian areas in Ukraine is unacceptable.

“I communicated with @DmytroKuleba this morning to reinforce the UK’s continued moral and practical support for Ukraine.

“This is a show of weakness from Putin, not strength.”


Truss will try to charm Tory MPs at political lunches

Liz Truss is expected to launch a “charm offensive” this week by holding political lunches with groups of MPs and addressing the 1922 committee of backbenchers on Wednesday.

But backbenchers are not the only ones angry about benefits. Members of the government are reportedly ready to press the prime minister on the issue of raising benefits in line with inflation when they meet on Tuesday.

Mrs Truss is “really undecided” on the issue and will “listen” to colleagues, Downing Street sources have said.


Decisions on tax changes in Scotland have not yet been made, says Swinney

Decisions on changing taxes in Scotland have not yet been made, John Swinney has said.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister said the NHS was under “tremendous pressure” and accepted waiting times are too long for too many people.

Talking to Sky Newshe said the Scottish Government would set its budget in December and no changes could be made in the current financial year.

Asked if he ruled out raising taxes to fund the NHS, he said: “We haven’t come to any of those decisions yet.

“It would be too early to do that. We need to see the data coming from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which we expect to hear in the next few weeks.”


Barristers vote to end strike after accepting pay offer

Barristers in England and Wales have voted to end strike action after accepting a government offer of a 15 per cent pay rise, the The Criminal Bar Association said.

Voting for CBA members opened Tuesday night and closed at midnight Sunday.

The body agreed to vote the members again after discussions with the Registrar Brandon Lewis in which he decided to propose further reforms to government-set fees for legal aid work, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:


You don’t build growth on the backs of the poor, says the Tory peer

Benefit payments must rise in line with inflation rather than earnings, as “you don’t build growth on the backs of the poor”, a Conservative peer has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Baroness Stroud, chief executive of the Legatum Institute, said: “When we came out of Covid, the £20 withdrawal (was) removed from this group of people, then there was an opportunity to upgrade in again in line with inflation and it was revised up in line with 3% So you already have welfare at an all-time low right now.

“The public knows that. They get the feeling that something is not right in the welfare state at the moment.

“So we would say stop this argument and make sure we upgrade in line with inflation.”

Asked whether Liz Truss could still improve her position in the polls, Baroness Stroud said: “She is trying to put the country on a pro-growth footing. If she were to achieve that, then the polls would start to reflect something else.

“But you don’t build growth on the backs of the poor. In fact, it is important that at a time when you are going for growth, you really protect the poorest in this country.”


Bank of England expands emergency bond purchase scheme to £10bn per day

The Bank of England has announced an extension of its emergency gold purchase programme, launched after the chancellor Quasi Quarteng‘s mini-budget sparked market turmoil, which left Britain on the brink of a financial crisis.

The bank said it will double the daily limit of its gold buying program from £5bn. to £10bn as it brings the scheme to an “orderly” close ahead of Friday’s cut-off.

It said it has bought only about 5 billion so far. pounds of UK government bonds under the £65bn program launched late last month as it stepped in to protect pension funds and avoid “widespread financial instability”.

Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has more:


Sajid Javid criticizes Tories for ‘taking too long’ to tackle online security

Sajid Javid has criticized the government for “taking too long” to tackle online safety, pointing to the “huge gap” in online regulation of content that encourages suicide.

Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the former health secretary said: “It is an offense under the current suicide act to encourage or incite someone to kill themselves. But there is a huge gap when it comes to covering digital communications.

“We were all reminded of that last week with the coroner’s report into the tragic death of Molly Russell – you had Ian Russell on your program who spoke so strongly about it – and so it needs to happen, but the government is taking too long.

(Getty Images)

“When I was Home Secretary, along with Jeremy Wright, the Culture Secretary, we introduced the White Paper on Online Harm and here we are, four years later, nothing has happened.

“Other countries have done this and nothing has happened. Four years.”


Sajid Javid is calling for benefits to rise in line with inflation

Sajid Javid has said that benefits “must” rise in line with inflation rather than earnings.

The conservative former chancellor said so BBC Radio 4’s Today’s program: “People are going through incredibly challenging times. We can all see that in our society. So I personally think benefits should stay in line with inflation.

“I hope that when – I think the government reviews this decision, there is no decision – but I hope that the decision is ready to upgrade with inflation.”

Asked whether the chancellor could afford to wait until November 23 to release data from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, Mr Javid said: “I would certainly encourage him to publish it as soon as he can. I think the sooner the better as far as the markets are concerned.”

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