Starmer accuses Tory MPs of prioritising their party over the country

The Labour leader suggested many people feel ‘the real risk now is carrying on with this lot’ after the Government ‘demolished’ its mini-budget.

18 October 2022

Sir Keir Starmer has accused Tory MPs of putting their party’s interests ahead of the country’s, as he claimed some secretly believe a change in power might be a “good idea”.

The Labour leader suggested many people feel “the real risk now is carrying on with this lot” after the Government “demolished” its ill-fated mini-budget, leaving it with “no economic policy”.

Speaking to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, he said the new Chancellor had “basically undone everything that Liz Truss said she was going to do” as leader.

On Monday, Jeremy Hunt revealed he was scaling back the energy support package and ditching most of the tax cuts announced by his predecessor, as he tried to restore economic stability after weeks of turmoil on the financial markets.

Labour is “basically setting the economic agenda”, Sir Keir said, with the Government “playing catch up”, after Mr Hunt announced “all the things that we said they should do”.

Jeremy Hunt
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reversed most of the mini-budget (Victoria Jones/PA)

He said Tory MPs have “got to make a decision” on whether to “put their party first or their country first”, adding: “At the moment, they’re putting their party first.”

“Quite a lot of them are saying, behind the scenes, we do think a change of government to Labour might be a good idea, but it wouldn’t be good for our party. That is the wrong way round,” he said.

Labour has called for a general election regardless of whether Ms Truss is ousted as PM, with recent polling putting the party well in the lead.

Sir Keir suggested a Labour government would secure the economy as he decried “a Tory crisis made in Downing Street”, warning a “huge amount of damage has been done”.

“They’ve had, what, four chancellors in four months. We’re now having an open discussion about whether they’re going to have a further change of prime minister – three prime ministers in three years,” he said.

He added: “We can’t go on like this, shutting the public out, and I think many people now feel that the real risk now is carrying on with this lot rather than actually having a general election, bringing in a Labour government and securing our economy. That’s the first thing that absolutely needs to be done.”

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