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Oil price slumps with Saudi Arabia asked to increase production

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Rishi Sunak is on stage now and is setting out how, as Prime Minister, he wants to “put stability and confidence at the heart of this Government’s agenda”.

He plans to grip inflation and balance the books, but also to “build a better country where we get inflation down and grow the economy”, investing in the NHS and schools.

Setting out the theme of his speech, he said: “Critical to achieving all this is innovation.”

Mr Sunak said he wants to make Britain an “island of innovation” as he addressed the CBI annual conference.

The Prime Minister said the UK is committed to using its “Brexit freedoms” to drive the policy, adding he wants to lead a country with a “culture of innovation” that “permeates every aspect of what we do”.

On how that can be achieved, he said: “First, we need to harness innovation to drive economic growth.

“Second, we need to embed innovation in our public services, especially our NHS.

“Third, we need to teach people the skills to become great innovators.”

He said it is “private-sector innovations” that “really drive growth”, adding: “You’d expect me to say that, I’m a Conservative, but it’s true.

“That’s why the Autumn Statement cut taxes to encourage larger companies to do more research and development. It’s why we want to allow businesses to claim R&D tax relief on pure maths and cloud computing.

“It’s why we’re absolutely committed to using our new Brexit freedoms to create the most pro-innovation regulatory environment in the world in sectors like life sciences, financial services, AI and data.”

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