‘What a day’
Kwasi Kwarteng has made his way to the lectern.
“What a day… It has been tough. But we need to focus on the job at hand,” the chancellor begins.
Liz Truss arrives in hall
The lockdown might be lifted according to some reports, as Liz Truss has made her way into the arena.
The prime minister was seen embracing Nadhim Zahawi.
‘An avoidable situation’
Economist Gerard Lyons said the financial chaos of the past week was “an avoidable situation”.
Mr Lyons, reported to be favored by Liz Truss, suggested at a Policy Exchange event at the Conservative Party conference that the absence of a forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had caused problems.
He said: “When you don’t have anyone marking your homework in terms of the OBR … the markets are going to penalize you if they think it’s inflationary or not affordable, so it was completely an avoidable situation.”
Dr. Lyons added that he had not been “privy to anything that was in the mini-budget”.
Speech ‘running late’
The Chancellor’s speech is set to be heard later than the originally billed 4pm slot.
Latest suggestions are that it will begin within the next ten minutes.
Incident is a ‘security alert’
Birmingham Police have said they have temporarily restricted access to and from the ICC.
The force will give an update shortly.
Conference ‘in lockdown’
It has been reported that the conference is currently in lockdown due to an ‘unknown incident’.
The pound has now risen by 1.1 per cent against the dollar since this morning. The growth in confidence follows the u-turn over the 45p tax rate.
Former deputy PM: ‘Things are looking bleak for Tories at next election’
Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has said “things are looking pretty bleak” for Tory hopes of winning the next election.
He told a conference fringe event: “It will require a very impressive feat of political leadership and it needs to start today. Like this afternoon.”
Lord Heseltine warned Liz Truss that she needed to bring in MPs from across the party, rather than just her supporters.
He urged her to take the “talent off the back benches, not the cronies off the back benches”.
He said there was “appalling” short-termism in politics and leaders had to tackle that by appointing “ministers who know what the heck they are doing”.
Senior Tory dismisses calls for Chancellor to be sacked
Senior Conservative MP Mel Stride dismissed suggestions that the Chancellor should be sacked, saying now is the time for “calm”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One, the chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee also reiterated his desire for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast to be brought forward.
He said it is “fact” that the OBR are in a position to provide a “full forecast by the end of this month” and it is now just a case of how quickly the Government can bring together its plans.
Asked if the Chancellor should be sacked, Mr Stride said: “Well he’s obviously under a great deal of pressure and this is a very difficult situation, but I do think that certainly the parliamentary party should take a big deep breath now.
“There’s been a small reset around this top rate income tax, which will relieve many backbenchers. What we need to do now is give the Government the time to come forward with its OBR forecast, come forward with its plans around that, and then judge it in the round.
“And if they can get that right and if they can stabilize the markets, then I think we’re in a position where the party can start to build from that. I don’t think we need to sort of walk in sort of sacking people and having political crises any more than we already have them at the moment, I think now is the time for calm level headedness.”
‘System would rather young people go into Harry Potter studies than construction’ says education minister
The current system would rather young people get a degree in “Harry Potter studies” than apprentices in construction, an education minister has said.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Andrea Jenkyns said: “A skilled modern economy competing on the global stage requires technical skills just as much as it needs graduates.
“Yet the current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies, than the apprentices shaping construction.
“It doesn’t take magic powers to work out that this is wrong, which is why the Government is committed to putting the broomstick to good use and carrying out a spring clean of low quality courses.”
Ms Jenkyns insisted “if a course isn’t providing someone with a positive outcome”, it makes “no sense” the Government “should be funding it”.
Ms Jenkyns also argued that in some cases young people are not getting skills that are “fit for the future” at universities, adding: “They are being fed a diet of critical race theory, anti-British history and sociological Marxism, which is why this Government is determined to provide an alternative”.