Tories have nothing to offer but “same old trickle down bullshit”, Reynolds says

Morgan Jones

Jonathan Reynolds has said that the Conservatives have nothing to offer but the “same old trickle down bullshit” as he accused Liz Truss of taking the low bar set by Boris Johnson and having “pushed it through the floor”.

Addressing Labour members at a Labour First rally this afternoon, during the party’s 2022 annual conference in Liverpool, the Shadow Business Secretary was joined by fellow shadow cabinet minister Wes Streeting.

Reynolds comments followed the unveiling of the ‘mini-Budget’ on Friday, in which Kwasi Kwarteng announced that the government would be scrapping the 45% rate of income tax and the cap on bankers’ bonuses, abandoning the planned rise in corporation tax and introducing legislation to tackle “militant trade unions”.

According to analysis by the Resolution Foundation, the statement will leave an individual earning £200,000 per year £5,220 better off next year, rising to £55,220 for a £1m earner. Those earning £20,000 a year will gain just £157.

Also addressing the rally, Streeting – Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary – told attendees that expecting the Conservatives to fix the problems facing the country is “like asking the arsonist to fight the fire they started”. He also said that this conference would “give [members] policies to take out on the doorstep”.

Speakers at the event discussed what they described as the positive change in the tone of the conference compared to the last gathering held in Liverpool in 2018, when Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader. Labour First chair Keith Dibble began the session by thanking Labour First members for “staying” and “being strong”.

Labour to Win director Nathan Yeowell said moderates within the party had been “huddling together for warmth, light and friendship” at party conferences during the Corbyn years.

National executive committee member Jo Baxter said Labour will “deliver more in government than we will standing outside in the rain waving a flag”. She also spoke of the importance of taking on the SNP in Scotland, saying that the Tory government was “aided and abetted by their tartan comrades north of the boarder”.

Jackie Baillie, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, reiterated the importance of winning in Scotland. She went on to say that “there can be no deals that [Labour] ever makes with the SNP”, because “their raison d’etre is to kill the Labour Party in Scotland”.

Keir Starmer ruled out a deal with the SNP in an interview with The Guardian on Saturday, arguing: “It is impossible to do a deal with a party that says the answer to economic growth is to put a barrier between England and Scotland.”

Labour First’s candidates for the national constitutional committee (NCC) – Shama Tatler, Phil Brickell and Dan Neidle – also spoke at the event. On antisemitism within the Labour Party, Neidle said: “This country isn’t going to vote for a party that’s full of racists, full of cranks.”

Also speaking at the rally were Caerphilly MP Wayne David, former MP Anna Turley, Labour to Win organiser Lauren Howells, and national executive committee members Gurinder Singh Josan, Luke Akehurst and Abdi Duale.

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