20.09.2022
Panicking Germany urges Italians to reject ‘post-fascist’ election frontrunner

The two leaders met in Berlin on Monday to discuss Europe’s energy crisis. But the Chancellor and his party’s president, Lars Klingbeil, were also quick to show their support to Mr Letta for the upcoming general election in Italy and to urge Italians not to vote for the far-right candidate.

SDP President Klingbell said: “It is important that our twin party wins and not the post-fascist Meloni.”

Ms Meloni’s party, Brothers of Italy, has within the years abandoned a staunch anti-EU policy that would seek for the Bel Paese to leave the bloc.

In a bid to dismiss criticism and allegations of euroscepticism, the far-right leader said last week: “The debate on national sovereignty is a debate that we must pose gracefully without having to say that we are leaving the European Union.

“The issue is relevant, it is not an issue of enmity towards Europe, but better to organise the defence of Europe, the national interest vis-à-vis Europe.

“Because we see it on the gas price ceiling as other countries defend their national interests.”

Ms Meloni, likely to be Italy’s next prime minister after elections this month, was branded unfit to lead the country after she backed Hungarian leader Viktor Orban in a row with the EU Commission on Friday.

She is widely expected to lead a conservative alliance, including her own Brothers of Italy party, the League and Forza Italia, to victory in the September 25 ballot and give the country its most right-wing administration since World War Two.

Both the Brothers of Italy and the League have close ties to Mr Orban and rallied to his side on Thursday when the European Parliament voted by 433 to 123 to denounce the “existence of a clear risk of a serious breach” by Hungary of core EU values.

Ms Meloni defended her support for Mr Orban, saying the vote meant her old friend might now move closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The intelligent choice would be to bring European nations closer together rather than push them apart,” she told Rai radio. “We cannot give allies to our adversaries.”

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But Ms Meloni’s own opponents roundly condemned her and League leader Matteo Salvini for backing Mr Orban, who has been locked in battle with the EU for years over alleged human rights abuses and undermining the independence of the judiciary and academia.

“I say that either Meloni and Salvini backtrack and publicly acknowledge they were wrong about Orban, or I say they are unfit to govern Italy,” said former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, leader of the left-leaning 5-Star Movement.

Mr Letta called Mr Orban “a danger to the whole of Europe”. Mr Orban himself dismissed the EU parliamentary vote on Friday as a “boring joke”.

The Commission is expected to recommend later this week suspending billions earmarked for Budapest from the bloc’s €1.1 trillion shared budget for 2021-27.

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Member countries would then have three months to decide on the Commission’s recommendation in a majority vote, meaning Rome alone could not block such a move even if Ms Meloni took power.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged his eventual successor to pick their foreign friends carefully.

“Our allies are Germany, France and the other European countries that defend the rule of law,” he told reporters.

“One should ask oneself, which partners best help me to protect Italian interests? Who counts most amongst these partners?”

Both Ms Meloni and Mr Salvini have toned down some of their more eurosceptic views in recent years, but they still regularly lambast “Brussels bureaucrats” during campaign rallies and say they will put Italian interests above those of Europe.

In an unusual move, their ally Silvio Berlusconi, who leads Forza Italia, warned that he would quit a future coalition if he thought his partners were jeopardising Italy’s ties with Europe and NATO.

“If these people, our allies, whom I trust and respect, were to go off in different directions, we would not stand for it,” he told Rai television on Thursday.

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05.10.2022
Liz Truss warns of ‘disruption’ as she goes for growth and demands end to Tory infighting
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05.10.2022
Channel migrants face ban on claiming asylum in UK, Suella Braverman announces
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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 05.10.2022Politics
    Liz Truss warns of ‘disruption’ as she goes for growth and demands end to Tory infighting

    Liz Truss today warns the country that going for growth will cause disruption but the shake-up will make life better for everyone. The Prime Minister will tell the party to stop the infighting and start focusing on delivering for Britain.

    Ms Truss will say: “The scale of the challenge is immense. War in Europe for the first time in a generation. A more uncertain world in the aftermath of Covid.”

    “And a global economic crisis. That is why in Britain we need to do things differently. Whenever there is change, there is disruption. Not everyone will be in favour.

    “But everyone will benefit from the result – a growing economy and a better future. That is what we have a clear plan to deliver.”

    Tensions in the party boiled over yesterday when Cabinet ministers rowed over tax and benefits policies.

    Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she was “disappointed” by the decision to leave the 45p top rate of tax in place and accused Tory rebels like Michael Gove who pushed for it of staging a “coup”.

    She was backed by Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke, who said Ms Braverman “talks a lot of sense”.

    But International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch criticised claims of a coup as “inflammatory”.

    Meanwhile, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, said she wants benefits to rise in line with inflation instead of wages as the Prime Minister is considering.

    Ms Truss said there would be no rebuke for Ms Mordaunt’s outspoken intervention.

    She will make it clear that squabbling among themselves will not deliver the growth the country needs.

    The Prime Minister will set out her determination to smash the cycle of high-tax and low-growth when she takes to the conference platform in Birmingham.

    Rail strikes timed by the hard-left union barons to coincide with the last day of the gathering mean she is likely to have fewer party members in the hall than would usually be expected.

    But after a difficult week, she will set out an optimistic vision of how the country can be transformed.

    Pleading a “new Britain for the new era”, she will say that having taken decisive action to tackle the energy crisis, it is time to be unashamedly pro-growth, pro-aspiration and pro-enterprise.

    Boosting the tax take will help pump funding into public services like the NHS.

    Ms Truss will say: “For too long, our economy has not grown as strongly as it should have done.”

    “For too long, the political debate has been dominated by how we distribute a limited economic pie.”

    “Instead, we need to grow the pie so that everyone gets a bigger slice. That is why I am determined to take a new approach and break us out of this high-tax, low-growth cycle.”

    “That is what our plan is about: getting our economy growing and rebuilding Britain through reform.”

    Most of the speech will focus on the economy, with Ms Truss drawing on her childhood in Leeds and Paisley to explain what motivates her desire to give everyone the opportunity to do well in life.

    She will promise to have an iron grip on the UK’s finances with fiscal responsibility, value for money for the taxpayer, sound money and a lean state.

    Ms Truss will say: “This is a great country. But I know that we can do better and we must do better. We have huge talent across the country. We’re not making enough of it. To deliver this, we need to get Britain moving. We cannot have any more drift and delay at this vital time.”

    The Prime Minister will tell the party the status quo is not an option and it must get on with delivering for voters.

    “We are the only party with the determination to deliver,” she will say.

    “Together, we can unleash the full potential of our great country. That is how we will build a new Britain for the new era.”

    Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng suggested the Conservatives could win the next general election despite Labour’s massive lead in the polls.

    “Polls do go up and down,” he said and insisted “two years is an eternity” in politics.

    “I never predict victory because that’s hubris but I think we can be very competitive and have a compelling story to tell.”

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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 05.10.2022Politics
    Channel migrants face ban on claiming asylum in UK, Suella Braverman announces

    Migrants arriving in the UK illegally could see a blanket ban on being able to ask for asylum and benefits. Home secretary Suella Braverman announced the plans at the Tory conference on Wednesday is considering new laws making it easier to deport them.

    Ms Braverman unveiled her plans to the Tory conference in Birmingham, and pledged to permit “immigration that grows our economy” but “end abuse of the rules” after more than 33,000 people crossed the Channel in small boats so far in 2022.

    She told the conference: “It’s right that we extend the hand of friendship to those in genuine need.

    “This country has always done so. It did so for my father in the 1960s as a young man from Kenya. We have now welcomed hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Syria, Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

    “At the same time we should use our newfound control to deliver the kind of immigration that grows our economy, for example that helps projects that have stalled or builds relationships with our friends and allies.

    “Parts of the system aren’t delivering. We need to end abuse of the rules and cut down on those numbers that aren’t meeting the needs of our economy.”

    Sources told The Times Ms Braverman’s legislation would be designed to create a “blanket ban” on anyone who enters the UK illegally, including by small boats, from claiming refuge.

    It is not yet clear how the new home secretary’s plans would be implemented or deviate from measures previously brought in by Priti Patel.

    Ahead of the Home Secretary’s comment, the Refugee Action charity hailed a “day of shame for the Government”.

    Chief executive Tim Naor Hilton said: “It is now clear that this Home Secretary cares only for keeping people out, not keeping them safe.

    “Banning those crossing the Channel from claiming asylum is a blatant breach of the international refugee laws that the UK proudly helped create in the first place.

    “These plans wilfully ignore the fact that it is a lack of safe routes into the country that pushes people into the hands of smugglers.

    “The Government cannot continue to run roughshod over its international responsibilities and threaten refugees with deportation or jail simply for asking for help.”

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    So far in 2022, more than 33,500 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey from France, already exceeding 2021’s total of 28,526.

    The Home Office’s reasonable worst case scenario for how many people make the journey in total this year is 60,000 people.

    Home Office figures show that between January 2018 and June 2022, 94 percent of migrants crossing the Channel on small boats claimed asylum.

    Ms Braverman also announced at the Tory party conference she will prevent modern slavery laws being “abused” by people smugglers.

    The Home Secretary said the Modern Slavery Act, introduced by former prime minister Theresa May, will be overhauled to stop migrants avoiding deportation.

    She insisted the Government needs to make plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda “work”, and said she would work closely with the French to help cut channel crossings.

    The Home Secretary also hit out at the European Court of Human Rights as “undermining the sovereignty of our borders”, after the court intervened in the first flight of migrants to Rwanda.

    Speaking at a fringe event at the party’s conference in Birmingham ahead of her speech, Ms Braverman said it was her “dream” to have a Rwanda flight depart before Christmas.

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  • 3 часа, 6 минут назад 05.10.2022Politics
    News The Buckshee

    Herschel Walker’s campaign was sent reeling after Monday night’s report that he allegedly paid for a former girlfriend to get an abortion. And before the Georgia Senate campaign had a chance to regain his balance, his son jumped in to deliver another gut punch in real-time.

    To the very online crowd, Christian Walker is no stranger. The 23-year-old cuts an interesting profile: He’s built a social media brand on the right railing against “woke liberals” and supporting former President Donald Trump. He’s also been a booster of his father’s Senate campaign in the past, tweeting about introducing him at an event at Mar-a-Lago and posting other positive messages even before Walker’s Georgia Senate campaign.

    That, perhaps, lent credibility to his haymaker of a tweet Monday night.

    “I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us. You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence,” he tweeted in a post that got almost 130,000 likes.

    Christian Walker has posted a number of statements and videos against his father in the day since the Daily Beast published an article quoting an unnamed former girlfriend who said Herschel Walker wrote her a $700 check to pay for an abortion. Christian Walker said he aims to put an end to the “lies” that Herschel Walker has put forward about his family values and morality, and restated allegations of abuse that his mother has leveled against Herschel Walker.

    The campaign has been hit repeatedly by revelations about Walker’s past, including children Walker hadn’t claimed publicly and inflated, inaccurate statements about his businesses. Now, Walker has denied the Daily Beast’s reporting, which POLITICO has not independently verified.

    Herschel and Christian Walker have largely existed on different sides of the Internet until now — a good portion of both men’s social media followers may not have realized the two were related until recently. But now, his son has become a central player in the Georgia Senate race just over a month before Election Day.

    Christian Walker has more than a quarter million followers on Twitter, as well as more than a half-million on Instagram and 165,000 on TikTok, where he quickly amassed social media clout as a “free speech radicalist” on an app with relatively few conservative influencers of a similar brand compared to other platforms.

    On Monday night, Christian Walker took to Twitter around the same time as the Daily Beast published its story.

    “Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office because we all knew (some of) his past,” he wrote in a tweet before unloading on Walker over his relationship with him and his mother.

    Herschel Walker later tweeted on Monday night, “I LOVE my son no matter what.”

    Christian Walker has been relatively quiet on the subject of his father’s other children in the past. On Tuesday, he uploaded a 4-minute video on Twitter and Instagram further explaining his past silence, writing that he did one campaign event for his father and then did not want to be involved further. His tone was more serious than his usual high-energy rant videos and podcast episodes.

    “This is a candidate issue; this is not a me issue,” Christian Walker said in the video. “I wouldn’t have spoken out if there weren’t all these lies every day.”

    Christian Walker posted an endorsement picture on Instagram with his father in August 2021, and has come to his father’s defense on social media prior to the initial reporting about Walker having fathered other children. He also once sold Herschel 2022 merch on his website, Cancl, though the page has since been deleted.

    In Tuesday’s video, Christian Walker said the story behind his previous endorsement of his father was more complicated than those on the right and left made it seem.

    “You know nothing about my life. My parents went through a dirty divorce, I went through a lot as a child,” he said. “You don’t know the ebbs and flows of our relationship… So for everyone making these wild theories and whatever, that’s crazy.

    Christian Walker has had a tumultuous time on social media, particularly TikTok, where he had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers in less than a year. He quickly became an outspoken “free-speech radicalist” voice on the app that still has relatively few popular conservative influencers.

    He also recently moved from Los Angeles to Miami, leading to a flurry of tweets supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis, even posting a picture with the Republican in August.

    Christian Walker’s high-energy tirades, often filmed from his car, ranged from “cancel culture” topics to railing against Pride Month to parroting Trump’s election fraud theories — all of which have often been shot down by angry commenters and parodied by other users.

    “‘The rich need to pay their fair share of federal income tax,’” he says mockingly in one older video. “The top 10 percent has paid over 70 percent of federal income tax, sweetheart. So how about you stop smoking weed on the couch all day and you go get a better job.”

    He also ran into trouble while a student at the University of California Los Angeles, which put out a statement against his “hurtful language on social media” after fellow undergraduates reported his social media activity. Months later, Christian Walker posted screenshots of other students complaining about him in a class GroupMe, saying the school allowed “your students to treat me like crap” for his conservative beliefs.

    In February 2021, Christian Walker’s profile briefly got suspended by the platform, and he has since rebuilt his following to 165,000 people on TikTok. He still garners hundreds of thousands of views per video, but his content has taken a turn from calling out liberals to bashing men who don’t bring enough to their relationships. His audience equally embraced the new bit — all amid commenters asking about Herschel’s other children to no response.

    “Your honor, he’s slaying again,” one comment reads. “A broken clock is right two times a day,” other users frequently write under his new videos.

    Christian Walker had not previously made direct statements about the allegations against his father, but he has often called out men who have cheated on their spouses on TikTok. Some videos reference other celebrities, like Wild ‘n Out host Nick Cannon, who has fathered 10 children with multiple women, and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, whose messages with a woman who is not his wife recently went viral.

    The Levine situation merited a 42-minute episode on Christian Walker’s podcast in September, the longest he’s ever recorded.

    Some of Christian Walker’s most-viewed videos and comments have focused on men being unfaithful in relationships.

    “Fathers, I’m gonna need you to come back from hanging out with your homeboys and banging people that aren’t your wife and take care of your kids and your baby mamas, do you mind?” Christian Walker said in one of his most viral videos last year.

    “Get home and raise your kids!” he said in another June video directed at Cannon.

    In Tuesday’s post, Christian Walker said he was breaking his silence about the “random kids across the country” who weren’t raised by his father.

    “And you know my favorite issue to talk about is father absence. Surprise! Because it affected me,” he said in the video. “That’s why I talk about it all the time.”

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  • 3 часа, 54 минуты назад 05.10.2022Politics
    Starmer’s second referendum ‘devastated’ Labour’s prospects in working class towns

    A columnist has slammed Sir Keir Starmer’s record on Brexit and highlighted the loss of Labour heartlands in 2019 in a brutal takedown of the opposition leader. Writing for Compact magazine, columnist Craig Purshouse described Sir Keir as a “duller and even-more-bootlicking Pete Buttigieg”, the US transport secretary who has often been characterised as boring. Sir Keir is currently riding on the wave of a huge swell in Labour support following the disaster of chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget and a well-received party conference in which he pledged to create a nationalised energy company within a year of being elected. However, Mr Purshouse questioned Sir Keir’s lefty credentials and laid the blame at his door for Jeremy Corbyn’s massive electoral defeat in 2019.

    The columnist wrote: “After Britain voted to leave the European Union, many in Labour wanted to develop a transformative post-Brexit settlement. Not so Starmer.”

    In his book The Starmer Project, Oliver Eagleton claimed that any attempted at a “left-populist Brexit” was “blocked by an internal wrecking operation”, in which Sir Keir, Mr Eagleton claims, “was the key player”.

    This internal scheme allegedly made sure the party pushed for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

    Mr Purshouse added: “This approach strengthened the party’s standing with educated professionals but was devastating to its prospects in its working-class strongholds, many of which had supported Leave. Thus, Labour entered the 2019 election offering a second referendum and looking like it wanted to overturn the popular will.

    “Boris Johnson was able to rebrand the Tories as a party that wanted to get Brexit done. He swept up votes in Labour’s old heartlands and secured a huge majority.”

    For much of his time as opposition leader Sir Keir appeared to avoid the topic of Brexit, saying only that he believed the government needed to “make Brexit work”. But speaking at the Labour party conference last week, Sir Keir engaged more closely with the issue, savaging the government’s handling of Britain’s exit from the EU.

    He said that voters had wanted democractic control, opportunities for the enxt generation, and public services they could rely on.

    Sir Keir claimed that the Conservative party had instead “slashed” workers’ rights, “ended” redistribution and lowered standards on food, animal welfare and the environment.

    Recent polling found that the Labour party had secured a substantial lead in the so-called “Red Wall” constituencies, with Redfield and Wilson giving the opposition a 38 percent lead – the largest lead ever achieved by any party in the researchers’ Red Wall polling.

    Polling by Savanta ComRes similarly found that Labour would likely regain many of its lost heartland seats, including Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Blyth Valley, Sedgefield and Workington. Mr Purshouse also took aim at Sir Keir’s reshaping of the Labour party after Mr Corbyn was removed, highlighting Sir Keir’s strategy of going back on pledges that had been central to Mr Corbyn’s campaign.

    Sir Keir initially appeared to drop pledges to renationalise rail, energy, water and the Royal Mail. Two of these – energy and rail – have since been confirmed to be nationalised under Labour in last week’s conference, while delegates unanimously passed union-backed motions urging public ownership of Royal Mail and inflation-proof pay rises.

    Sir Keir justified the dropping of campaign pledges as a “pragmatic” move given the economic impacts of Covid.

    He told BBC Radio 4 at the time that due to Covid and massive debt, the Labour party needed to be “transparent” about what they would and would not able to afford to do in government.

    Asked if that meant his 10 leadership pledges were no longer part of his manifesto, he confirmed that it had, again citing the change in the financial and debt situation for the country.

    Mr Purshouse similarly blasted Sir Keir’s slogan, which replaced Mr Corbyn’s “For the many, not the few” with “Security, prosperity, respect”, which the columnist branded “utterly vacuous”.

    Justifying the new slogan, Sir Keir fired at then-PM Boris Johnson, saying he didnt believe politics was “a branch of the entertainment industry.” He instead described it as “the serious business of getting things done.”

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  • 5 часов, 54 минуты назад 04.10.2022Politics
    Britons warned of ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter amid blackout fears

    The UK’s energy regulator warned there is a “significant risk” of gas shortages this winter. In a letter from Ofgem to power company SSE, they said there was a chance of a “gas supply emergency” because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has already caused havoc on energy supplies across the globe.

    Ofgem said it predicted “this winter to be more challenging than last year” and was taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.

    A “gas supply emergency” is when energy firms cannot supply enough of the resource to meet demand, leading to fears of rationing.

    It could see businesses asked to stop using gas for limited periods in order to safeguard gas supplies for consumers.

    Gas-fired power stations generate between 40 percent and 60 percent of the UK’s electricity.

    Should a “gas supply emergency” occur, supplies would be cut to “the largest gas users” which are likely to be “large gas-fired power stations which produce electricity to the National Electricity Transmission System”.

    It is not immediately clear where this would result in electricity blackouts or mean homes and businesses will face energy rationing this winter.

    Ofgem told the BBC: “This winter is likely to be more challenging than previous ones due to the Russian disruption of gas supplies to Europe.

    “Britain is in a good position with little direct import of gas from Russia; our own domestic gas production; reliable supplies from Norway; and the second-largest port capacity in Europe to import liquified gas.

    “Nevertheless, we need to be prepared for all scenarios this winter.

    “As a result, Ofgem is putting in place sensible contingency measures with National Grid ESO (electricity system operator) and GSO (gas system operator) as well as the government to ensure that the UK energy system is fully prepared for this winter.”

    In 1974, the three-day week was introduced by then-Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Conservative government to conserve electricity.

    From January 1 1974, commercial users of electricity were limited to three specified consecutive days’ consumption each week and prohibited from working longer hours on those days.

    During the Tory leadership election, Liz Truss insisted rationing of energy would not take place.

    However, in August it was reported the UK Government was planning for a worst-case scenario which could see planned blackouts over four days in January 2023.

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    A spokesperson from the Government’s Department for Business and Energy called the reports “wilfully misleading and not something we expect to happen”.

    They said: “We are not dependent on Russian energy imports, unlike Europe, with access to our own North Sea gas reserves, steady imports from reliable partners, the second largest LNG port infrastructure in Europe, and a gas supply underpinned by robust legal contracts, meaning households, businesses and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas they need.”

    It comes as the outgoing boss of Shell said taxes on oil and gas industry firms are “inevitable” to help the poorest people.

    Ben van Beurden said that energy markets cannot behave in a way that “damage a significant part of society”.

    Speaking to the Energy Intelligence Forum, an oil industry event, Mr van Beurden said: “You cannot have a market that behaves in such a way – logically and effectively and everything else – that it’s going to damage a significant part of society.”

    He said that “one way or another” there would be government intervention that “results in protecting the poorest”, and added: “That probably means governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it – I think we just have to accept [that] as a societal reality,” he said.

    Mr van Beurden added that taxes can be brought in “smartly and not so smartly”.

    He also said: “There is a discussion to be had about it but I think it’s inevitable.”

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  • 5 часов, 54 минуты назад 04.10.2022Politics
    Kwasi blames botched mini-budget on stress over Queen’s death after screeching u-turn

    Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has bizarrely cited the death of the Queen as a reason for his botched mini-budget which nearly imploded the UK economy as he tries to regain credibility among the Conservative Party and with voters. Yesterday Liz Truss was forced into a humiliating u-turn on her cut to income tax that primarily benefited the richest in society, following a frenzied reaction from markets and lot of grumbling from her backbenchers. Kwasi Kwarteng said the decision to reverse the policy, which the PM had passionately defended just hours before changing her mind, was taken with “humility and contrition”. He added to GB News that the “pressure” of the Queen’s death was part of the reason for his widely rebuked policy.

    Mr Kwarteng said: “We had a nation in mourning and then, literally, four days after the funeral we had the mini-budget. It was a high-speed, high-pressure environment and we could, as David Cameron used to say, have prepared the pitch a bit better.”

    Asked what he could have done differently, the chancellor again referenced Her Majesty’s death, saying: “It was a very quick time that we did it. You have got to remember the context. What was extraordinary about that month was we had a new government and also we had the sad passing of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

    Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, attacked the comments, saying: “Instead of taking responsibility for their reckless mishandling of our economy, at every turn the prime minister and her chancellor try to shift blame elsewhere.”

    Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, said: “This really is a new low for the chancellor in a desperate effort to excuse his botched budget.”

    Members of Ms Truss’ cabinet, including Jacob Rees-Mogg when interviewed on podcast the News Agents, have claimed the reason for backing down on the policy was because it had become a “distraction” from the main focus of the mini-budget, which was a substantial package of support for struggling households. The business minister defended Mr Kwarteng, describing him as a “very brilliant man” and saying he had shown “wisdom and flexibility in realising something was becoming a distortion and wasn’t of fundamental importance”.

    Mr Rees-Mogg defended the scrapping of the 45p tax rate for top earners, describing it as a “minor fiscal move”, but said the difficulties faced after announcing it were more a matter of poor timing. When pressed by host Emily Maitlis he did not specify whether the controversial policy would return, saying only: “This government believes in low taxes”.

    Mr Kwarteng at first said the plan had merely been “postponed” – but then corrected himself to say: “We have decided not to proceed with it.”

    He also appeared to be in some confusion over his next financial statement.

    The statement has been brought forward from November 23 to October – itself another U-turn on government strategy. Chair of the Treasury committee Mel Stride saying bringing the statement forward would restore some confidence from the markets.

    This will depend, however, on the content of the statement, with Mr Stride telling BBC Radio 4: “If the forecast stacks up, then that will be critical in calming the markets, and the implications of that clearly are things like lower interest rate rises than would otherwise occur, which of course is going to matter to millions of people around the country when it comes to their mortgages.”

    But speaking on GB News, Mr Kwarteng appeared to return to his original position, stating: “It’s going to be November 23.”

    Ms Truss appeared to pin the economic downturn following the mini-budget on global forces, primarily due to the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin – with BBC Radio Bristol even calling her out on using “the same scripted answer”.

    However, Mr Kwarteng admitted in his interview that the mini-budget may have been partly responsible.

    He said: “There was a global picture, but I don’t deny that there was some market reaction to the budget because it was a bold offer.”

    The Chancellor denied the measures were “extreme”, and claimed that some positives were that they had “shifted the debate”, adding: “I’m hopeful that, over the next few weeks, things will stabilise”.

    Addressing the Conservative Party Conference, where lawmakers and supporters had gathered, Kwarteng acknowledged the “little turbulence” of the last week, but argued the government needed to press ahead with a new course to revive growth.

    “What a day,” he said, to muted applause. “It has been tough, but we need to focus on the job in hand, we need to move forward. No more distractions.”

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Politics Panicking Germany urges Italians to reject 'post-fascist' election frontrunner