Tory chairman says tax cut critics are like Brexit hating Remainers

Mini-Budget: Kwarteng announces cut to basic rate income tax

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The people attacking Liz Truss’s tax cutting vision are the same as the Remainers who attacked Brexit and “do not believe in Britain”, new Conservative chairman Jake Berry has told In his first interview since being appointed by Ms Truss to lead the party to victory in the next election, Mr Berry hailed the new government which replaced Boris Johnson’s as a “fresh start for a new era” in British history but warned his party it is “in the battle of their lives.”.

With the Labour party conference in Liverpool vowing to reverse large parts of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget and tax cuts and others, including former Tory leader Lord Hague, criticising the growth plan as the pound fluctuates on the markets, Mr Berry said he’d heard much the same previously.

Speaking in the Churchill room in CCHQ (Conservative Party headquarters), he said: “I really believe in Britain and our Prime Minister really believes in Britain. I know that Britain can do this.

“If I am really honest with you and I think about the collective voices which we have heard doubting the fact that Britain can go for growth, I mean it really is the same people who opposed Brexit.

“It’s the same people a few years ago after Britain voted to leave the EU were saying ‘Britain can’t stand on her own two feet, we can’t be an independent sovereign nation outside the EU, you working people you didn’t know what you were doing, you were stupid voting for Brexit.’

“Those same voices, in fact in many cases the exact same people, who have gone from being experts on European law to experts in the financial market overnight, saying we can’t do this.

He added: “The message I would clearly give is that they were wrong about Brexit and they are wrong about this government’s ambition to grow this economy.”

Mr Berry was previously chairman of the Northern Research Group (NRG) which campaigned in the so-called Red Wall seats – many of which turned to the Conservatives from Labour in 2019.

He insisted the characterisation by Labour this week the mini-budget was for the rich only is wrong and a miscalculation by Sir Keir Starmer and his shadow cabinet.

“I think the Labour Party is making a big mistake, people who voted Conservative voted Conservative because they wanted a Conservative government not because they wanted some pale imitation of a socialist government.”

He added: “This growth is going to be delivered by people who work in factories in places like Doncaster, Darlington or work in the financial services in London or Leeds or work in computer IT in Cheltenham or Cheadle.

“The people going into their workplace, working hard, growing the economy and at the end of it keeping more of their own money.

“That’s what this government promised them and that’s what it delivered.”

He also insisted there was enormous help for people in Red Wall seats and across the country.

“The thing about this fiscal event was that cut in the basic rate of income tax, coupled with the increase in the level at which you started paying National Insurance.

“Also coupled with the reversal of the increase in national Insurance, also couple with the £400 rebate, also coupled with £150 off your tax bill, also coupled with the energy price cap, also coupled with the 3p off fuel duty. I could go on.”

He said: “Every single one of those policies is focussed on putting more money back in the pockets of working people.”


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Mr Berry has a clear perspective of the party history and the role he’s just taken on as well as how it affects the next generation as a father of three young children.

“What a privilege to have the opportunity to be chairman of the oldest political and most successful political party in history,” he added.

“I am really pleased because I asked the Prime Minister for this job, lots of people don’t get what they ask for.”

He continued: “The reason I wanted it is because I know lots of people will tell me there are huge challenges ahead not just for our party but for the country, but the reason I really wanted to do this is because I have three kids and my oldest child is five.

“I should accept that it is quite likely they will never remember me in this role and I want to be able to look back in a decade with them and point to things that we as Conservatives have achieved and at a personal level things that I may have had a small part in and say ‘I am really proud of having done that and you should be proud not just of our country but the fact your father was involved in it.’”

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