Politics latest: Rachel Reeves delivers first major speech as chancellor - as Tories prepare for leadership battle (2024)

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That concludes the chancellor's speech

Rachel Reeves has concluded her first major speech as chancellor.

She announced some immediate steps to unblock the planning system, and also set out the timeframe for delivering manifesto commitments (see the key points from her speech here).

Stay tuned for the latest political news as the new government gets to work.


Will the people of Yorkshire get HS2 or not?

The chancellor is asked if the people of Yorkshire will get HS2 or not?

HS2 is a high-speed railway that's supposed to transform public transport between London, the Midlands and the North.

The previous government decided to axe the northern leg of the project, which has been plagued in disappointment, delays and spiralling costs.

Rachel Reeves says she will "not make any promises without saying where the money is going to come from".


Do you agree with Truss that there is an 'anti-growth coalition'?

Next, the chancellor is asked about some previous comments by the former prime minister - and now former MP - Liz Truss.

She famously coined the phrase "anti-growth coalition" when putting forward her economic plans, and Rachel Reeves is asked if she shares the belief that such a coalition exists, and what she will do about it.

The chancellor replies: "The anti-growth coalition are the Conservative Party, and the British people kicked them out of office last week."

She is also asked if there will be mandatory targets for social housing and energy official, and she replies that they will be set out by the deputy PM and the energy secretary in due course.

But Ms Reeves adds that they want to achieve clean power by 2030 and become a "clean energy superpower".

"We don't want to be using more energy than we need, and that includes in our homes," she adds.


Date for autumn budget will be confirmed before summer recess, says chancellor

A reporter from The Telegraph questions the chancellor on the existing housing stock and how she will encourage older homeowners to downsize.

She also asks if her budget will be given in September or November.

Rachel Reeves starts by saying more homes are going to be built, so people can downsize, with supply currently an issue.

Answering the reporter's budget question, she says she will "do things properly" and will wait for the Office of Budget Responsibility to produce its forecast.

While she doesn't give an exact answer, she does say the date of her budget will be confirmed before summer recess.


When will people see economic growth?

Sky's economics and data editorEd Conway is up now, and asks the chancellor to be more specific on when people should expect to see growth in the economy.

Rachel Reeves says there is "no time to waste" on implementing measures.

"We want to get going," she says, adding that people have voted for change and the government is "getting on with the delivery".

However, she notes that she will not be able to "turn things around overnight", saying the government faces a "dire inheritance".

"These are the first steps that we will take to bring that growth back to the economy," she adds.

"I mean business with getting on with the work that's needed to unlock that growth."

She says she will be holding a budget later in the year.


Government 'will take interventionist approach' to housebuilding - chancellor

Rachel Reeves is next asked by the BBC if she considers herself to be a "YIMBY" (yes in my back yard), and if she is relying too much on the private sector to deliver investment in housing.

The chancellor replies: "Yes, I do support development, and I think as a constituency MP, I have done just that."

In terms of the private sector, she says: "We need the private sector to build homes. We're not going to be in the business of building those homes directly - we need the construction sector, the housebuilding sector to build those homes."

Today's announcements, she said, will mean some housing that has been "stalled" will "now go forward", and they will review other sites too.

But Ms Reeves adds: "This is not a green light for any type of housing."

They will "take an interventionist approach to make sure that we've got the housing mix that our country needs".


How much of chancellor's 'planning revolution' will be social housing?

The chancellor has set measures to help boost the UK economy and is now taking questions from reporters.

The first question comes from Channel 4 News, who asks if her plan will win over people who are aiming to protect their local environment, and how much her "planning revolution" will be social housing.

Rachel Reeves says it will be up to local communities to decide where housing will be built, and "the answer cannot always be no".

"If the answer is always no, then we will continue where we are," she adds.

"We've got to ensure that families can get on the housing ladder."

She doesn't put a figure on the number of social homes that will be built.


Chancellor announces first steps to trigger 'sustained economic growth' and reform planning system

Rachel Reeves has just delivered a speech at the Treasury on the state of the economy and immediate reforms to the planning system.

Here is what she said, as she said it (this post will be updated live):

  • The chancellor opens by saying that "sustained economic growth is the only route to the improved prosperity that our country needs";
  • She moves on to the inheritance from the last government, saying she warned before the election that the next government would inherit "the worst set of circ*mstances since the Second World War", and adds: "What I have seen over the past 72 hours has only confirmed that";
  • Ms Reeves says she asked Treasury officials for an "assessment of the state of our spending inheritance" which she announces she will present to parliament before the summer recess;
  • The initial assessment, she says, shows that "had the UK grown at just the average rate of other OECD economies these last 14 years, our economy would be over £140bn larger" which "could have bought in another £58bn in tax revenues in the last year alone" for public services;
  • The three steps to growth will be "stability, investment, and reform" - and she reiterates no increases in national insurance, the basic higher or additional rates of income tax, or VAT;
  • Ms Reeves turns to the "antiquated" planning system, saying work to reform it is under way, including a consultation on a new approach to planning before the end of the month, including restoring mandatory housing targets;
  • The government is immediately ending the ban on new on-shore wind projects, and will create a new taskforce "to accelerate stalled housing sites in our country";
  • The deputy PM will write to local councils and planning authorities to review green belt boundaries, and "brownfield and grey belt land" will be prioritised for housing, where needed;
  • The government will also reform the planning system to deliver the infrastructure, and "set out new policy intentions for critical infrastructure in the coming months";
  • She concludes: "This Labour government has been elected on a mandate to get things done, to get Britain moving again. We will make those tough decisions to realise that mandate".


Live: Reeves delivers first major speech as chancellor

The new chancellor, Rachel Reeves, is delivering her first major speech as the government gets to work on delivering its manifesto.

Ms Reeves, who is the first female chancellor in the exchequer's near-1,000-year history, is expected to unveil some "immediate interventions" to trigger growth in the economy.

She is delivering the speech at the Treasury in front of business leaders, many of whom backed Labour at the election.

You can watch the speech in the stream above, at the link below - and follow live updates here in the Politics Hub.


PM announces more ministerial appointments

Sir Keir Starmer has announced a raft of new ministerial appointments as he continues to fill the various roles in his government.

Here is the full list:

  • Anneliese Dodds as a foreign office minister and minister for women and equalities in the Department for Education;
  • Nick Thomas–Symonds as paymaster general and cabinet office minister for the Constitution and European Relations in the Cabinet Office;
  • Lord Livermore as financial secretary to the Treasury;
  • Stephen Doughty MP as a minister of state in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office;
  • Dame Angela Eagle DBE MP as a minister of state in the Home Office;
  • Dame Diana Johnson DBE MP as a minister of state in the Home Office;
  • Lord Coaker as a minister of state in the Ministry of Defence;
  • Maria Eagle MP as a minister of state in the Ministry of Defence;
  • Heidi Alexander MP as a minister of state in the Ministry of Justice;
  • Karin Smyth MP as a minister of state in the Department of Health and Social Care;
  • Stephen Kinnock MP as a minister of state in the Department of Health and Social Care;
  • Catherine McKinnell MP as a minister of state in the Department for Education;
  • Sarah Jones MP as a minister of state in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Department for Business and Trade;
  • Alison McGovern MP as a minister of state in the Department for Work and Pensions;
  • Sir Stephen Timms MP as a minister of state in the Department for Work and Pensions;
  • Sir Chris Bryant MP as a minister ofsState in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and the Department for Culture, Media and Sports;
  • Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill CBE as a minister of state in the Department for Transport;
  • Daniel Zeichner MP as a minister of state in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Politics latest: Rachel Reeves delivers first major speech as chancellor  -  as Tories prepare for leadership battle (2024)
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