Ben Habib urges Hunt and Sunak to ‘get a grip’ as he issues warning

Conservatives 'must get a grip on growth' says Habib

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Ben Habib railed against the Government’s handling of the economy, as he warned that the UK was entering a “doom-loop” that would decimate the country. The leading businessman rebuked Conservative MP Richard Holden on BBC Question Time as he tore into Jeremy Hunt’s response to the economic crisis. Mr Habib said austerity, wage freezes, and tax rises were not the solutions to the ongoing crises facing the country.

The former Brexit Party MEP was responding to a question on whether the RMT Union’s strikes were “set on destroying Christmas or a legitimate dispute”.

He opened his remarks by defending Liz Truss, much to the shock of the audience, who audibly moaned at the claim.

However, he continued: “Liz Truss was utterly defenestrated by the Treasury and by the Bank of England.”

Charlotte Ivers, from Times Radio, interrupted and said the Bank of England had tried to “save” the former Prime Minister.

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Mr Habib responded: “No it did not! The Bank of England printed £500 billion worth of cash when Rishi Sunak wanted to lock down the economy without blinking.

“Liz Truss was trashed because there was a problem with pension funds because they had over-leveraged and the Bank of England wasn’t prepared to buy more than £20bn of gilts.

“Liz Truss had the right idea. You cannot get out of this problem without growth.

“The only way for wages to go up, for debt to come under control, is for the economy is grow.”

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Mr Habib shut down Mr Holden’s attempt to interrupt him as he continued his scathing response: “That is the only way.

“You will not do it through austerity, you will not do it by sitting on people’s wages, and you will not do it by higher taxes.

“We have borrowed to the hilt, taxes are as high as they can be now, and the UK is destined to enter a doom loop in the economy unless the Tories can get a grip on growth.”

Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak told his Cabinet that the UK is set for a “challenging” winter as it faces the combined impact of high energy bills, soaring inflation, public sector strikes and lengthy NHS waiting lists.


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The RMT announced fresh rail strikes this week, with a series of 48-hour disruptions in December and January in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Meanwhile, senior Tory MPs have told they are “frustrated” with Rishi Sunak and the Tory leadership for ignoring their repeated warnings over the resurgence of Nigel Farage and Richard Tice’s Reform Party.

It comes as a new Techne UK tracker poll has revealed the Conservatives have now dropped to 23 points behind Labour but is losing votes to the Reform Party.

One senior Conservative backbencher told that fury over Jeremy Hunt’s tax-raising Budget last week “could be the final nail in the coffin”.


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