Conservative Party Spring Conference lands in Blackpool – live updates

Comparisons to Thatcher

Rishi Sunak has said if it wasn’t for the government scheme of furlough being set up then millions and millions of people would have lost their jobs and said it’s one of the greatest achievements of the Conservative Government that they didn’t.

He said previous leading Conservatives like Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson had had to do similar things at the start of their tenure. However, he added that it had been ‘difficult’ and said, “I did not get into this to put up people’s taxes – it’s the last thing I wanted to do.”

Rishi Sunak in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

The Chancellor said he would do what he can to help people with the cost-of-living crisis in the spring statement but admitted factors like global inflation are “somewhat out of my control”.

Rishi Sunak, asked in an interview with Tory MP Paul Maynard at the Conservatives’ spring forum in Blackpool for an update on next week’s fiscal announcement, said: “It is about taking stock of the situation which, of course, is difficult.

“I can see that, and I have enormous sympathy for what people are going through at the moment and that’s why we will always be there to help make a difference where we can.

“I can’t solve every problem, no government can solve every problem, particularly when you are grappling with global inflationary forces – they are somewhat out of my control.

“But as you saw a month or so ago when we announced the very significant intervention to help people meet some of the additional costs of energy bills, where we can make a difference, of course I can – I’m always going to do that, we’ve done it over the last two years.

“So, we will have an update on the situation and a little bit of a look forward to where we are heading.”

Lancs Live – Blackpool