Keir Starmer says government should urgently reconsider mini-budget plans in light of IMF criticism – live

From 1h ago

Starmer: government ‘has got to respond’ to IMF warning

Good morning. Keir Starmer’s speech to Labour delegates was widely praised yesterday, but he must be the first opposition leader in many years whose conference speech has, in effect, received an endorsement from the IMF. In his speech, Starmer said:

The government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what?

Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest 1% in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.

The IMF did not put it quite like that, but in an extraordinary statement last night it said something broadly similar – criticising the tax cuts (“we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture”) and calling for a rethink.

Starmer is doing a round of interviews this morning. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Starmer said that, in the light of the IMF warnings, the government should urgently review the plans it set out in its mini-budget. He said:

The IMF statement is very serious, and it shows just what a mess the government have made of the economy. And it is self-inflicted. This was a step they didn’t have to take …

We all look at the graph and we see the pound falling, but it’s not an abstract graph; this is reflected in people’s mortgages etc and people are very, very worried this morning.

Some people who thought they had a mortgage arrangement last week now haven’t got one. Imagine that, a first-time buyer, suddenly your dream goes up.

This government has got to respond to this. They’ve got to set out, in terms, how are they going to fix the problems that they have made.

At the moment they are saying they might be doing something in November. That’s far too long. They’ve got to review the plans they put out on Friday. They’ve got to do it urgently, in my view.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.55am: Conference opens with a session including speeches from Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, and Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary.

11.30am: The Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the conference.

11.45am: Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, speaks as the conference concludes.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

Updated at 08.08 BST

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Keir Starmer is now being interviewed on BBC Breakfast.

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He starts by repeating his point about the IMF statement being very serious. He knows how worried people will be.

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This is a situation “where the government has self-inflicted harm on our economy”. People will be “worried sick” about their mortgages, and angry with the government, he says.

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Martha Kearney is now interviewing Keir Starmer on the Today programme.

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Q: In the 1970s Labour had to go to the IMF. What do you make of the IMF statement about the mini-budget?

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Starmer says a move like this is rare. He goes on:

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I think it reflects the fact that the government has completely lost control of the economy.

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Q: John Redwood told us the IMF did not see inflation coming?

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Starmer says, instead of disparaging the IMF, Tories should be telling people how they are going to solve the problems people face with their mortages.

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He repeats his call for the government to urgently shelve the mini-budget plans. (See 7.36am.)

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Q: Should the Bank of England be doing more?

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Starmer says the Bank is independent. It is not for him to tell it what to do.

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But the government needs to review what it announced on Friday.

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Q: Was it a mistake to campaign for Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister?

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Starmer says he does not regret serving in the last shadow cabinet. But he always said the party had to change, he says.

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Q: What was your reaction to what Rupa Huq said about Kwasi Kwarteng?

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Starmer says what she said was wrong and “racist”. He is very pleased the Labour party acted. An independent process will now consider what happens next.

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says Rupa Huq’s comment about Kwasi Kwarteng was ‘racist’","contributors":[],"primaryDateLine":"Wed 28 Sep 2022 09.03 BST","secondaryDateLine":"First published on Wed 28 Sep 2022 07.36 BST"},{"id":"6333ec6f8f086841b84c373c","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Q: You want to be seen as economically responsible. But what is your position on government borrowing, and how are you different from the Conservatives?

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Starmer says Labour has two rules: it will pay for day to day spending, and borrow to invest. It would not cut the top rate of tax. It would not cancel the corporation tax rise. It would impose a windfall tax on energy companies. And it would end non-dom status.

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Q: Is Labour closer to the party of Tony Blair than the party of Jeremy Corbyn?

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Starmer says:

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I certainly hope so, because Tony Blair won three elections and I want us to win the next election.

\n

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In the past, when asked questions like this, Starmer tend to avoid making a choice, stressing that he was different from both Blair and Corbyn.

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Good morning. Keir Starmer’s speech to Labour delegates was widely praised yesterday, but he must be the first opposition leader in many years whose conference speech has, in effect, received an endorsement from the IMF. In his speech, Starmer said:

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\n

The government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

\n

Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what?

\n

Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest 1% in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.

\n

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The IMF did not put it quite like that, but in an extraordinary statement last night it said something broadly similar – criticising the tax cuts (“we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture”) and calling for a rethink.

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Starmer is doing a round of interviews this morning. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Starmer said that, in the light of the IMF warnings, the government should urgently review the plans it set out in its mini-budget. He said:

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\n

The IMF statement is very serious, and it shows just what a mess the government have made of the economy. And it is self-inflicted. This was a step they didn’t have to take …

\n

We all look at the graph and we see the pound falling, but it’s not an abstract graph; this is reflected in people’s mortgages etc and people are very, very worried this morning.

\n

Some people who thought they had a mortgage arrangement last week now haven’t got one. Imagine that, a first-time buyer, suddenly your dream goes up.

\n

This government has got to respond to this. They’ve got to set out, in terms, how are they going to fix the problems that they have made.

\n

At the moment they are saying they might be doing something in November. That’s far too long. They’ve got to review the plans they put out on Friday. They’ve got to do it urgently, in my view.

\n

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Here is the agenda for the day.

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9.55am: Conference opens with a session including speeches from Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, and Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary.

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11.30am: The Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the conference.

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11.45am: Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, speaks as the conference concludes.

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I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

","elementId":"b096c0a3-462e-437d-92ed-5ed9b17be68a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

","elementId":"aa5bd84c-1c72-40ca-aa27-cd3c1ee2242e"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

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Key events

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Keir Starmer is now being interviewed on BBC Breakfast.

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He starts by repeating his point about the IMF statement being very serious. He knows how worried people will be.

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This is a situation “where the government has self-inflicted harm on our economy”. People will be “worried sick” about their mortgages, and angry with the government, he says.

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Martha Kearney is now interviewing Keir Starmer on the Today programme.

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Q: In the 1970s Labour had to go to the IMF. What do you make of the IMF statement about the mini-budget?

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Starmer says a move like this is rare. He goes on:

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I think it reflects the fact that the government has completely lost control of the economy.

\n

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Q: John Redwood told us the IMF did not see inflation coming?

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Starmer says, instead of disparaging the IMF, Tories should be telling people how they are going to solve the problems people face with their mortages.

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He repeats his call for the government to urgently shelve the mini-budget plans. (See 7.36am.)

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Q: Should the Bank of England be doing more?

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Starmer says the Bank is independent. It is not for him to tell it what to do.

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But the government needs to review what it announced on Friday.

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Q: Was it a mistake to campaign for Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister?

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Starmer says he does not regret serving in the last shadow cabinet. But he always said the party had to change, he says.

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Q: What was your reaction to what Rupa Huq said about Kwasi Kwarteng?

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Starmer says what she said was wrong and “racist”. He is very pleased the Labour party acted. An independent process will now consider what happens next.

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says Rupa Huq’s comment about Kwasi Kwarteng was ‘racist’","contributors":[],"primaryDateLine":"Wed 28 Sep 2022 09.03 BST","secondaryDateLine":"First published on Wed 28 Sep 2022 07.36 BST"},{"id":"6333ec6f8f086841b84c373c","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Q: You want to be seen as economically responsible. But what is your position on government borrowing, and how are you different from the Conservatives?

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Starmer says Labour has two rules: it will pay for day to day spending, and borrow to invest. It would not cut the top rate of tax. It would not cancel the corporation tax rise. It would impose a windfall tax on energy companies. And it would end non-dom status.

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Q: Is Labour closer to the party of Tony Blair than the party of Jeremy Corbyn?

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Starmer says:

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\n

I certainly hope so, because Tony Blair won three elections and I want us to win the next election.

\n

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In the past, when asked questions like this, Starmer tend to avoid making a choice, stressing that he was different from both Blair and Corbyn.

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Good morning. Keir Starmer’s speech to Labour delegates was widely praised yesterday, but he must be the first opposition leader in many years whose conference speech has, in effect, received an endorsement from the IMF. In his speech, Starmer said:

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\n

The government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

\n

Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what?

\n

Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest 1% in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.

\n

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The IMF did not put it quite like that, but in an extraordinary statement last night it said something broadly similar – criticising the tax cuts (“we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture”) and calling for a rethink.

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Starmer is doing a round of interviews this morning. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Starmer said that, in the light of the IMF warnings, the government should urgently review the plans it set out in its mini-budget. He said:

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\n

The IMF statement is very serious, and it shows just what a mess the government have made of the economy. And it is self-inflicted. This was a step they didn’t have to take …

\n

We all look at the graph and we see the pound falling, but it’s not an abstract graph; this is reflected in people’s mortgages etc and people are very, very worried this morning.

\n

Some people who thought they had a mortgage arrangement last week now haven’t got one. Imagine that, a first-time buyer, suddenly your dream goes up.

\n

This government has got to respond to this. They’ve got to set out, in terms, how are they going to fix the problems that they have made.

\n

At the moment they are saying they might be doing something in November. That’s far too long. They’ve got to review the plans they put out on Friday. They’ve got to do it urgently, in my view.

\n

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Here is the agenda for the day.

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9.55am: Conference opens with a session including speeches from Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, and Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary.

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11.30am: The Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the conference.

","elementId":"e953f43f-e49b-4d43-a847-daad99597e37"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

11.45am: Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, speaks as the conference concludes.

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I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

","elementId":"b096c0a3-462e-437d-92ed-5ed9b17be68a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

","elementId":"aa5bd84c-1c72-40ca-aa27-cd3c1ee2242e"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

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Filters BETA

Q: As leader of the Labour party, how would you be able to work with Rupa Huq if she were allowed to continue as an MP?

Starmer says he has put an independent disciplinary process in place. He will respect that process. But what she said was “racist”.

Of course it is frustrating to have to be talking about this story after his speech, he says. But he says the mood at conference is very positive.

We are now in a position to look confidently at the electorate and the electorate can look confidently at us.

Q: Who should get Eurovision? Liverpool or Glasgow?

Starmer says, since he is in Liverpool, he will go for them.

And that’s it. The full interview is (we think) over. I will unpack it all a bit more shortly, with a summary and analysis.

Q: Do you back pay rises matching inflation for NHS staff?

Starmer declares an interest. His wife works for the NHS, he says. He says there is a pay review process under way. But of course he thinks workers need a pay rise.

Updated at 08.57 BST

Q: Why does your plan to freeze energy bills only last six months? The government’s lasts two years.

Starmer claims the big difference between the government and Labour is that Labour is proposing a windfall tax to part fund this cost.

On timing, he says his plan lasts for six months. Of course after six months Labour would need a new plan.

Updated at 08.58 BST

Q: How are your plans for Great British Energy costed?

Starmer says start-up money will be put in. An independent board will decide how it is spent. It will bring in private investment too. Private companies say, if they knew what the government’s plans were, they would have more confidence investing.

Q: How much money would you borrow to set this up?

Starmer says Labour would only borrow to invest. The current government is borrowing for day to day investment. Labour would not do that, he says.

He says Labour would spend £28bn a year on its entire clean energy strategy. The Great British Energy plan would only use part of that money – £8bn, he says.

Updated at 08.59 BST

Starmer says government’s mini-budget has left people ‘worried sick’ about their mortgages

Keir Starmer is now being interviewed on BBC Breakfast.

He starts by repeating his point about the IMF statement being very serious. He knows how worried people will be.

This is a situation “where the government has self-inflicted harm on our economy”. People will be “worried sick” about their mortgages, and angry with the government, he says.

Updated at 08.59 BST

Q: Alastair Campbell told the programme yesterday that sometimes you lack oomph.

Starmer says he is a serious person. He has done important jobs. In every past job he has done, like being DPP, he has seen problems and fixed them.

Q: Lucy Powell was asked what the most exciting thing you had done was, and could not reply.

Starmer says for him the most exciting thing he has done was see the birth of his children.

He suggests that if he came on the programme to say he had done a bungee jump, that would not make him a better PM.

And interview is over. It’s BBC Breakfast next.

Q: Can you really be the party of the centre ground if you have an MP making comments like Rupa Huq’s?

Starmer says what Huq said was racist. The party took action.

But the party is confident.

Q: Can someone stay in the Labour party if they say things that are racist.

Starmer says there will be an independent process.

Q: But you are leader.

Starmer says it is right to have an independent process.

Q: When would you get debt falling as a proprotion of GDP?

Starmer says Labour does want to get that down.

Q: The IMF says, unless you can commit to tax rises, the credibility of its fiscal rules could be called into question.

Starmer says that is why Labour is rejecting some of the government’s tax cuts, and proposing a windfall tax.

Q: How would you help people with their mortgages?

Starmer says the single most important thing is to get the economy under control. The markets do not have confidence in what the government is doing.

Q: The markets do not like unfunded tax cuts. But you are proposing some too, like cutting the basic rate to 19%.

Starmer says all Labour’s tax plans have been funded. It will inherit “a complete mess”. But it will stick to its fiscal rules.

Q: How much will it cost cutting the basic rate of income tax, and how will you fund that?

Starmer says Labour will set out its plans. Going ahead with the corporation tax increase would raise about £18bn.

Q: But Rachel Reeves said on Monday that you would have to borrow to fund some of these tax cuts.

Starmer says Labour would inherit a situation were tax cuts were being funded by borrowing.

But as quickly as possible it will get back to its fiscal rules, he says.

Updated at 08.30 BST

IMF statement shows ‘government has completely lost control of economy’, says Starmer

Martha Kearney is now interviewing Keir Starmer on the Today programme.

Q: In the 1970s Labour had to go to the IMF. What do you make of the IMF statement about the mini-budget?

Starmer says a move like this is rare. He goes on:

I think it reflects the fact that the government has completely lost control of the economy.

Q: John Redwood told us the IMF did not see inflation coming?

Starmer says, instead of disparaging the IMF, Tories should be telling people how they are going to solve the problems people face with their mortages.

He repeats his call for the government to urgently shelve the mini-budget plans. (See 7.36am.)

Q: Should the Bank of England be doing more?

Starmer says the Bank is independent. It is not for him to tell it what to do.

But the government needs to review what it announced on Friday.

Updated at 08.25 BST

On Radio 5 Live they play clips of interviews with voters discussing Keir Starmer. Most of them are relatively negative about him personally.

Asked for his reaction, Starmer says Labour had a 17-point lead in a poll yesterday. He says the party is confident.

Q: Do you stand for democracy?

Of course, says Starmer.

Q: So why are you ignoring the vote for PR?

Starmer says, in Labour, the manifesto-making process is separate from conference.

Q: Should Rupa Huq continue as an MP?

Starmer says there will be an independent process. But what she said was racist.

Q: Why won’t you let shadow ministers join picket lines?

Starmer replies:

I completely empathise with people who are struggling to pay their bills, I support industrial action, trade unions have to do their job representing their members.

Whatever the disruptions of a strike – and there are disruptions and I don’t want them to go ahead – equally they are last resort and people who are striking are losing money themselves by going on strike.

I want to see that resolved, but the single most important thing that I can do and that every Labour politician can do for working people is to have a Labour government that can get to grips with the underlying problem of the cost-of-living crisis and put in place much better employment rights for those who are struggling so hard.

Updated at 09.01 BST

Q: Your plan to freeze energy bills only last six months? What happens next?

Starmer says Labour has been the first to put proposals on the table all along, as with the windfall tax, and the energy price freeze.

In April they will have to look at this again. Every time there has been a problem, Labour has put a plan on the table, the government has said it’s wrong, but it has then implemented the Labour plan.

It’s Radio 5 Live next, and the first question to Keir Starmer is whether it is really possible to generate all electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Starmer says this is “tough, but doable”. The pledge refers to electricity generation from renewable source, he says, not all energy generation. He is not talking about phasing out gas by 2030.

He says the plan has been properly assessed by independent analysts.

To implement this, and get wind farms built quickly, planning regulations will have to change, he says.

Updated at 09.02 BST

Starmer says Rupa Huq’s comment about Kwasi Kwarteng was ‘racist’

Q: Was it a mistake to campaign for Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister?

Starmer says he does not regret serving in the last shadow cabinet. But he always said the party had to change, he says.

Q: What was your reaction to what Rupa Huq said about Kwasi Kwarteng?

Starmer says what she said was wrong and “racist”. He is very pleased the Labour party acted. An independent process will now consider what happens next.

Rupa Huq photographed outside her home this morning.
Rupa Huq photographed outside her home this morning. Photograph: James Manning/PA

Updated at 08.03 BST

Starmer says he hopes Labour now closer to Blair’s party than Corbyn’s, because Blair won elections

Q: You want to be seen as economically responsible. But what is your position on government borrowing, and how are you different from the Conservatives?

Starmer says Labour has two rules: it will pay for day to day spending, and borrow to invest. It would not cut the top rate of tax. It would not cancel the corporation tax rise. It would impose a windfall tax on energy companies. And it would end non-dom status.

Q: Is Labour closer to the party of Tony Blair than the party of Jeremy Corbyn?

Starmer says:

I certainly hope so, because Tony Blair won three elections and I want us to win the next election.

In the past, when asked questions like this, Starmer tend to avoid making a choice, stressing that he was different from both Blair and Corbyn.

Updated at 08.32 BST

Keir Starmer is now being interviewed on Times Radio.

He says there is a mood at Labour conference they have not seen for years. People are confident. They feel that it is time for change.

Q: How much will it cost to set up your Great British Energy company?

Starmer says the biggest offshore windfarm in Wales is owned by Sweden. Other foreign countries are investing in the UK energy market. The new company will be there to provide clean energy, and energy security. And the rewards will come to the UK.

Q: But is there money to fund it? The latest wind and power projects cost £18bn. Your budget for this is £2bn, which does not seem enough?

Starmer says renewable energy is now nine times cheaper than gas. And the new company is there to stimulate private investment. The board will be independent.

Updated at 09.03 BST

Starmer: government ‘has got to respond’ to IMF warning

Good morning. Keir Starmer’s speech to Labour delegates was widely praised yesterday, but he must be the first opposition leader in many years whose conference speech has, in effect, received an endorsement from the IMF. In his speech, Starmer said:

The government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what?

Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest 1% in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.

The IMF did not put it quite like that, but in an extraordinary statement last night it said something broadly similar – criticising the tax cuts (“we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture”) and calling for a rethink.

Starmer is doing a round of interviews this morning. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Starmer said that, in the light of the IMF warnings, the government should urgently review the plans it set out in its mini-budget. He said:

The IMF statement is very serious, and it shows just what a mess the government have made of the economy. And it is self-inflicted. This was a step they didn’t have to take …

We all look at the graph and we see the pound falling, but it’s not an abstract graph; this is reflected in people’s mortgages etc and people are very, very worried this morning.

Some people who thought they had a mortgage arrangement last week now haven’t got one. Imagine that, a first-time buyer, suddenly your dream goes up.

This government has got to respond to this. They’ve got to set out, in terms, how are they going to fix the problems that they have made.

At the moment they are saying they might be doing something in November. That’s far too long. They’ve got to review the plans they put out on Friday. They’ve got to do it urgently, in my view.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.55am: Conference opens with a session including speeches from Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, and Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary.

11.30am: The Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the conference.

11.45am: Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, speaks as the conference concludes.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

Updated at 08.08 BST

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