Truss is 'harking back to Thatcherism' but the UK 'needs the polar opposite', says Andy Burnham

7 September 2022, 19:17 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 11:29

Andy Burnham: Liz Truss is harking back to Thatcherism

By Sophie Barnett

Liz Truss is "harking back to Thatcherism" when the UK needs the "polar opposite", Andy Burnham has claimed.

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The Mayor of Greater Manchester wished Ms Truss well in her new role, but said the country needs intervention and more public ownership - not a move back to Thatcherism.

He told LBC's Tonight With Andrew Marr: "I think clear blue water is opening up here, because it feels to me that the Prime Minister has made a decision to stick to her ideological guns, and she is going with the things she said in the leadership campaign, kind of harking back to Thatcherism.

"I would say, we need the polar opposite of Thatcherism right now.

Read more: Andrew Marr: Truss' position as PM is 'weaker' than it seems after unveiling Cabinet of allies

Read more: Liz Truss promises 'immediate action' on energy bills in first PMQs with announcement due tomorrow

"We need intervention, we need more public control, more public ownership and I think that does open up a very interesting political space now for the Labour party."

Andy Burnham calls for public control over essential costs

He said people want to see more public control of the basics, so that everyone can have an improved quality of life.

"The public don't like the idea that we have more food banks than we have McDonald's, that these are becoming the new fabric of the welfare state," he told Andrew.

His comments come just hours after Ms Truss promised "immediate action" on tackling energy bills in her first Prime Minister's Questions.

She also confirmed an announcement will take place on Thursday, but said it couldn't just be "a sticking plaster" and there had to also be a long-term solution.

Mr Burnham also told Andrew he believes Ms Truss made a "major mistake" by ruling out a windfall tax.

"We don't know how long we will be in this crisis," he said.

"To rule anything out seems like a wrong move."

Downing Street has said the current windfall tax on the soaring profits of oil and gas giants will not be scrapped but ruled out further such measures being introduced.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "No, that approach is not being altered.

"The Prime Minister is clear that we will not be introducing any further taxes in this space, given that we want to see broader investment in domestic oil and gas production as a transition fuel during this current global crisis we face."

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