From the cost of living, to prime ministers being afraid of the media, British Conservatives and members of the public had differing opinions on what the biggest challenges facing the country were as the UK’s ruling party conference entered its penultimate day on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Conservative Party members gathered in Birmingham for the party’s annual conference as Prime Minister Liz Truss was forced into a humiliating U-turn after less than a month in power, reversing a cut to the highest rate of income tax that helped spark turmoil in financial markets.
Within the conference building, many said they thought the policy was sound but some questioned the delivery. Outside the conference, many people said they opposed what they saw as a tax cut that favoured the rich.
Finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng said the decision to scrap the top rate tax cut had been taken with “some humility and contrition” after his party’s lawmakers reacted with alarm to a move that favoured the rich during an economic downturn.
There were some points of agreement though, with people both inside and outside the conference saying they thought polarization itself and a lack of understanding of the viewpoints of others was a problem.
“I feel like things would be a lot better if people just understood, talked, and loved more. I think that would be a lot better” said Mahdei Ahmed, a student.
By Reuters. (Natalie Thomas, Lisa Giles-Keddie, Sophia Wang)