Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Wednesday October 5, 2022. (Photo: Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images)
Liz Truss has launched a furious attack on the “anti-growth coalition” she believes is holding Britain back as she brought the curtain down on the chaotic Tory conference.
The prime minister said opposition parties, trade unions, think-tanks, anti-Brexit campaigners and environmentalists had joined forces to block her attempts to grow the economy.
She hit out in a desperate bid to unite her party following days of bitter infighting in Birmingham.
But her keynote speech to the party faithful was disrupted midway through by Greenpeace protesters, who had to be removed from the conference hall before Truss could continue.
The PM said: “I will not allow the anti-growth coalition to hold us back.
“Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP, the militant unions, the vested interests dressed up as think-tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion and some of the people we had in the hall earlier.
“The fact is they prefer protesting to doing. They prefer talking on Twitter to taking tough decisions.
“They taxi from North London townhouses to the BBC studio to dismiss anyone challenging the status quo. From broadcast to podcast, they peddle the same old answers.
“It’s always more taxes, more regulation and more meddling. Wrong, wrong, wrong.”
Truss added: “Have these people ever seen a tax rise they don’t like? Or an industry they don’t want to control?
“They don’t understand the British people. They don’t understand aspiration. They are prepared to leave our towns and cities facing decline.”
In a defiant message to her critics, the prime minister insisted she was sticking to her economic growth plan - despite the disastrous reaction to Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.
She said: “We must stay the course. We are the only party with a clear plan to get Britain moving.
“We are the only party with the determination to deliver. Together, we can unleash the full potential of our great country.
“That is how we will build a new Britain for a new era.”
But the biggest cheer for the PM came when she re-emphasised the UK’s support for Ukraine.
She said: “The brave Ukrainian people aren’t just fighting for their security but for all our security.
“This is a fight for freedom and democracy around the world. Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory is just the latest act in his campaign to subvert democracy and violate international law.
“We should not give in to those who want a deal which trades away Ukrainian land. They are proposing to pay in Ukrainian lives for the illusion of peace.
“We will stand with our Ukrainian friends however long it takes. Ukraine can win, Ukraine must win, and Ukraine will win.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.