Labour says Truss’s comments on British workers needing more graft are a ‘total disgrace’ – UK politics live

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The Guardian

British workers “are amongst the hardest-working in the world”, Conservative former cabinet minister Sajid Javid said.

Asked about Tory leadership contender Liz Truss’s claim that British workers need to produce “more graft”, he told Sky News:

That comment, as I understand it, was made a number of years ago; I don’t know the exact context that was made in.

What I also heard her say, just in that snippet that you played there, was that the productivity in the UK versus other comparable countries is generally lower and that’s been a longstanding UK problem and that doesn’t happen because British workers don’t work hard; British workers are amongst the hardest-working in the world.

He added:

I think what she’s talking about is business and investment, because to increase productivity the government of course has a huge role to play – there’s capital investment, things like infrastructure investment, for example, those areas that get more of it generally of course can do better in terms of productivity.

It’s also about skills investment and making sure that we’re investing in skills across the country, not just in the capital or the south-east but right across the country, and that is what’s going to make the difference, and Liz has a plan for that.

The shadow home secretary has said comments from Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss, that British workers need “more graft”, are a “total disgrace”.

Yvette Cooper told Sky News:

I think it reveals what she really thinks. This comes after the proposal she put forward to cut public sector pay in the North and other parts of the country.

So teaching assistants or nurses here in Yorkshire would get paid less than people in London or the South East.

Cooper also accused Liz Truss of being out of touch.

She said:

(She) has absolutely no idea that people are working incredibly hard – people who are getting up to go to their shifts right now, watching your programme just before they go to work, working incredibly hard to try and make ends meet, who are facing these nightmare inflation figures, the soaring energy bills and doing their best to keep everything together.

This insult just shows, I think, that (Truss) does not understand working people right across the country. It’s deeply wrong of her to say this.

Welcome to today’s politics liveblog. I’ll be covering for Andrew Sparrow today. Do drop me a line if you have any questions or think I’ve missed anything. My email is nicola.slawson@theguardian.com and I’m @Nicola_Slawson on Twitter.

On the agenda today is the eighth Conservative party leadership hustings. This time Truss and Rishi Sunak will be answering questions in Belfast at 1pm.

August 17, 2022 at 02:33PM Nicola Slawson

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