Capitalism the only route to prosperity, says Hammond


The voters were not as put off by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour as the Conservatives had assumed they would be, and Mrs May lost David Cameron's hard-won Commons majority.

After a bruising start to the Conservative Party's annual meeting in the northern city of Manchester, May will try to reset the agenda after remarks on Brexit policy by foreign minister Boris Johnson deepened rifts in her top team of advisers.

Businesses "welcomed" Hammond's defence of capitalism, but the "fight back" for a strong and competitive market economy had "just begun", according to BCC director general Adam Marshall.

The Confederation of British Industry was also unimpressed, with Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn labelling Mr Hammond's address "strong on diagnosis, but weak on action".

"We are the party of progress", Hammond will say.

For Labour, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: "After seven wasted years of Tory economic failure. he is continuing down the path of his predecessor and clinging to an old economic model that fails the many".

"The UK is facing a generation-defining challenge".

He also says the government must remove the "uncertainty" around Brexit.

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Hammond insisted the British people "didn't vote to get poorer or to reduce trade with our closest neighbours and biggest trading partners".

It says the party should - after what he admitted was a "glum night" on 8 June apart from success in Scotland - look carefully at how the opposition ran its campaign "in particular looking at their social media activities".

"And we need young people on our side". We will take them on.

The Government must "pick our way carefully and cautiously across the hard terrain of European Union negotiation, to ensure we arrive in good order on the fertile plains at the other side", he said, adding that "focus, determination and unity" would be needed to succeed.

Sir Eric recommends that in future every member of the cabinet should be consulted about policies they are responsible for; the wider party should be able to submit ideas; and that the priority should be explaining their "relevance to people's lives".

The Government has pledged another £10bn for the Help to Buy scheme.

And he told Tory activists: "We need to listen to those fears and concerns, we need to acknowledge the weariness at the long slog back from Labour's recession, the pressure on living standards caused by slow wage growth and a spike in inflation, the frustration among the young who fear that the combination of student debt and sky high rents and house prices will condemn them never to access the opportunities of property ownership their parents enjoyed".