Jeremy Hunt's Attempt To Own Rachel Reeves Over Inflation Backfires

Twitter/X moderators point out shadow chancellor "explicitly mentioned rising prices (ie inflation)" in fact-check of Tory counterpart's claim.
Jeremy Hunt and Rachel Reeves.
Jeremy Hunt and Rachel Reeves.
Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt has been mocked over his claim Rachel Reeves failed to mention inflation in her keynote conference speech – when his Labour counterpart did in fact making clear the cost of living has soared under the Tories.

The chancellor attempted to insert himself into the economic conversation at the Labour Party conference on Monday, where Reeves set out Labour’s stall if they sweep to power at the next general election.

Reeves used her address in Liverpool to insist she would stick to a set of strict spending rules, impose VAT on private school fees and promise a “new era of economic security”.

Taking to Twitter/X, Hunt claimed the speech excluded “inflation” – which has remained stubbornly high since concerns over pandemic gave way to the war in Ukraine.

He wrote: “Oops…when the biggest single issue for the economy is inflation it doesn’t get ONE mention from the shadow chancellor? Because adding £28bn a year to borrowing will push it up – meaning higher mortgages, higher debt interest and lower growth…”

But that wasn’t strictly true, as Reeves’ speech made plain inflation has gone up, fuelled in part by Tory policies – she just didn’t say the i-word.

Reeves told delegates: “The price of energy – up.

“The price of the family food shop – up.

“And mortgage bills, up hundreds of pounds every single month.

“Never forget – this time last year, in their clamour to cut taxes for those at the top, the Conservatives caused market chaos, crashed the economy, and left working people to pay the price.”

Reeves’ number two, Darren Jones, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, made the point on social media: “Odd that the Tory Chancellor doesn’t know what inflation means. As Rachel Reeves said, under the Tories: energy bills = UP. Food bills = UP. Mortgage bills = UP. Inflation = a general increase in prices and a fall in the purchasing value of money.”

And Labour party officials briefed journalists that Reeves was using “the language of normal people: rising prices”.

Twitter/X moderators later added a note to Hunt’s musing, pointing out that Reeves “explicitly mentioned rising prices (ie inflation)”.

Many others also fact-checked Hunt pretty hard.


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