Rishi Sunak vows Ill tear up rule book on 30 years of broken politics

The PM will lay out his vision to “fundamentally” reform the country by taking tough long-term choices instead of the easy quick wins.

He plans to ditch the next phase of the HS2 rail line and divert billions into local projects.

Addressing the Conservative Party conference for the first time as leader, the PM will accuse Labour of taking voters for granted.

Mr Sunak is expected to say: “There is the undeniable sense that politics just doesn’t work the way it should. A feeling that Westminster is a broken system – and the same goes for Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont.

“It isn’t anger, it is an exhaustion with politics. In particular, politicians saying things, and then nothing ever changing. And you know what? People are right.

“Politics doesn’t work the way it should. We’ve had 30 years of a political system which incentivises the easy decision, not the right one.

“Thirty years of vested interests standing in the way of change.”

READ MORE: HS2 will go to Manchester but ‘will switch tracks at Birmingham’

Mr Sunak will tell the Tory grassroots that he has a plan to end the 30-year-old problems in the system by looking at the needs of the country for decades to come, instead of popular decisions based around the electoral cycle.

He will say: “Our political system is too focused on short-term advantage, not long-term success.

“Politicians spent more time campaigning for change than actually delivering it. Our mission is to fundamentally change our country.”

Mr Sunak will lay out the lessons he has learnt from his first year as PM as he moves into the next phase of his premiership.

He will make a series of policy announcements that will set the stage for the next year of his leadership.

The scrapping of the next phase of the HS2 rail line that would run from Birmingham to Manchester has dominated discussions at the Tory gathering, held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Former Tory premiers Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron have all warned against the move. But last night, it was reported that HS2 could still run to Manchester but on existing train tracks.

But Mr Sunak will use the issue to show how he is determined to get a grip on issues even if he faces criticism from some in his own party.

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The money saved will be channelled into other projects that can be delivered more quickly and benefit more people.

HS2 was given a budget of £55billion in 2015 but costs have ballooned, with an estimate now of more than £100billion if the whole project was to be completed.

Mr Sunak took over the party at a time of crisis and has faced a year of difficult polls that put Labour on course for an outright victory at the next election.

But the PM will warn that rival Sir Keir Starmer is hoping to win through default, by keeping quiet rather than being honest with the public about his plans for government.

He will say: “The Labour Party have set out their stall – to do and say as little as possible and hope no one notices.

“They want to take people’s votes for granted and keep doing politics the same old way. It is a bet on people’s apathy.

“It does not speak to any higher purpose or brighter future. It is about power for the sake of power. It is, in short, everything that is wrong with our politics.”

Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson told an event on the fringes of the conference he was confident the party can hold on to the “red wall” voters that backed it for the first time in 2019.

He said: “There are a lot of people who voted Conservative for the first time and are looking for an excuse to vote Conservative next time, it’s as simple as that.

“They’re saying, ‘We gave you our vote, we want to vote for you again, but give us a reason to vote for you again.’

“And it’s very hopeful for me over the past few weeks because we’ve seen Rishi row back on the net zero stuff. We’ve seen Suella’s speech, which I thought was brilliant.

“People are saying to me, ‘Thank God, finally, you’re saying to us what we want to hear, keep this up and you’ll get our vote next year.’ And I think we will.

“This conference for me has been very positive. The mood is a lot better than what it was last year, there’s no doom and gloom here.

“If we keep it up, we’re down to less than 10 points now in the opinion polls, as soon as it gets to five or six then we’ll see the Labour Party wanting to kill each other. We’ll be fine and I think we’ll win next year.”

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