Boris Johnson to give live speech today

By Nisha Mal

Boris Johnson will give a live speech today at the Conservative Party conference.

The PM's keynote speech will be the main event of the conference and is expected at around 11.30am.

Conference speeches have taken place either in person or virtually via a video link due to Covid-19, although Mr Johnson will make his address at the conference arena in Manchester.

He is expected to touch on the government's plan to raise minimum wage, which may come into effect in a matter of weeks.

The Times said the lowest earners on the so-called national living wage – the minimum wage paid to those over the age of 23 – could receive about £9.42 an hour, an increase of more than 5%.

The Low Pay Commission, which advises governments on minimum wage levels, is expected to publish its final report on the April 2022 levels later this month and the £9.42 rate had been its central projection.

Mr Johnson was pressed on ITV News about a possible hike in the hourly floor rate but left the matter open ended, saying on Tuesday: “We will take guidance from the Low Pay Commission, and we will see where we get to.”

But Labour was critical that the Prime Minister’s speech comes on the same day that his Government will carry out its cut to the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, which was brought in at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Opposition party plans to drive a van around the perimeter of conference venue Manchester Central during Mr Johnson’s speech, displaying a poster urging ministers to “cancel the cut” to the household incomes of millions of people.

As well as the furore around the benefits reduction, the closing speech on Wednesday comes against the backdrop of a supply chain crisis, a labour shortage that has seen military drivers drafted in to deliver petrol, warnings of empty shelves in shops at Christmas and pigs culled due to a lack of abattoir staff.

The conference speech will be broadcast live on Sky News and the BBC news channel.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.