'Economy turns a corner': Rishi Sunak seeks to turn fortunes amid conspiracy rumors | political news

Rishi Sunak hopes to start his week on a positive note with announcements about training and support for small businesses.

By Fay Brown, Political Correspondent @fayebrownSky

Monday 18 March 2024 05:11, UK

Rishi Sunak insisted the „economy is turning a corner” and urged Tory MPs to „stick to the plan” amid reports of a plot to oust him before the election.

The prime minister is seeking to shift the political debate to a gradually improving economic outlook as he tries to shore up his leadership.

Some MPs are said to be considering replacing him with Commons leader Benny Mordant as many Tories fear losing their seats.

Starting a fight, Mr Sunak vowed that 2024 would be „the year Britain bounces back” in comments released by Downing Street on Sunday night.

Sunak will lead the Tories into the election

He faces another tough week as his Rwanda Bill returns to the Commons and appears before the backbench 1922 Committee.

Mr Sunak said he hoped to see „significant improvement” in inflation when the Office for National Statistics releases its latest inflation data on Wednesday.

„There is now a real sense that the economy is turning a corner as all economic indicators are pointing in the right direction.

„This year, 2024, will be the year Britain bounces back.

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„Inflation has halved, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) predicts, hitting its 2% target in a few months, a full year earlier than they predicted a few months ago.”

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On Monday, Mr Sunak will launch reforms to boost apprenticeships and cut red tape for small businesses at a conference in Warwickshire.

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MPs will later consider amendments made by the House of Lords to Rwanda's Protection (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

The government is seeking to overturn peers' amendments after suffering 10 defeats in the Upper House.

But a poll by Fogeldata, commissioned by the British Futures think tank, found a majority of people support all the changes the Lords proposed to introduce extra safeguards.

Deportation policy is facing fresh criticism after a cabinet minister failed to guarantee migrant flights would take off before the general election.

On Sunday Transport Secretary Mark Harper said it was the government's „aim” to start flights before voters go to the polls, but refused to guarantee it.

The Times reported that the first flights are unlikely to take off before mid-May, and that Kigali wants to test the policy with a two-month pause after accepting the first migrants.

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Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tweeted: „Unbelievable. The government has finally admitted that the Tories' flagship £500m Rwanda project will only cover around 150 people.

„The potential cost of this failed gimmick to the British taxpayer is £2 million per person.”

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