Conservatives cannot afford to look like the party of “no change”, British Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned colleagues. Mr Hammond said the Tories could not “outspend” Jeremy Corbyn's Labour with “short-term gimmicks”. Instead he said they urgently needed to make the case for capitalism and “take our people with us”.
Speaking at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, he called for unity and a vision beyond Brexit. More than ever Britain will need strong leadership, he said.
He told delegates that in case anyone, anywhere was in doubt, the Tories will always will be the party of business. And he defended Theresa May's under-fire plan for post-Brexit trade with the EU, which has been dismissed by Brussels.
That's what people said about the light-bulb in 1878, he said, claiming there would be a boost to the economy if a deal is agreed.
Earlier Mr Hammond faced questions about his remarks apparently mocking ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson - one of the leading critics of the government's strategy - in a newspaper interview.
Mr Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today program he did not want to talk about Mr Johnson, and get into the personalities. But asked about his Daily Mail interview in which he reportedly mimicked the former foreign secretary and said the former Leave campaign leader had never been a detail man, he said: All of us are different in politics.
Boris Johnson is a big picture man, a big character on the political stage. But this is a very detailed and complex negotiation. It doesn't require big sweeping statements, it requires meticulous attention to the negotiation strategy.
Hundreds of civil servants are working round the clock on negotiating this package with the European Union and it requires that level of attention to detail.
The chancellor also said he would be revealing more about proposed tax rises to pay for extra NHS spending at the Budget, which takes place on 29 October.
For Labour, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the chancellor's speech confirmed the bankrupt state of the Tory party, increasingly irrelevant and cut off from the real day to day life most people experience.
He added: As the Tories sink into a pit of bitter infighting, we mustn't allow them to take the country down with it.”