As U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss delivered a speech Wednesday in which she pledged to stick with the “disruption” of her tax-cutting economic agenda, the newly elected leader faced a different kind of disruption: Greenpeace activists.
Truss was speaking to delegates at a conservative conference in Birmingham, located in central England when two Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner reading “Who voted for this?” and shouted slogans including “Who voted for fracking?”
Security escorted the activists out of the hall as the audience booed.
Truss shrugged off the interruption with a laugh and said, “Later on in my speech, my friends, I am going to talk about the anti-growth coalition. But I think they arrived at the hall a bit too early.”
Last month, the government lifted a ban on fracking in England, opening the door to domestic shale gas production amid a European energy crisis.
“Whenever there is change, there is disruption,” she said. “Not everyone will be in favor. But everyone will benefit from the result — a growing economy and a better future. That is what we have a clear plan to deliver.”
Truss defended the chaotic rollout of her economic measures, saying that in extraordinary times, “it would have been wrong not to have proceeded rapidly with our energy and tax plan.”
Truss vowed to stick with her plan to reshape Britain’s economy through tax cuts and deregulation in a bid to end years of sluggish growth. She said cutting taxes was “the right thing to do, morally and economically.”
The pound, which has been on a roller-coaster journey since Truss unveiled her economic proposals last month, fell about 1% to $1.136 after the speech.
The currency had hit a record low of $1.03 soon after Truss announced a stimulus package that includes 45 billion pounds ($50 billion) in tax cuts to be paid for by government borrowing on Sept. 23.
The Bank of England was forced to intervene to prop up the bond market and stop a wider economic crisis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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