Voices: Liz Truss will soon realise that wanting growth is not the same as having a plan

I am grateful that the Tories have packed up and left my city. During the summer I was delighted when film crews and crowds gathered for the Commonwealth games festivities, showing off our city to the world. Every day my children would get excited spotting our much-loved sites on the telly. It was considerably less fun to spot those same familiar settings this time around, as deluded cabinet ministers spouted words that damned the city they gathered in.

As Liz Truss took to the stage in Birmingham, I was less than 200 metres away, at a conference about how lack of regulation has caused unfettered growth of “supportive” accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable. In reality, many of these are anything but supportive. It is a cash cow for bad providers to make tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to offer squalid, unsafe and exploitative accommodation. It has caused huge expense to local police forces, masses of antisocial behaviour and has meant that rape victims, domestic abuse victims and mentally ill people have been placed in inhumane and dangerous accommodation. It costs the taxpayer dearly, over and over again.

We have begged and pleaded with the government for regulation to end this problem, but regulation isn’t their bag. Oh we’ve got growth, alright: growth in crime, growth in cost to the taxpayer, growth in the bank accounts of exploitative landlords. Growth, growth, growth.

I walked out of the event into Birmingham city centre as Truss’s speech raged on. There was no buzz on the streets that the most powerful people in the country were in town. The rain lashed down as Liz Truss spoke, providing pathetic fallacy to a premiership where pretty much everyone in Birmingham will be colder, wetter, greyer. The streets were eerily quiet.

I bumped into quite a few of the Tories who were in Birmingham, to some surprise on their part, as if it might be unusual to see a Brummie in Birmingham. I prefer to see them in Westminster and if the truth be told, they looked a bit out of place.

I imagined what it was like for the staff at the International Convention Centre, many of whom rely on universal credit or are working two jobs, to listen to the lunacy being spouted about part time workers and benefits claimants. Some of them will have settled here having fled war. Many of them are young people with diminishing hopes of buying a house. The conference must have seemed like a work of fiction to them, like a historic reenactment expo of enthusiastic role-players getting together for a weekend to shake off the shackles of reality.

I look forward to them being back where they belong next week. But I honestly don’t know what to expect. I have found that rebellious Tories go one of two ways in Westminster: they either dangerously convene working late into the night, hiding behind corners huddled and plotting, or they talk an incredibly tough game on the telly and then just file through the lobbies doing their whip’s bidding.

I cannot tell which it will be. It depends on what Liz Truss starts to lay out as her, erm, plan. In Birmingham, she repeatedly said she was the only person with a plan, but never actually told anyone what it was.

Saying you want economic growth is like saying you like peace and justice. Anyone can say it, they can even repeat it over and over again, but that doesn’t mean you have a plan to get it.

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment, sign up to our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter by clicking here

When she starts to tell us this week exactly what her plan is – which at the moment seems to be cutting benefits, demanding part time working mothers just magically do more work for better pay, and annoying a load of local Tories with fracking plans in their backyard – we will see which way Tory MPs turn.

For my money’s worth I think we will be seeing a lot of huddling plotters. And the prime minister? She is going to realise that her rainy stint in Birmingham, as rocky as it was, was probably as good as her time in office was ever going to get. It’s a premiership that amounts to a wet weekend in the midlands. But I’m glad that for once she will remember us, even if none of her policies ever do.

Jess Phillips is the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding and Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley


Football news:

Cristiano Ronaldo: I want to retire at 40, a good age. Another 2-3 years is the maximum
We love the sensations at the World Cup. We remember the bright Bulgaria, the chic Senegal and the impudent Cameroon of Nepomniachtchi
Antoni bought a Lamborghini for 385 thousand euros in honor of the challenge to the Brazilian national team for the 2022 World Cup
The head of the FNL Izmailov: Licensing of clubs from the Crimea will begin in February. But we do not burn bridges with UEFA and FIFA
Benzema could miss France's first match at the 2022 World Cup against Australia. Yesterday she and Varan worked individually
Gianluca Zambrotta: I hope it will be the Messi World Cup. He is a genius, like Maradona. These are born once every 30 years
Holanda's agent did not answer the question about the release in Man City: I have no right. I know that they will write about it, even if I do not say anything

8:40 China protests – live: Beijing says BBC is ‘playing the victim’ after journalist’s arrest
8:36 Tiantian Kullander: Founder of crypto company valued at $3bn dies ‘unexpectedly’ at age 30
8:29 World Cup Power Rankings: Every team rated and slated after second group game
8:28 I'm A Celeb's Matt Hancock abandons Gina to fly home solo as he stays to cash in on fame
8:28 Kylie Jenner shares candid snaps of her rarely seen son after confirming his name
8:26 I tested Christmas crisps including pigs in blankets and stuffing flavours – one tasted burnt
8:22 We’re energy experts – why you should never store milk in your fridge door
8:18 Scottish Government ministers 'squandered' £200m on nationalising shipyard
8:14 EastEnders' Dot Cotton returns to Walford for final time ahead of heartbreaking funeral
8:14 Neil Robertson loses his cool and yells at snooker fan during Scottish Open victory
8:12 Alistair Johnston reveals Celtic hard sell from Victor Wanyama as he labels him 'the best agent they could have'
8:11 Ban pre-payment meter installations through court warrants – campaigners
8:11 Sex offender used iPhone to spy on girl in shopping centre toilets
8:10 Kerry Katona feared she was dying as swollen throat left her struggling to breathe
8:07 Fury vs Chisora card: Who else is fighting this weekend?
8:07 Fury vs Chisora time: When do ring walks start ahead of fight this weekend?
8:07 Fury vs Chisora live stream: How to watch fight online and on TV this weekend
8:06 Smugglers got 240 kilos of cocaine through UK ports hidden in crates
8:04 Russian billionaire dies in mystery helicopter crash near Monaco in good weather after passenger cancels at last minute
8:02 Suella Braverman in new plan to fast-track Albanian deportations to tackle migrant crisis
8:00 Kate Winslet reveals 'biggest fear' for daughter Mia as they act together in new drama
8:00 What channel is Netherlands vs Qatar? Kick-off time, TV and live stream details
8:00 Tyson Fury fight: UK start time, undercard, TV and stream for Derek Chisora bout
7:59 Canelo Alvarez slams ‘hypocrite b******’ Sergio Aguero in X-rated rant as World Cup row over Lionel Messi escalates
7:59 FA Cup 3rd round draw in full LIVE REACTION: Arsenal visit Oxford, Man City vs Chelsea DRAWN in tie of the round
7:52 UK weather: Travel chaos with yellow fog warnings for huge parts of Britain to cause severe delays
7:50 Strictly’s Ellie Taylor breaks down in tears during first interview after being booted from show
7:50 Lanarkshire school will go from "strength to strength" after excellent report
7:49 Remains of four babies found inside apartment - including at least one inside freezer
7:48 ‘What have you done to my face?’: Adele horrified after fan uses beauty filter during Vegas concert
7:47 Clarence Gilyard Jr death: Die Hard and Top Gun star dies aged 66
7:46 England vs Wales LIVE World Cup 2022: Kick off time, team news and predictions for Group B decider
7:43 Gunman barricades himself inside booby-trapped house after taking several hostages
7:35 Incredible EuroMillions jackpot of £75million could be yours tonight – here’s how to get in the draw
7:35 Police rescue two from booby-trapped house as AK47 gunman barricades himself inside
7:33 Shaun Udal backs teenager Rehan Ahmed to shine if handed debut in Pakistan like he was
7:33 Netherlands vs Qatar: TV channel, kick-off time, stream FREE and team news for 2022 World Cup Group A tie
7:32 Torture allegations mount in aftermath of Kherson occupation
7:31 Qatar World Cup 'time traveller' shares footage predicting result of 2022 final
7:30 Football rumours: Christian Pulisic puts clubs on alert with World Cup displays
7:30 Ronaldo agrees to give up lucrative salary after Neymar sent clear message
7:29 Glasgow Orange walk required more than 900 police officers for single march
7:29 ‘F****** fakers’ – Derek Chisora claims NOBODY is in boxing for anything other than money ahead of huge Tyson Fury bout
7:29 Ronnie O’Sullivan told he makes fastest TV century EVER in 204 seconds… before U-turn by bungling tour chiefs
7:29 Bus on school run crashes and overturns leaving several children in hospital with injuries
7:27 ‘F*** every other comedian’: Adam Sandler roasts Ben Stiller and Timothee Chalamet in hilarious Gotham Awards speech
7:25 Number of homes at risk of flooding could double in next 30 years
7:25 World Cup 2022 – England vs Wales: Date, stream FREE, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for FINAL Group B match-up
7:23 Number of English homes at risk from flooding could hit 600,000 in next 30 years
7:22 Cops search for Dundee woman missing for two days
7:10 England vs Wales prediction: How will World Cup fixture play out?
7:09 England vs Wales predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of World Cup fixture
7:08 What time does England vs Wales kick off?
7:02 Dance school's touching Disneyland Paris tribute after mum died aged just 34
7:00 Emmerdale spoilers: Chas Dingle struggles to cope as she’s confronted about Al Chapman affair
7:00 EastEnders spoilers: Whitney Dean pregnant in major shock – but she’s not the only one
7:00 Coronation Street spoilers: Stephen Reid sinks to vile new low with victim Elaine
7:00 Horoscopes today - Russell Grant's star sign forecast for Tuesday, November 29
7:00 Serie A star, Turkey woe and clubless: What happened to England XI vs Wales at Euro 2016
7:00 World War II air raid shelter turned into cutting-edge underground farm
6:58 Lyndon Dykes in hilarious Paul Gascoigne snub as he asked David Martindale 'who's Gazza?' after Rangers hero encounter
6:58 Man who disappeared from Scots hotel two days ago sparks police search
6:56 Thick fog engulfs huge swathes of UK as Met Office issues warning
6:53 WWE Raw Results: Exciting night sees Dexter Lumis win Raw contract after besting The Miz
6:50 Sleazy Lanarkshire postmaster who asked to feel customer's breasts given chance to change his ways
6:46 Football fans ‘spend £270m’ on England vs. Wales match
6:42 Rishi Sunak news – live: PM says ‘golden era’ of China ties is over amid crackdown on protests
6:41 Trump wrong to dine with 'white nationalist and Holocaust denier', fumes Pence
6:30 Tolkien knock-off or a secret classic? The story of Willow
6:30 We’re in the age of the conventionally beautiful unconventional beauty
6:20 Chicago criminal kingpin Al Capone's gravestone defaced with 'evil' branding
6:16 Christmas Markets slated as 'worst ever' and 'nothing to do with Xmas' by angry shoppers
6:13 Shark circles two swimmers cutting them off from Dubai beach in terrifying footage
6:10 Fans call on Nicole Kidman to denounce Balenciaga
6:09 Missouri prepares to execute man for killing officer in 2005
6:08 Mike Tindall releases limited edition Budgie Smugglers after leaving the jungle
6:00 Sadiq Khan, Sir Chris Whitty join public health leaders for air pollution talks
6:00 Matt O'Riley in ominous Celtic warning to Premiership rivals as he guarantees complacency will NEVER HAPPEN
6:00 James Maddison spurred on by pain of first World Cup memory ahead of England entrance
6:00 The Mother of all Games Part II: The political rivalry behind Iran vs USA
6:00 My parents were killed during the Holocaust – I never got a chance to say goodbye
5:51 Delta flight attendant threatens disabled travel blogger with ‘TSA guns’ in row over wheelchair
5:39 Russia-Ukraine war live: Nato foreign ministers meet in Romania; US to announce ‘substantial’ aid
5:33 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' wins at Gotham Awards
5:32 World Cup 2022 LIVE: England vs Wales preview as Cristiano Ronaldo denied another record in Portugal win
5:31 Voices: Kim Kardashian has finally said something we can all agree with
5:24 Hundreds of dead fish wash up on Adelaide beach sparking mystery for locals
5:20 Nick Holly dead: Manager and co-creator of Sons and Daughters dies of cancer aged 51
5:17 Trump news – live: Trump ignored advisers’ pleas to condemn Nick Fuentes after Mar-a-Lago Kanye West meeting
5:17 Ayr woman stunned after 'smug' parking warden fines her for picking up steak pie for her disabled mum
5:14 Mummies with golden tongues discovered by archaeologists in Egypt
5:11 James McAvoy denies being asked to star in Narnia reboot with expletive response
5:11 Arizona election chaos as Republican officials refuse to certify midterm results
5:10 King Charles saves 300 jobs in ‘deprived’ community by restoring ‘jaw-dropping’ estate
5:07 Christmas heartbreak for millions of families as two-thirds of adults dread cost of dinner
5:00 Washington steps up pressure on European allies to harden China stance
5:00 Dutch chip toolmaker ASMI warns of escalating trade tensions
4:59 Huge swathes of Britain under weather warnings that could disrupt morning commute
4:58 I’m a size medium and bought the viral Kim Kardashian Skims dress, it exposed everything and I was urged to return it
4:55 Idaho murders - live: Police shoot down more rumours as university increases security for students’ return