Yvette Cooper brands Liz Truss comments on UK workers 'a total disgrace'
Sky News

Yvette Cooper has branded Liz Truss’s comments on UK workers as a “total disgrace” after she stated that they needed “more graft”.

In a leaked recording, first revealed by The Guardian, the Foreign Secretary suggested British employees lack the “skill and application” of foreign rivals.

Truss’s own campaign team suggested they were genuine, describing them as “half-a-decade-old”.

Now, Cooper has hit out at Truss in an interview with Sky News, calling the comments an “insult” to British workers.

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Cooper told viewers: “This comes after the proposal she put forward to cut public sector pay in the North and other parts of the country so that teaching assistants or, you know, nurses here in Yorkshire would get paid less than people in London or the South East.”

She went on to say: “She’s also now just said that people should be working harder… She has absolutely no idea that people are working incredibly hard. There are people who are getting up to go to their shifts right now, watching your programme just before they go to work, working incredibly hard to try and make ends meet.”

Coopers also said that British workers are “facing these nightmare inflation figures, these soaring energy bills and doing their best to keep everything together.”

She also argued that Truss “does not understand working people right across the country” and said it was “deeply wrong of her to say this”.

The recording unearthed this morning sees Truss say: “I once wrote a book about this which got mischaracterised. British workers produce less per hour than… and that’s a combination of kind of skill and application.”

Cooper didn't hold back in her criticismGetty/Sky News

She went on: “If you look at productivity, it’s very, very different in London from the rest of the country. But basically… this has been a historical fact for decades. Essentially it’s partly a mindset and attitude thing, I think. It’s working culture, basically. If you go to China it’s quite different, I can assure you.”

She added in the recording: “There’s a fundamental issue of British working culture. Essentially, if we’re going to be a richer country and a more prosperous country, that needs to change. But I don’t think people are that keen to change that.

“There’s a slight thing in Britain about wanting the easy answers. That’s my reflection on the election and what’s gone before it, and the referendum – we say it’s all Europe that’s causing these huge problems … it’s all these migrants causing these problems. But actually what needs to happen is more … more graft. It’s not a popular message.”

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