The moment when the tense atmosphere in the hall eases comes unexpectedly.

Three Greenpeace protesters who had been smuggled in suddenly raise a banner in the back row: “Who voted that?” it says.

Boos, jeers and whistles erupt from the delegates as ushers wrestle with the Greenpeace activists and lead them out.

The Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham has found its enemy.

"I was going to talk about the anti-growth coalition later, but they've already shown themselves," says Liz Truss to laughter.

Philip Pickert

Business correspondent based in London.

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In her much-anticipated speech on Wednesday, the ailing prime minister tried to turn the mood in her party.

Disastrously poor poll numbers since the financial markets reacted negatively to the "mini-budget" of their Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, have pushed the government, which has been in office for just under a month, onto the defensive.

Now all eyes turned to Truss.

Essentially, she repeated well-known phrases in Birmingham.

“I have three priorities: growth, growth, growth,” was her key message.

To do this, she had to lower taxes, she defended her course.

The highest tax rate in seventy years is a burden on families and companies.

Work must be worthwhile, companies must invest.

An anti-growth coalition of opposition parties, militant trade unions, interest groups posing as think tanks, Brexit deniers and activists like Extinction Rebellion is holding the country back.

They always wanted to raise more taxes.

For too long it was about the distribution of the cake.

"We want to make the pie bigger so everyone gets a bigger slice," Truss said.

It will be difficult, but ultimately everyone will benefit.

Pound falls more than 1 percent after Truss' speech

However, their tax cut package was not well received on the financial markets.

Concerns about excessive new borrowing caused the pound and bond prices to tumble at times last week.

The pound exchange rate recovered afterwards.

Truss tried to allay concerns in Birmingham.

She will hold the state budget "with an iron grip" and reduce the debt ratio.

"I believe in fiscal discipline." But after her speech, the pound fell more than 1 percent.

There are also signs of resistance to spending cuts in the Tory party.

The next argument has already begun over whether welfare benefits should increase in line with average wages (which meant a real cut) or in line with inflation, which is 10 percent.

Truss said nothing about it.

She only briefly touched on the about-face of not abolishing the top tax rate of 45 percent for top earners.

"I got it, I listened," she said.

The dispute over the top tax rate had led to the first cracks in her cabinet.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman called it a "coup" that other cabinet members and Tory MPs torpedoed the plans.

Her colleague Kemi Badenoch, the trade minister, then accused her of “flaming language”.

Britain is in the middle of a storm, said Truss in Birmingham – referring to the global political and economic situation.

You support the citizens with the largest energy price brake in Europe.

She received the most applause for her commitment to support Ukraine against Russia's war.

"Ukraine can win, Ukraine must win and Ukraine will win," she said.

Truss only touched on the post-Brexit agenda briefly.

She also only briefly mentioned the serious deficits in the state health service NHS, which is struggling with a waiting list that has grown to around six million patients.

The new Minister of Health, Thérèse Coffey, will reduce the corona backlog, she promised.

Home Secretary Braverman will secure the borders and stop illegal migration across the English Channel.

How exactly,

Many statements in Truss's speech remained vague, for example about the reform of the planning law to facilitate building permits.

Whether their tax cut course will pay off remains highly uncertain.

Labor has successfully attacked the Tories as a lobby for the rich.

Party leader Keir Starmer reacted coolly to Truss's speech.

Conservatives "stayed with their kamikaze budget that's crashing the economy," he wrote.