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Therese Raphael

Boris Johnson Nicks a Big Idea From Labour to Save Himself – for Now

Appropriating the windfall-tax proposal has all the subtlety of a desperate chess move. The arithmetic will come back to haunt the Tories.

Now that’s labour!

Now that’s labour!

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe

It’s rare to see the Labour Party offer such a fulsome embrace of a set of Conservative policy announcements. Then again, opposition leader Keir Starmer’s shadow bench was really cheering Boris Johnson’s government adopting Labour calls for a windfall tax on energy companies and more help for consumers hit with cost-of-living increases. Democracy in action. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak had no qualms appropriating the policy, nicking Labour's idea but giving a Tory spin, calling it an energy profits levy to distinguish it from the opposition's windfall proposal.