Chancellor Jeremy Hunt insists UK's economy has 'turned corner' - telling public to 'stick to plan' for 'better times'

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said that "better times are ahead" but that the fundamentals of the UK economy are "very strong".

Speaking to Sky News in Washington, Mr Hunt pointed to price rise data from today showing a drop in the rate of inflation as well as the latest jobs figures and IMF economic growth predictions.

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Mr Hunt said: "I think the economy, we are seeing, has turned the corner, people are beginning to feel that."

"That will continue during the course of this year. But the fundamentals for the UK economy, yes, are very strong indeed," he added.

The cost of living crisis, brought about by months of double-digit inflation last year, has been tough, Mr Hunt said.

But sticking to his economic plan, along with the Bank of England's work to control interest rates, will bring about "better times", he insisted - in a sign of the likely economic messaging from the Tories ahead of the coming general election.

"If we stick to that plan we can see that we will have better times ahead," he said.

He added: "We don't pretend that it hasn't been tough, it's been very tough in the UK and in many other countries.

"We now have the biggest technology industry in Europe. That is a big positive for families up and down the country in the years ahead."

Sanctions warning for Iran

When asked about sanctions on Iran, following its strikes on Israel last weekend, Mr Hunt said he will be pushing for more to be added in his meetings with leaders of the G7 group of nations and with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

"What I would say is this: The talk ten days ago was of the West drifting away from its support for Israel. But when Iran attacked Israel, Western support was rock solid.

"And if Iran takes action that destabilises the global economy through what it does in the Middle East then they will face a concerted response from Western countries," he said.

'I don't want to say anything negative about Liz Truss'

Mr Hunt declined to speak ill of former prime minister Liz Truss when asked if she was harming the Conservative Party.

"I think Liz will be the first to accept that during her time as prime minister, mistakes were made," he said of her 49-day tenure.

During her premiership government borrowing costs soared; the pound hit a 37-year low against the dollar - making imports more expensive; mortgage rates soared and the Bank of England made an unprecedented intervention to stop pension funds collapsing.

"She appointed me as chancellor. And so, you know, I don't want to say anything negative about Liz Truss," Mr Hunt said.