The Tories are taking the West of England to the brink of recession as a result of the party’s “disastrous economic policies” of the last 12 years, warns Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

The UK economy shrunk by 0.2% in the three months to September, new figures reveal, as experts warn the country is heading for recession.

The ONS said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – which measures the total value of goods and services produced in the country – had fallen by 0.6% in September.

It could be the beginning of a recession – which is defined as two quarters of shrinking GDP in a row.

Today’s figures come just a week after the Bank of England warned that the country could be facing the “longest recession in 100 years” – outlining a scenario where the economy could contract for eight successive quarters from the third quarter of 2022.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said the latest GDP figures were “extremely worrying”, arguing they are a sign of the Tories’ dismal economic record but warned against another round of austerity.

The Chancellor is preparing to announce £21bn in tax rises and £33bn in public spending cuts in next week’s austerity Autumn Statement, according to reports.

Mayor Norris said: “These latest figures are a damning indictment of the Tories’ disastrous economic policies which have left our economy smaller and local people poorer. West of England residents will never forgive this government for tanking the economy during a cost-of-living crisis. And now ministers are asking all of us to stump up not just for the last couple of months of Tory economic incompetence, but for the past 12 years. We’re already set to be near the bottom of global league tables on the economy – austerity mark one did not work, and neither will the second act. These latest figures must serve as a final wake-up call for the Chancellor to deliver real support to protect struggling West of England households next week, and ditch the austerity agenda for good. The West of England has so much potential – we have the talent, the drive and the determination and imagination to do amazing things. But we’re being held back by a Tory government that is out of touch and out of ideas”.

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