The UK's Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has accepted the UK is now a poorer nation than it was a few years ago but has denied the Government are to blame.

The MP for Surrey Heath made the comments on BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg in which he was grilled over a report by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The report found that living standards were seeing their biggest squeeze on record with the OBR head Richard Hughes adding that Brexit and poor productivity were hurting growth.

Asked if he agreed with the OBR's assessment, Mr Gove said the UK was dealing with "the aftershocks of two significant events.

"[There's] both the war in Ukraine, the first time we've had war on this scale on the continent in Europe since the Second World War, and the Covid pandemic, the biggest global health pandemic since the end of the First World War.

"They have had a huge effect on our economy and on others' economies."

When asked if the Conservatives, who have been in power for 13 years, were to blame, Michael Gove denied this, saying: "One can always do better, yes."

However, he went on to say that ministers were taking action to address a number of pressing issues like soaring inflation, oil and gas firm profits and energy bills.

The OBR states that inflation is likely to fall below 3% this year, down from the current 10.4% as food and energy prices rise less quickly.

Speaking on the same politics programme, Mr Hughs added that the longer-term outlook for the UK economy is bleak.

He said: "We've lost around 500,000 people from the labour force, we've seen stagnant investment since 2016 and also our productivity has slowed dramatically since the financial crisis and not really recovered."

He also said that overall output is to be 4% lower than it would have been if we'd stayed in the EU.

This comes as the Bank of England increased interest rates for the 11th time since late 2021.