Keir Starmer to tell Labour conference: Under my leadership party will be back in business


ir Keir Starmer will use his crunch conference speech to present himself as a serious alternative to Boris Johnson and break away from the Jeremy Corbyn-era of Labour.

In the most important political speech of his career, Sir Keir will claim “Labour will be back in business”, able to grapple with the big issues facing the country, including recovering from the pandemic and tackling climate change.

Allies of the Labour leader said the speech will show how the party has changed since Mr Corbyn led it to electoral disaster in 2019.

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer prepares his Labour Party conference speech in his hotel room in Brighton (Stefan Rousseau/PA) / PA Wire

The speech will be the biggest Sir Keir has delivered during a leadership tenure which has coincided with coronavirus restrictions preventing him from addressing large audiences.

He will highlight the fuel crisis and the rising cost of living as evidence that Mr Johnson lacks the competence required for the role of Prime Minister, with the Government “lost in the woods”.

Sir Keir took over from Mr Corbyn after the party suffered its worst result since 1935 as the Tories won a landslide victory in 2019.

In an attempt to convince voters that Labour is a credible government-in-waiting, Sir Keir will say: “Too often in the history of this party our dream of the good society falls foul of the belief that we will not run a strong economy.

“But you don’t get one without the other.

“And under my leadership we are committed to both.

“I can promise you that under my leadership Labour will be back in business.”

A source said the speech will be “noticeably different from what you’ve heard from Labour in recent years”, adding: “It will be a clear indication that Labour will never again go into an election with a manifesto that isn’t a serious plan for government.”

The speech, which Sir Keir began writing during a holiday in Dorset over the summer, draws on his experience of talking to voters who have deserted Labour.

The party believes that voters in Red Wall seats, who had given Mr Johnson the benefit of the doubt, were now concerned about his competence.


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