Key points from Sir Keir Starmer’s speech to Labour conference
Sir Keir Starmer used his speech at what could be Labour’s final conference before a general election to set out his stall for why voters should trust him with the keys to No 10.
Here are the key points from the Labour leader’s address in Liverpool.
– Pledging that Labour would “unleash the big build”, Sir Keir vowed to build “the next generation of Labour new towns” to prevent home-ownership from becoming “a luxury for the few not the privilege of the many”. He would release “dreary” green belt land such as disused car parks he branded the “grey belt”. He pledged to “bulldoze through” the UK’s “restrictive” planning system.
– He promised to devolve power to towns and cities across England, giving them the kinds of powers enjoyed by London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. “If we want to challenge the hoarding of potential in our economy then we must win the war against the hoarders in Westminster,” he said. “Give power back and put communities in control.”
– Sir Keir repeatedly highlighted how he has shifted the party since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, saying Labour is no longer “in thrall to gesture politics”. After the start of his speech was disrupted by a demonstrator, he said “protest or power, this is why we changed our party”.
– Sir Keir set his sights on a “decade of national renewal” under Labour, suggesting he wants at least two terms in power. He said “changing a country is not like ticking a box” and that Labour’s job is to rebuild a crumbling public realm, modernise an economy left behind by the pace of technology and build a new Britain “out of the trauma of collective sacrifice”.
– He vowed to turn the page on the cycle of “drift, stagnate, decline” under the Tories by steering the ship on industrial policy. This would involve “a new generation of colleges” training nuclear technicians, automotive engineers and computer scientists.
– Sir Keir pledged to build a country where everyone, regardless of background, feels “respected” and “valued” by smashing the “hardest class ceiling of all” – the “nagging voice inside” telling working class people they do not belong.
– He vowed to “transform” the NHS by boosting capacity, getting the NHS “working round the clock” while paying staff “properly” to do it, and using technology to drive efficiency and early diagnosis.
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