Sir Keir Starmer attacks Tories' 'endless cycle of crisis' as he plans route into No 10

Sir Keir Starmer was buoyed by rising fortunes for Labour as he accused the Tories of losing control of the economy and vowed to get the UK “out of this endless cycle of crisis”.

Sir Keir Starmer arriving with his wife Victoria to deliver his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference at the ACC Liverpool. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Sir Keir Starmer arriving with his wife Victoria to deliver his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference at the ACC Liverpool. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Labour leader was met with a rapturous reception among conference delegates who believe the party is now in a position to seriously challenge the Tories at the next election.

Speaking in Liverpool, he described an ambition to “turn the UK into a growth superpower” as he argued Labour is the party of financial responsibility after the pound plummeted in response to the Tories’ plans to borrow billions to pay for massive tax cuts.

He argued Labour is now the party of “sound money”. He also directly quoted Sir Tony Blair, the last Labour leader to win a general election, as he sought to put further distance between himself and his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Tony referred to New Labour as the “political wing of the British people” ahead of his landslide 1997 election victory, in a departure from the party being described as the political wing of the union movement. Sir Keir said he wants Labour to be a party for all as he attempts to reposition it in the centre ground of UK politics.

Sir Keir argued “we cannot afford to miss out” on the opportunity to lead the world in renewable energy, electric vehicles and harnessing new hydrogen power.

He also attacked the Conservatives on the economy by saying: “What we’ve seen from the Government in the past few days has no precedent.

“It has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

“Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what? Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest one per cent in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.”

The Labour leader said the Tories “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed through the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure”.

He promised a Labour government would “get us out of this endless cycle of crisis” with a “fresh start, a new set of priorities and a new way of governing”.

Sir Keir plans to create a “green prosperity plan” to create a million new jobs in towns and cities across the country.

He has pledged to bring down energy bills, raise living standards and tackle the climate crisis, within 100 days of forming a government.

And he is also promising to boost home ownership, setting a target for 70 per cent of the population to own their own home in the first five years of a Labour government.

In a move to occupy traditional Tory territory, he has branded Labour “the party of home ownership in Britain today”.

He said Labour would establish a publicly owned “Great British Energy” within the first year of power.

He warned the largest onshore wind farm in Wales is owned by Sweden while the Chinese Communist Party “has a stake in our nuclear industry”.

The Labour leader added: “And five million people in Britain pay their bills to an energy company owned by France.

“So we will set up Great British Energy within the first year of a Labour government. And yes, Great British Energy will be publicly owned.”

Sir Keir made a clear dig at Mr Corbyn and his allies when he spoke of how he has “ripped antisemitism out by its roots”.

He said he was determined to get Labour in a position in which it was electable, adding it must be “country first, party second”.

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