Sir Keir Starmer got rid of left-wing delegates and promised a ‘serious plan for the government’ when he addressed the Labor Party conference in Brighton in his first major legal speech since becoming leader of Britain’s main opposition party.
“Do you shout slogans or change lives?” he told a phalanx of protesters in front of the crowd as they tried to disrupt his speech – a remark that caused great cheers from the rest of the hall.
Starmer has announced a new plan to spend £ 6 billion a year on upgrading insulation in 19 million homes to tackle climate change.
The Labor leader said as prime minister he would embark on a ‘national mission’ to make every house in the country cheaper to heat up within a decade. The upgrades would save families more than £ 400 a year on energy bills, he said, and it would help the country reach its 2050 net carbon target.
The Tory government, on the other hand, recently scrapped its Green Homes Grant scheme and has not yet replaced it.
Starmer, who has been trying to move Labor to the center, has angered supporters of his “hard-lived” predecessor Jeremy Corbyn since he became leader in April last year. Not only did he fire almost all Corbynistas out of his shadow box, but earlier this week he changed rules to make it harder for a left-winger to become a leader in the future.
Starmer thanked the party for their efforts during the 2021 general election, in which the party endured its worst result in 80 years. But he issued a scathing message about the work ahead for the demoralized party, which remains behind the ruling Conservatives in the polls.
“My job as leader is not just to say thank you to the voters who have stayed with us. It is to understand and convince the voters we have rejected, ”he said.
That means the 2019 Corbyn Manifesto – when Starmer was the Brexit secretary’s secretary – is being dumped, which voters did not find ‘credible’, he said.
“To the voters who thought we were unpatriotic or irresponsible or that we looked down on them, I say these simple but powerful words,” he argued. “We will never, under my leadership, hold an election with a manifesto that is not a serious plan for the government.”
Starmer said a Labor government would inherit damaged public finances and that it was taking its responsibility for spending taxpayers’ money very seriously.
As prime minister, he would face tougher sentences for serious sexual assault cases, spend £ 28 billion a year on a Green New Deal, hire more than 8,500 mental health workers and start ‘the most ambitious school program in a generation’.
A Starmer-led government sets spending on science and research at 3 per cent of GDP and draws up a New Deal for working people with a ban on zero-hour contracts and a minimum wage of £ 10.
Labor will also change the priority duty of directors to “make the long-term success of the business the top priority”, he said.
Starmer also argued that his party would be the party of working people. “Work, care, equality and security” would be his key word.
Previous Labor leaders, including Corbyn, have distanced themselves from the Blair years. In contrast, Starmer won great applause when he met the achievements of the New Labor administrations – from 1997 to 2010 – including a minimum wage, lower hospital waiting time, more doctors and nurses and a reduction in poverty for children and pensioners.
Meanwhile, Labor leader Boris Johnson, the prime minister, has focused his fire on his handling of the recent fuel crisis.
The price of fuel, gas and electricity bills rose, there were gaps on the shelves of the supermarket and rents rose. ‘But at the moment the government is levying taxes on working people. To levy taxes on small businesses and reduce universal credit, ”he said. ‘Prime Minister, get a grip or get out of the way and let’s clear up this mess.
Over the weekend, Vice President Angela Rayner was criticized for describing the prime minister as ‘foam’. Starmer, on the other hand, told the audience, “I do not think Boris Johnson is a bad man, I think he is a trivial man,” he said.