Keir Starmer: 5 things we learned from Labour leader’s speech in Liverpool

Keir Starmer: 5 things we learned from Labour leader’s speech in Liverpool
'Don't forget, don't forgive': Keir Starmer calls to oust Tory government

Sir Keir Starmer gave his keynote speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool at a hugely significant moment for the future of the country on Tuesday.

The Leader of the Opposition took to the stage at the Arena and Convention Centre at King’s Dock just hours after Labour went ahead of the Conservatives by 17 points in a YouGov poll commissioned by The Times.

Labour has an approval rating of 45 per cent while the Tories led by new prime minister Liz Truss trail behind at 28 per cent, the poll suggests. The 17-point lead represents a level of support for Labour not seen for more than 20 years.

It comes amid reports suggesting that Liz Truss is already facing letters of no confidence from Tory MPs, with fears that Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will “crash the economy” following the mini-budget announcement on Friday.

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It’s clearly a dramatic time in politics – here are the five things we learned from Starmer’s keynote speech at the Labour conference.

He loves making football jokes during speeches

You may remember back during the 2021 Labour conference when Starmer made a joke about his beloved Arsenal. He said at the time: “This hasn’t always been an easy conference. Sunday was particularly nerve-racking, but then the results started coming through: Arsenal 3, Tottenham 1.”

He delivered a similar gag this time, too, saying that after a lot of hard work "finally we are seeing the results".

Starmer then added: "We can say it at last: Arsenal are top of the league."

He thinks the public should never forgive the Tories for economic turmoil

Speaking to the crowd, Starmer said that Liz Truss’s Government had tanked the economy in order to offer tax cuts for the richest 1 per cent with Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget – and said the public should never forgive them.

He said they had left “Britain all at sea, where a cloud of anxiety hangs over working people... At moments of uncertainty like this we must provide clear leadership.

“We must stand with working people. Meet their ambitions for real change. Walk towards a better future and build a new Britain, together.”

He said “we can’t go on like this” after the developments since Friday’s financial statement by the Chancellor. "The Government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?," he added.

“Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what? Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest 1 per cent in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.”

Labour plan on setting up a ‘Great British Energy’ firm

Starmer stated that a Labour government would form a project called "Great British Energy" within a year in office, saying it would be inspired by France's EDF and firms owned by foreign states operating in the UK and that it would "take advantage of the opportunities in clean British power".

He said: "Labour will make sure that the public money we spend building-up British industry, spurs on private investment, stimulates growth… and the British people enjoy the returns.

"Labour won't make the mistake the Tories made with North Sea oil and gas back in the 1980s. Where they frittered away the wealth from our national resources."

Starmer wants a 70 per cent home ownership target

Laying out more of his ambitions for a hypothetical Labour government, Starmer said that he would aim to hit a 70 per cent home ownership target.

He added that there would be "no more buy-to-let landlords or second homeowners getting in first" and also explained that first-time buyers would be helped through a mortgage guarantee scheme.

The Labour leader said that under the Conservatives "the dream of owning your own home is slipping away for too many".

He went on: "And that's a political choice. Because if you keep inflating demand without increasing supply house prices will only rise and homes become less affordable for working people.

"So we will set a new target - 70 per cent ownership and we will meet it with a new set of political choices."

He’s realistic about the challenges Labour would face

Starmer stressed to the crowd that members need to realise the size of the challenges that would be faced by a prospective Labour Government.

“We have to be honest,” he said. “I’d love to stand here and say Labour will fix everything. But the damage they’ve done - to our finances and public services - means this rescue will be harder than ever”.

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