Labour conference gives Starmer chance to stress dividing lines with Tories

Labor’s annual conference is due to start in Liverpool on Sunday, with high expectations for Sir Keir Starmer to chart the dividing lines between his party and the new Tory government.

Supporters of the Labor leader are hoping he will use the four-day gathering to capitalize on the unpopularity of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s economic measures.

The government’s controversial program to remove caps on bankers’ bonuses, cut welfare payments and huge tax cuts, mostly benefiting the wealthy, has widened the ideological divide between the two main parties and given Labor plenty of ammunition.

Let’s come together to build the brighter future our country deservesAnneliese Dodds, leader of the Labor Party

Sir Keir is expected to link conservative choices to falling living standards and articulate a compelling vision to improve them.

Labor’s call for a higher windfall tax on the profits of energy and oil giants to fund energy bill freezes – which Ms Truss is borrowing to pay for – will be a key element of the argument.

Sir Keir will attempt to present himself as the future prime minister in his speech on Tuesday, with his confidence boosted by a comfortable lead in the polls.

But there are concerns that despite the turmoil in Boris Johnson’s government, the rift is not widening and voters are still unsure of the direction his successor is headed.

Hopes that Sir Keir can lead the party to victory in the next general election will still be higher than at last year’s conference, which was seen as a defining moment for him.

This year’s event – only his second in-person conference since taking office – is expected to feature fewer internal divisions due to an exodus of left-wing members from the party.

Sources of tension, however, could include debates over electoral reform and Sir Keir’s ban on frontbenchers joining strikers at pickets, which cost Sam Tarry his role as shadow transport secretary in July.

Some dissent is also possible when delegates – for the first time in recent history – sing the national anthem at the start of Sunday’s gathering.


Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer (Danny Lawson/PA)

After Sir Keir paid tribute to the late Queen, Deputy Chair Angela Rayner will open the conference by promising to end the Tory’s “procurement racket” and instead reward companies that create local jobs, skills and regeneration.

She said: “Under the next Labor government there will be no hiding place for cronies and no corner for corruption. We will give Tory smugglers their marching orders, end handouts to tax havens and weed out failed vendors.”

The TUC welcomed the plans, which include mass insourcing of public procurement.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These proposals are badly needed. Outsourcing was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and led to a race to the bottom in workers’ wages and conditions.”

Other announcements include a new Hillsborough law to prevent future injustices in state ownership.

Labor is also reviving its slogan ‘Hard crime, hard on the causes of crime’ and announces plans to prevent child exploitation.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told Der Spiegel ahead of the conference: “We will ban the fostering of children for crime because the gangs should not be able to exploit children and teenagers and they may end up in a life of crime and exploitation draw. ”

Labor leader Anneliese Dodds called on her party to come together “to build the better future our country deserves”.

She said: “We meet at a difficult time for Britain. Families and businesses face rising costs, and the whole country is concerned about a winter of uncertainty.

“Twelve years of Tory governments have brought us slower growth, slower investment and slower productivity. The only things going up are inflation, interest rates and bankers’ bonuses.

“But Labor has a plan for a fairer, greener future that will secure our economy and spur growth, that will end the short-termism that has us teetering from crisis to crisis, that will provide energy security and lower bills. that seizes the opportunities of the future and brings something to the working people.”

The Conservatives Conference will take place in Birmingham from 2nd to 5th October. The Liberal Democrats called off theirs as they came in the period of mourning following the Queen’s death. Labour conference gives Starmer chance to stress dividing lines with Tories

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