Ahead of the labour party’s annual conference which starts in Liverpool later today, the labour party leader has boldly declared that he has ‘picked’ the party up off the canvas.
Speaking to Sunday with Laura Kuennssberg, Sir Keir Starmer said, “Over the last two years, I have taken the labour party, picked it up off the canvas, put it back on its feet, changed the party, made it face the public. We had to do really tough unpopular things within the party to do that”.
Championing the party’s progress, which many may also attribute to the ensuing difficulties experienced by the Boris Johnson govenrment, Sir Keir said, “Something has happened in the Labour Party this year in that the hope of a Labour government has now turned into a belief in a Labour government. And that switch is worth its weight in gold”.
Sir Keir’s optimism about the future of the labour party highlights the change in British politics witnessed in the last 12 months. At last year’s labour party conference, Sir Keir’s own leadership was under significant criticism, and the Conservatives remained ahead in the polls. Labour is now leading the opinion polls by around 8%.
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Taking a combative approach to those in the labour movement who claim he should be showing more solidarity with union workers who are currently on strike, Sir Keir said, “My job as leader of the labour party is not the same job as the leader of a trade union. My job is to make sure that we get the labour party from opposition, where we can just say things but not do things, into power where we can do things”
Criticising the government’s recent so called mini budget, Sir Keir confirmed that the labour party would reverse the reduction in the top rate of income tax. However he confirmed that he supported the government’s decision to reverse the recent rise in National Insurance, and supported their plan to reduce the basic rate of income tax to 19p.
Sir Keir also laid out an ambition for all of the UKs’ electricity to come from carbon free sources by 2030, stating that a future Labour government would, “double onshore wind, triple solar, and quadruple offshore wind”.
Sir Keir will address the labour party conference on Tuesday at 2pm with his set piece speech. Angela Rayner will be his deputy today.
Amongst other events at this week’s Liverpool conference, former leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to address a fringe event on Tuesday evening. The conference will vote on motions regarding proportional representation, nationalization of the energy sector, and repeal of all laws that prohibit strike action.
A yet “unknown” international speaker is set to address the conference on Wednesday.