The party leader pays emotional tribute to his parents, confronts hecklers and describes Boris Johnson as a “trickster” while he is the center of attention in a decisive speech
Sir Keir Starmer put crime, the military and the value of hard work at the center of his leadership as he sought to reach out to the voters Labor lost and firmly put the party at the center.
Sir Keir made his first personal conference speech since taking office, attempting to introduce himself to the public by paying tribute to his parents and drawing on his career as England’s top public prosecutor.
He was repeatedly interrupted by left-wing hecklers – although the disturbance was welcomed by his allies, who claimed it was evidence that Labor was now definitively out of the Jeremy Corbyn era.
The Brighton speech crowned a five-day conference where Sir Keir managed to change the rules of the party’s leadership competition to exclude the hard left from future competitions and attempted to counter claims that he did not have a strong political agenda by adding he made a number of new announcements.
Speaking to activists, he promised that if Labor were elected to power within a decade, it would isolate every home in Britain, expedite mental illness treatment with local centers, and force business leaders to think long-term by performing their duties under the Companies change the law.
Sir Keir insisted that his party be “patriots” to convince voters who left the party during the Jeremy Corbyn era that it has now finally changed.
He acknowledged that the Labor Party’s latest election manifesto “was not a serious government plan” and that many members of the public “believed we were unpatriotic or irresponsible or looked down on them”.
Sir Keir referred to his time as chief prosecutor as evidence that “the fight against crime will always be a work issue under my leadership”.
He added: “Work will strengthen legal protections for crime victims. We’re not going to get around the problem. We’ll fix it. “
He was introduced by Doreen Lawrence, who praised Sir Keir for prosecuting two of the men who killed their son Stephen in a racist attack.
The Labor leader also contrasted his career with that of Boris Johnson, mocking the Prime Minister for writing columns on bicycle helmets and traffic cones at a time when Sir Keir was head of the Crown Prosecutor’s office.
He told party members: “It is easy to take comfort that your opponents are bad people. But I don’t think Boris Johnson is a bad person. I think he’s a trivial man. I think he’s a showman who has nothing more to show. I think he’s a trickster who did his trick. “
The speech was hailed by Labor centrists and shadow cabinet members as the leaders’ best speech at the conference since the party’s last power.
Mr Corbyn’s allies, however, accused Sir Keir of deliberately dividing the party and deviating from the promises he had made to be elected chairman.
Conservative Party leader Oliver Dowden claimed Labor was “too busy fighting among themselves to come up with a plan for our country.”
Sir Keir plans to come up with additional guidelines over the next 18 months to prepare his party for the next general election, expected between spring 2023 and summer 2024.