Labor Conference: Keir Starmer Repels Rowdy As He Gets Personal During Speech | Politics News
Sir Keir Starmer fended off rowdies in a massive speech in which he used his personal experiences to show his human side as he announced key climate change policy.
Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, introduced Mr. Keir ahead of his conference speech thanking the Labor leader for helping prosecute his murderers when he was a lawyer.
During the 90-minute speech, which was his first face-to-face speech since becoming chief, he spoke out against the government, referred to his parents throughout, and announced a plan to renovate millions of homes.
After five days of ups and downs in Brighton, including securing a new way to vote for a leader, he proposed Labor as the next party to rule the country.
But he’s also been heckled by those who are perhaps bigger fans of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, who criticized Sir Keir at fringe events this week.
However, he swept them aside saying, “Shout slogans or change lives, lecture? – to which he received the acclamations of the public.
Among those who heckled Sir Keir during his speech was former Big Brother candidate Carole Vincent from east London, who told Sky News she had no plans to interrupt the speech opening by the Labor leader, but she was prompted for him to deliver “a speech that is full of nothing really.”
“I saw it as a principled opposition to what he was saying, as he was not saying ‘we are going to give a minimum wage of £ 15’,” Ms Vincent added, noting that she suspected she might no longer be a Labor member after Wednesday.
Speaking after the party leader’s speech, a Labor spokesperson said “only a small number of people were heckling and it” did not strike [Sir Keir] out of his stride “.
“They did not distract from the message,” the spokesperson added.
Sir Keir said he did not come from a privileged background, that his father was a toolmaker in a factory and his mother was a nurse in the NHS and that she suffered from a rare arthritic condition for which he could ” hardly convey to you the emotion of seeing your mother in this state “.
For a leader who has often been accused of not showing his personality and no emotion, it appeared important for Sir Keir to connect emotionally with the Labor members, who listened to him intently.
During the over 7,000 word speech, he also spoke about being a lawyer and chief prosecutor and how that has helped his approach to politics.
John and Penny Clough, parents of murdered nurse Jane Clough, were in the front row of the audience and Sir Keir said they came to see him to get justice for her and how they changed the law – and how the crime “will always be a work problem”.
Sir Keir said Labor would speed up cases of rape and aggravated sexual assault and toughen sentences for rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers.
Acknowledging that he entered politics “late in his life”, the Labor leader said he was not a career politician and said he looked nothing like Boris Johnson, who he said waged war on traffic cones as he pursued the murderers of Stephen Lawrence.
He also said in 2010 he was helping put terrorists behind bars while Mr Johnson defended the right not to wear bicycle helmets.
“It’s easy to be reassured that your opponents are bad people, but I don’t think Boris Johnson is a bad man, I think he’s a trivial man,” he said.
“I think he’s a showman who has nothing more to show, I think he’s a trickster who has performed his only trick.”
During his speech, Sir Keir acknowledged Labor’s failure under Mr Corbyn to defeat the Tories, although he did not refer to the former party leader by name, and praised party activists who saved him from “erasure” in the crushing defeat of the 2019 election.
“I can see how we can remake this nation and this is what we can do when we win,” Sir Keir told the boardroom.
The question for many now will be whether Sir Keir’s speech can be translated into a better perception of his leadership.
He pledged Labor would “always properly fund the NHS” and shift the focus of health services from emergency care to prevention, including funding for mental health as much as physical health.
“Labor will ensure that the support will be available in less than a month,” he said.
This would include recruiting 8,500 additional mental health professionals and ensuring that each school has specialized support and that communities have mental health centers.
Another of the Labor leader’s key promises concerns education and Sir Keir referred to a famous Tony Blair slogan (“education, education, education”) saying: “Education is so important that I am tempted to do so. say three times ”.
He said Labor will launch the most ambitious school improvement plan, including ensuring children leave school with good qualifications and are ready to work.
Theater, drama and music will not be allowed to collapse, he said, mentioning that he took music lessons with Fatboy Slim at school.
On the economy, Sir Keir said the Labor Party would support small businesses and invest at least 3% of GDP in science and research and development.
He said the finances inherited from the Conservatives “will need serious repair,” but the approach to taxation will be governed by taxpayers who get the best bang for their buck.
Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet ministers announced a slew of new policies this week and he added to that by saying that climate change – which received great applause – would be solved by renovating 19 million homes over a decade to save families over £ 400 per year on energy bills, with an investment of £ 6 billion per year.
And he denounced Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, saying the SNP and the Tories “are exploiting the constitutional divide”.
After his speech, the Labor leader was joined by his wife, Victoria, on stage and they left the conference room to listen to Fatboy Slim’s song “Right here, right now” – plus a standing ovation.
As a child, the Labor leader had music lessons at school with the future DJ.
Members of Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet reacted positively to the Labor leader’s speech.
“I thought it was the best speech from a Labor leader, I think, in 10 years,” Labor’s fictitious health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News.
And Shadow Environmental Secretary Luke Pollard described Sir Keir Starmer’s speech as “a real turning point for the party.”
After his opening speech, Sir Keir was visiting party staff who had worked at the conference in Brighton to thank them for their efforts, a Labor spokesperson said.