Keir Starmer rolls up his sleeves as he bids to banish Corbyn's ghost & leads ovation for Israel at Labour conference | The Sun10/10/2023
SIR Keir Starmer this afternoon rolled up his sleeves as he tried to banish the Hamas-sympathising and communist-loving Jeremy Corbyn era to the dust bin of history.
In his big conference address, the glitter-covered opposition boss sought to break with his party's losing hard-left past and led a standing ovation for Israel.
At the beginning of his speech Sir Keir fought off a hard-left protestor who pushed his way onto the stage and glitter-bombed the Labour chief.
The scruffy activist was a member of People Demand Democracy, an organisation that wants to rip up Britain's traditional democratic structures and usher in proportional representation.
As the poorly dressed protestor was tackled by security, Sir Keir took off his blazer, rolled up his sleeves and said: "Protest or power, this is why we changed our party.
"If he thinks that bothers me, he doesn't know me."
On the third day of Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Sir Keir…
- Was glitter-bombed by a protestor right before his big speech began
- Led a standing ovation for Israel as the democratic state battles blood thirsty Hamas terrorists
- Promised to build a new generation of towns and put an end to the housing crisis blighting Britain
- Vowed never to return Labour to the dark days of Corbynism
And in scenes unthinkable just two years ago, the opposition chief hailed democratic Israel's right to defend herself against Hamas terrorists Corbyn once called “friends”.
Sir Keir said: "I utterly condemn the senseless murder of men, women and children – including British citizens – in cold blood by the terrorists of Hamas.
"This party believes in the two state solution. A Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.
"But this action by Hamas does nothing for Palestinians, and Israel must always have the right to defend her people.
"And conference, these events, the war in Ukraine, they show precisely the test of our era. The world is becoming a more volatile place."
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As Sir Keir slammed Hamas only around a quarter of the auditorium stood up to applause.
In a sign Labour still hasn't completely rid of the hard-left, many delegates chose to sit on their hands.
But the audience was united in applause when Sir Keir hailed huge efforts made by party chiefs to rid its ranks of antisemites.
During his address, Sir Keir confirmed plans to build a brand new generation of towns.
He warned any failure to build up the country would make home ownership a “luxury for the few, not the privilege of the many”.
He said: “What is broken can be repaired, what is ruined can be rebuilt.”
"Sometimes the old Labour ideas are right for new times.
"So where there are good jobs, where there is good infrastructure, where there is good land for affordable homes, then we will get shovels in the ground, cranes in the sky, and build the next generation of Labour new towns."
The Labour leader pledged his party will "protect our green spaces" and "fight for our environment".
But in a jab at NIMBY MPs, he added that where space is free and suitable, beautiful Georgian style towns will be built from the ground up.
"We created the national parks, created the green belt in the first place," Sir Keir said.
"I grew up in Surrey – but where there are clearly ridiculous uses of the green belt: disused car parks, dreary wasteland.
"It's not a green belt, it's a grey belt – sometimes within a city's boundary – and this cannot be justified as a reason to hold our future back.
"We will take this fight on.
"That's a Britain built to last."
Sir Keir promised to usher in a blitz of planning reforms to boost the building of buy and rent homes.
He pledged to introduce instant fast track approval systems for high density housing on urban brownfield sites.
And the Labour chief said he'd bring in a state-backed mortgage insurance scheme, with the state acting as a guarantor for prospective homeowners who struggle to save for deposits.
There will also be new rules to ensure first time buyers get first dibs on certain new developments.
Sir Keir admitted the fight ahead for his party won't be easy.
He said next year's general election showdown will be tougher than 1945, 1964 and 1997 combined.
“Our job in 97 was to rebuild a crumbling public realm," Sir Keir boomed.
"In 64 it was to modernise an economy left behind by the pace of technology.
"In 45 to build a new Britain out of the trauma of collective sacrifice.
"Then in 24 it will have to be all three.”
The Labour leader pleaded with voters to let him lead a “decade of national renewal”.
Taking a pot shot at the Corbyn-era, he insisted it is time for voters to see “a changed Labour Party, no longer in thrall to gesture politics, no longer a party of protest.
“Those days are done. We will never go back.”
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Instead, Sir Keir claimed Labour is now “a party of service . . . country first, party second.”
And in a broadside against 13 years of the Tories in power, the Labour chief promised “a Britain strong enough, stable enough, secure enough for you to invest your hope, your possibility, your future” — where “things will be better for your children”.
Commenting on the Labour leader's speech, Tory Chairman Greg Hands said: “Once again Sir Keir Starmer showed he would take the easy way out on Britain's long-term challenges.
“On two of the biggest issues facing our country, Labour has nothing to say. Just as Rachel Reeves failed to mention inflation once in her speech, Sir Keir failed to say anything about how he would tackle illegal immigration.
“Sir Keir just offers more of the same short-term political decision-making of the last 30 years that has failed Britain – all glitter, no substance.
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"Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives are working to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.
"And only Rishi Sunak will take the long-term decisions needed to build a brighter future.”
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