Labour will be the party of “opportunity, family and security”, vows Starmer

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Keir Starmer will use his first conference speech since becoming leader to promise Britain that the party he leads will be one of “opportunity, family and security” as he asks voters to “take another look at Labour”.

Addressing Labour’s online event ‘Connected’ from Doncaster on Tuesday morning, the new Labour leader will set out his vision for how Britain can be the “best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in”.

Starmer, born to a nurse and a toolmaker, is expected to talk about his own personal background and the opportunities that have been afforded to him, before promoting the patriotic themes of his pitch to the country.

He will tell the online event replacing Labour’s annual conference: “My vision for Britain is simple: I want this to be the best country to grow up in and the best country to grow old in. A country in which we put family first.

“A country that embodies the values I hold dear. Decency, fairness, opportunity, compassion and security. Security for our nation, our families and all of our communities.”

Starmer will go on to say: “I can see in my mind’s eye the country I want us to be. Properly funded universal public services. World-class education which unleashes everyone’s potential.

“A huge investment in skills and a plan, working hand-in-hand with businesses and trade unions, to create high quality jobs.

“An economy that doesn’t force people to move hundreds of miles from family and friends just to find a decent job. One that truly works for all regions and nations of this United Kingdom, with opportunity and security in every part of the country and at every stage of our lives.

“A country committed to a greener, cleaner and fairer society. Where every policy is judged not just by how much it costs today but by what it does for the planet tomorrow.

“A country which would be an active force for good in the world, once again admired and respected leading the world – and leading by example – in tackling the climate emergency.”

Starmer will send a message to those who have switched to support the Conservative Party in recent elections, saying: “Trust takes time. It starts with being a credible opposition. With taking the job seriously.

“That’s what we will do. So, to those people in Doncaster and Deeside, in Glasgow and Grimsby, in Stoke and in Stevenage to those who have turned away from Labour, I say this: we hear you.”

In his direct appeal, he will add: “I ask you: take another look at Labour. We’re under new leadership. We love this country as you do.

“This is the country I grew up in and it’s the country I will grow old in. And I want it to be the country I know it can be. That, in the end, is why I do this. To change lives for the better.”

With an emphasis on education, the Labour leader will describe closing the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils as a “national mission” and a key part of the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

“I’m calling on the Prime Minister to make this his priority. Bring forward a national strategy to close the education gap,” he will say.

“Enforce it through an independent body, such as the Children’s Commissioner, and make sure no family loses out because of the exams fiasco or delays in getting children into school.”

During the speech now taking place from 9am, Starmer is also expected to respond to the latest rise in coronavirus cases. The Prime Minister will announce new restrictions to the public on Tuesday.

Following the warning of chief medical officer Chris Whitty that the UK is on course for up to 50,000 new daily cases by mid-October, all pubs bars, restaurants and other hospitality in England will be required to close by 10pm from Thursday.

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