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‘Never again’: Starmer to tell London party conference that Labour has changed

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (James Manning/PA)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (James Manning/PA)

Sir Keir Starmer will say that the work of “never again” never stops, as he uses a speech in London to emphasise how the party has changed under his leadership.

He is also set to offer a sober message to members that, under a Labour Government, “sound money” will have to come first.

Speaking at London Labour’s annual conference on Saturday, the party leader will say: “Our message at the next election must be we are different to the party Britain rejected in 2019.

“We must point to the changes we’ve made – must say, never again will Labour be a party of protest not public service.

“Never again will Labour fail to grasp that economic stability is the foundation of all our ambitions.

“Never again will Labour allow hate to spread unchallenged. We have changed our party and we’re ready to change Britain.”

In his speech, to around 600 people in central London, Sir Keir will say that a Labour Government would put “country first, party second”.

Discussing the need to tackle antisemitism and support Nato, he will say: “Let me be clear – this work never stops. Our commitment to fighting all forms hate and discrimination – never stops.

“‘Never again’ – never stops.

“It’s up to us – everyone here – to keep up the work of fighting antisemitism and changing our party. Because if we stop for one moment then we forgo the right to change our communities, our cities, our country. That’s what a party fit to serve the country means.

“And that’s why we had to show our support for Nato is non-negotiable.

“And show we want business to thrive and prosper, understanding the importance of sound money.

“Country first, party second.”

Keir Starmer visit to Princess Alexandra Hospital
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Deputy Leader Angela Rayner (Yui Mok/PA)

Labour remain ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in the polls after another difficult week for Downing Street that has seen the Government grapple with the row over Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs.

The Labour leader will reiterate his pledge to devolve more powers from Westminster, hitting out at the “moral bankruptcy” of the Conservatives.

“We have an economy that hoards potential and a politics that hoards power.

“No similar country puts so much decision-making in the hands of so few people.

“And it’s no coincidence this leaves us with more regional inequality than anywhere else in Europe.

“No accident it leads to the moral bankruptcy we see play out – every week – from the Tories in Westminster.”

The speech will also see Sir Keir promise to end “sticking plaster politics” for the NHS.

“We’ll tackle the capacity crisis with more doctors, more nurses, more health visitors, we’ll broker a fair pay agreement that will transform the pay and conditions for every carer in the country and we’ll reform the NHS, so it once again gives people the care and security they deserve.”

He will also warn that “sound money” must “come first” in government.

“The lesson of the last year is stark. Lose control of the economy, and its businesses and working people who pick up the bill.

“We can’t let that happen, even when it puts a brake on things – good Labour things – we might like to do in power.

“Sound money in our public finances comes first. But at the same time, we must be bold on reform, on reconstruction, on national renewal. That’s what the British people expect from a Labour government – and we will deliver.

“Because for all the challenges we face – I remain optimistic about our future. I believe in our country, I believe in our businesses, I believe in our people, I believe in our spirit.”