Labor conference gives Starmer chance to highlight dividing lines with Tories

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Abour’s annual conference kicks off on Sunday in Liverpool and expectations are high that Sir Keir Starmer will draw the lines between his party and the new Tory government.

Supporters of the Labor leader hope he will use the four-day meeting to capitalize on the unpopularity of the economic measures taken by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng.

The government’s controversial program to lift caps on bankers’ bonuses, crack down on benefits and massive tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy have widened the ideological divide between the two main parties and gave Labor plenty of ammunition. .

Let’s come together to build the brighter future our country deserves

Sir Keir is expected to link conservative decisions to declining living standards and formulate a compelling vision to improve them.

Labor’s call for a heavier windfall tax on the profits of energy and oil giants to finance energy bill freezes – which Ms Truss pays by borrowing – will be a key part of the argument.

Sir Keir will try to profile himself as a future prime minister in his speech on Tuesday, bolstering his confidence by a comfortable lead in the polls.

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However, there are concerns that the gap is not widening, despite the turmoil of Boris Johnson’s administration and with voters still unsure about the direction his successor will take.

Hopes that Sir Keir can lead the party to victory in the next general election will still be higher than at last year’s conference, which was seen as a make-or-break moment for him.

This year’s event – only his second personal conference since he took the job – is expected to show less internal division due to an exodus of left-wing members from the party.

But sources of tension could be debates over electoral reform and Sir Keir’s ban on front benchers joining picket line pickers, which cost Sam Tarry his role as shadow transport minister in July.

Some dissent is also possible when delegates sing the national anthem – for the first time in recent history – at the start of the meeting on Sunday.

After Sir Keir pays tribute to the late Queen, Deputy Leader Angela Rayner will open the conference promising to end the Tory’s “purchasing racket” and instead reward companies that create local jobs, skills and regeneration .

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She said: “Under the next Labor government there will be no hiding place for cronies and no corner for corruption. We will give the Tory sleaze traders their marching orders, end the alms to tax havens and eliminate failed providers.”

The TUC welcomed the plans, including the massive insourcing of government contracts.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These proposals are desperately needed. Outsourcing is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money and has led to a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions.”

Other announcements include a new Hillsborough law to help prevent future injustices where there is state involvement.

Labor is also reviving its slogan “tough on crime, tough on causes of crime” as it announces plans to prevent child exploitation.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told the Mirror ahead of the conference: “We will ban taking care of children for crime because the gangs are not allowed to exploit children and teenagers, ultimately drawing them into a potential life of crime and exploitation. ”

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Labor Party chair Anneliese Dodds urged her party to come together “to build that brighter future our country deserves”.

She said: “We are meeting at a difficult time for Britain. Families and businesses face rising costs and the entire country is concerned about a winter of uncertainty.

“Twelve years of Tory governments have brought us lower growth, lower investment and lower productivity. The only things that go up are inflation, interest rates and banker’s bonuses.

But Labor has a plan for a fairer, greener future that will secure our economy and boost growth, end the short-termism that has sent us swinging from crisis to crisis, deliver energy security and lower the bills. lowers, that seizes the opportunities of the future and provides benefits for working people.”

The Conservative Conference will take place in Birmingham from October 2-5. The Liberal Democrats canceled theirs because it fell within the period of mourning after the Queen’s death.

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