Speaking at the Labour Party’s annual conference on Tuesday, the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) main opposition party leader Keir Starmer promised a “decade of national renewal” if Labour wins the next general election.
In his keynote speech at the party conference in Liverpool, Starmer said he was optimistic he could steer Labour to victory at the elections, which are widely expected to take place next year.
Starmer, named after founder of the Labour Party Keir Hardie, made a speech supporters and commentators viewed as lighting the touch-paper for a year-long campaign in the run-up to the election.
In a message directed at the population beyond the conference hall, Starmer said he runs 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.”
He said a Labour government will deliver a decade of national renewal to fix the nation’s problems, telling delegates in a packed hall that politics in Britain currently feels broken.
Labour will fight the next general election on economic growth, Starmer said.
“An economy that works for the whole country will require an entirely new approach to politics, ending the Tory disease of ‘sticking plaster politics’ with a simple Labour philosophy that together we fix tomorrow’s challenges, today,” he told the conference.
He announced that a Labour government would build 1.5 million homes, and a network of new towns in high growth areas.
Delegates at the conference cheered Starmer, sensing the possibility that after 14 years on the opposition benches, Labour could replace the Conservative Party at 10 Downing Street.
The latest opinion poll puts Labour 16 points ahead of the Conservatives, with 43 points against 27 points.
Conservative leader Rishi Sunak has not given any clues as to the date of the next election, but most observers have suggested it will be in May or October of 2024.
Paul Anderson, senior lecturer in politics at Liverpool John Moores University, told Xinhua that Starmer’s speech will resonate with voters as it focused on the economy.
“This was Keir Starmer’s opportunity to not only show people why they should vote Labour, but also who he is as a person. What the party is offering will potentially resonate with supporters. There has been a lot of focus on the economy,” Anderson said.
“The Conservatives have lost their crown as the party of economic competence and economic management. Talking about investing in public services … is certainly something that will resonate with most voters,” he added. Enditem