Keir Starmer in his hotel room in Liverpool preparing for his speech to delegates at the Labour conference. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau via PA Wire/PA Images)
Keir Starmer will echo Tony Blair in his Labour conference speech by declaring that the party is now “back as the political wing of the British people”.
The phrase echoes a section of Labour’s 1997 general election manifesto, which said: “We are a broad-based movement for progress and justice. New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people as a whole.”
Starmer will use his keynote address to insist Labour is now “the party of the centre-ground” in British politics.
The Labour leader is under pressure to convince voters that he is ready to be prime minister.
He will say the party will “fight the Tories on economic growth” as he sets out plans to create one million new jobs, bring down energy bills, raise living standards and lead the world in tackling climate change.
Labour will usher in “a fresh start, a new set of priorities and a new way of governing” if they win the next election, Starmer will say.
He will also launch an outspoken attack on last week’s mini-budget, which saw Kwasi Kwarteng announce tax cuts for the rich, funded by an extra £70 billion of government debt.
That led to a dramatic fall in the value in the pound and a surge in the cost of government borrowing as the money markets gave it the thumbs-down.
Starmer will say: “What we’ve seen from the government in the past few days has no precedent. They’ve lost control of the British economy – and for what? For tax cuts for the richest one per cent in our society.”
By contrast, he will say Labour is now the party of “sound money” with fully costed plans to grow the economy.
A Labour source said: “We will go into the next election as the party of fiscal responsibility.
“What you can see is a Conservative Party that is clearly following an ideological agenda on the failed trickle-down ideology that hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work in the future.
“You will see Keir make very clear the type of country he wants Britain to be and the way that country would be different after the first term of a Labour government.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.