Sir Keir Starmer to hail Labour as party of ‘sound money’ in conference speech

Sir Keir Starmer makes preparations for his speech to delegates at the Labour conference on Tuesday - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Sir Keir Starmer makes preparations for his speech to delegates at the Labour conference on Tuesday - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer will on Tuesday depict Labour as the party of “sound money” as he lays out his Blairite vision for the future of the UK.

In his keynote speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool, Sir Keir will declare Labour the party of fiscal responsibility, in contrast to the Tories whom he will blame for the turmoil on the markets.

In a direct echo of Tony Blair, he will insist that Labour is once again the “political wing of the British people” – a phrase used in the election-winning manifesto of 1997.

He will tell delegates that, two years after the end of the Jeremy Corbyn years, Labour is back on the “centre ground” of British politics.

Sir Keir will unveil plans to turn the UK into a “growth superpower” by echoing New Labour’s creed of working in close partnership with business.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “It’s a statement of where we are. You saw on Sunday that clear demonstration of how the Labour Party has changed – not just in the way that the tribute to the Queen was embraced by conference, but also in the results of the debates around policy and motions.

“This is a Labour Party that has changed – it is back on the centre ground, and that is something that we want to signal. Ultimately, he wants to be the next Labour leader that takes the party from opposition into government, and Tony Blair was the last person to do that.”

The confident speech will come after a conference that saw Sir Keir dominating the party and the hard Left almost completely sidelined.

The spokesman said: “The Labour Party welcomes the opportunity to have a proper debate around the economy that we can now do with the unequivocally clear different strategies that Friday’s budget and the consequences have shown.

“We will go into the next election as the party of fiscal responsibility, with spending commitments anchored in how we are going to pay for them.”

In his speech, Sir Keir will say that Labour will “fight the Tories on economic growth” through ambitious, practical plans for jobs, skills and tackling the climate emergency.

The Labour leader will spell out his ambition to “turn the UK into a growth superpower”, through a Green Prosperity Plan to create one million new jobs as well as bringing down energy bills, raising living standards and ensuring that Britain shows global leadership in tackling the climate crisis.

He will commit to beginning this mission within the first 100 days of a Labour government, saying: “We will require a different way of working – the biggest partnership between government, business and communities this country has ever seen.”

The Labour leader will vow to get Britain “out of this endless cycle of crisis with a fresh start, a new set of priorities and a new way of governing”. He will say the country “cannot afford to miss out” on the opportunity to lead the world in renewable energy, electric vehicles and harnessing new hydrogen power.

He will attempt to draw a contrast between Labour’s plan for growth and the Tories’ mini-Budget, saying Labour now stands for “sound money”, and will recommit the party to an Office for Value for Money to make sure taxpayers’ money is spent in the national interest.

Sir Keir will contrast his party’s growth plan for working people with Tory tax cuts for the wealthiest, saying: “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.”

Concluding with how Labour will help Britain avoid another cost of living crisis, he will say: “We should never be left cowering in a brace position, worrying about how to get through a winter. It’s time for Britain to stand tall again.”