Starmer recalls moment he was ‘struck’ by plight of woman in Grimsby

Sir Keir Starmer has said he wants to ensure Britons are “thriving”, not just “surviving”, as he recounted the moment he was “struck” by the plight of a woman he met in Grimsby.

The Labour leader used his speech at the party’s annual conference to share an anecdote from a trip to the town a few months ago, where he heard a phrase that stuck with him – going “round and round” in his head.

Sir Keir said a woman told him, very simply, that she does not want to merely survive, but “live”.

“As I got back on the train, that phrase went round and round in my head,” he said.

He said it was his ambition to face that same woman again after five years with Labour in charge and know that she was “not just surviving” but “thriving”.

“I want to look her in the eyes after five years of a Labour government and I want to know that she, and millions of people like her, are not just surviving, they’re thriving,” he said.

“That’s the difference a Labour government (will) make. That’s the Britain we’re fighting for.”

Sir Keir said he hoped the first term of a Labour government would have “defeated the cost-of-living crisis” and lifted the “clouds of anxiety”, with people starting to notice “decline is not inevitable”.

He envisaged people beginning to see it is possible to “govern with integrity”, to “unite rather than divide” and to “respect other points of view”.

“Yes, some people will say ‘politicians are all the same’ – but not as many,” he predicted.