Labour conference roundup: Tories accused of ‘defunding the police’

A bakers’ union cuts its ties – and a baby appears at the lectern

Quote of the day

Winning a general election. I didn’t come into politics to vote over and over again in parliament and lose and then tweet about it. I came into politics to go into government to change millions of lives for the better.

Keir Starmer, in an interview with the BBC, when asked what mattered to him most politically.

Tweet of the day

Spot Keir Starmer out campaigning for a £15 minimum wage for workers in fast food restaurants. He seems to have forgotten all about that now.

— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) September 28, 2021

Diane Abbott isn’t about to let Starmer off on the idea of a £15 minimum wage, and she has the photographs to help her.

Debate of the day

Perhaps less a debate than a policy statement of intent, in the conference hall speech by Nick Thomas-Symonds. The shadow home secretary spoke to an audience including the head of the Police Federation, and accused the Conservatives of “defunding the police”, borrowing the slogan used by some backers of Black Lives Matter, and calling the Tories “the party of crime and disorder”.

The day in a picture

Catherine Atkinson with her daughter, Elena
Catherine Atkinson with her daughter, Elena Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Delegate Catherine Atkinson addresses the conference while holding Elena, aged nine months – who is, happily, at the correct age to enjoy clapping herself.

Row of the day

The culmination of a row, but a row nonetheless: the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, which is small but has been affiliated to Labour for more than a century, is to cut its ties with the party. Sarah Woolley, its general secretary, said the decision was taken because of “how far the Labour party has travelled away from the aims and hopes of working-class organisations like ours”.

Wednesday’s highlights

A highlight, singular: Starmer’s speech, starting at midday, the last event in the main conference hall. It is billed as a chance both for the leader to set out a vision for what a Starmer prime ministership would look like, and to send home the delegates with a spring in their step after a somewhat mixed event so far. No pressure, then.


Peter Walker Political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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