Keir Starmer promises to launch publicly-owned UK energy company as he hails ‘Labour moment’ – as it happened

Last modified: 06: 41 PM GMT+0

Latest updates: the Labour party leader used his conference speech to spell out his plan for the UK. This blog is now closed

A summary of today's developments

  • Sir Keir Starmer in his party conference speech in Liverpool said Labour would invest more in the NHS but the damage done by the Tories means “this time the rescue will be harder than ever”. He says Labour will also set a target to get home ownership up to 70%. (It is currently 65% in England.)

  • Starmer said Labour would set up Great British Energy – a new company – within the first year of government. It would take advantages of the opportunities for clean power and would be publicly owned. He said: “Many European, Asian, and American countries have public generating companies, like EDF in France and Vattenfall in Sweden, which partner with the private sector to increase capacity and build clean energy at scale.” The TUC and the CBI both welcomed the proposal.

  • Labour MP Rupa Huq has offered the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, “sincere and heartfelt apologies” for her “ill-judged” comments describing him as “superficially” black. Huq has had the Labour whip suspended. The MP said: “I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting. “My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.”

  • David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, called for the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, for his “crime of aggression”.

  • Sharon Graham, the Unite general secretary, said Keir Starmer’s speech today was “a start” but that he should be bolder.

  • Water bosses could go to jail if they deliberately mislead investigations into water pollution, Jim McMahon, the shadow environment secretary, told the conference. He mentioned the new penalties as he used his speech to say the next Labour government would “finally hold water bosses personally accountable” for their failures to stop sewage discharges.


Parly is reporting that Peter Bone is no longer deputy speaker of the House of Commons.

Peter Bone is no longer deputy leader of the House of Commons.

— PARLY (@PARLYapp) September 27, 2022

Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will be the special guest speaker on the final day of the Labour party conference.

She will use her address to the gathering in Liverpool to say the fate of her country and neighbouring Ukraine are connected in the fight against Vladimir Putin’s “Russian imperialism”.

Belarus, under authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, was used as a launch point for the invasion of its southern neighbour by Putin’s forces.

Tsikhanouskaya met the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, when she visited Westminster.


Labour has attracted a surge of interest from big business at its conference in Liverpool with the biggest attendance of companies since 2010, including a firm owned by a major Tory donor.

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves were among the senior politicians to speak at a packed reception of more than 600 business leaders, executives and international guests on Monday night.

Labour sources said there had been a significant increase in business interest in its conference as the party continues to perform well in the polls, with bookmakers putting Starmer odds-on to win the next election.

One of the companies to showcase its wares at the conference is Wrightbus, owned by Tory donor Jo Bamford, with the firm exhibiting a hydrogen bus at both Labour and Conservative events this year.

The shadow defence secretary, John Healey, said there would be “no change to Britain’s resolve to confront Russian aggression and support for Ukraine” under a Labour government.

To applause at the party’s conference in Liverpool, he added: “Those who call ‘stop the war’ more loudly than ‘win the war’ are playing into Putin’s hands.

“A ceasefire now cedes new territory to Russia, it risks Russia regrouping its forces, deepening their occupation, legitimising its regime of torture, rape and execution.

“We are not fighting, we don’t decide when it ends, only Ukraine can make this call and our duty will be to support Ukraine in the negotiations, just as we are now in the fighting.”


Asked if Rupa Huq should get the whip back after her apology, the Ed Miliband, shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, told Radio 4’s PM programme: “Well, that’s a matter for Keir Starmer, but look, let me just say these are appalling comments that Rupa Huq made.

“There is absolutely no place for these kind of comments in our politics and the party will have to decide what it does in terms of her future, but I mean these comments are reprehensible and awful.”

On Great British Energy, Miliband said “we’ve had an aversion in this country to a real industrial policy where the state plays its proper role”.

He added: “We’ve looked at the experience of countries around the world. The top 10 countries for renewable energy all have state energy companies.

“Why do they do that? Partly because they want to make the investments so they can get the jobs and the wealth, and we’re saying, well look if we’re going to not only get this green economy, but take advantage of the opportunities there are for good jobs and decent wages, we need to do this ourselves as well.”


A Labour delegate was booed in the party’s main conference hall in Liverpool after criticising the Ukrainian government and suggesting that supporting them in the war against Russia is “supporting imperialism”, the PA news agency reported.

Angelo Sanchez, from Leicester South Constituency Labour party, was speaking on a motion that called for the party to continue to provide support alongside Nato allies to Ukraine and “tackle” the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, among other things,

On the prospect of the motion being approved, Sanchez said: “It means that the future Labour government would be sending money to a government, the Ukrainian government, that is repressing the left in their own country, a government that is criminalising socialist parties and imprisoning Ukrainian activists.

“If you support this motion, motion 13 on Ukraine, you are not supporting the Ukrainian people, you are supporting only the United States, you are supporting neoliberalism, you are supporting imperialism.”

A number of people in the audience booed the speaker but a minority in the hall also clapped various parts of his speech.

The following speaker, Josh Dean, from Hertford and Stortford CLP, said: “So many across our movement have reaffirmed our unshakeable commitment to Nato, to our friends in Ukraine, and they have put us firmly on the side of the Ukrainian people.

“With due respect to the last delegate, that is where we must remain and never leave again.”


Anushka Anthana, deputy political editor for ITV News, with the latest on the investigation into Labour MP Rupa Huq’s remarks about Kwasi Kwarteng.

Labour source says this apology won’t mean the whip is returned to Rupa Huq. As I understand it it’s suspended pending an investigation 👇

— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) September 27, 2022

Trade negotiators would be required to deliver economic opportunities across the UK under a Labour government, according to the shadow international trade secretary.

Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “We can’t go on with a situation where only 1.4% of exporters are from the north-east and less than 5% from the east Midlands.

“So, I can pledge today the next Labour government will establish firm rules to ensure that trade negotiators have binding responsibilities to help deliver economic opportunities across all of the United Kingdom.

“For every new trade deal Labour negotiates, we will do everything possible to ensure that it will work for communities, livelihoods and businesses nationwide.”


Starmer 'needs to be bolder', says Unite general secretary

Sharon Graham, the Unite general secretary, said Keir Starmer’s speech today was “a start” but that he should be bolder. In a statement, she said:

The real crisis, for everyday families in Britain, is a crisis of wage cuts, frightening energy bills and now soaring rents and mortgages. So Keir Starmer’s promises for change in today’s speech are a start.

But Labour still needs to be bolder. It must offer a very clear, tangible response to the crisis that people can understand and get behind. Clear blue water has opened up in British politics between Labour and the Conservative government. It’s time to make that count.

As Labour’s Nye Bevan said as far back as 1953: ‘We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down’.

That is all from me for today.

My colleague Nadeem Badshah is taking over now.


Lammy calls for special tribunal to prosecute Putin for 'crime of aggression'

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, gave a speech to the Labour conference after Keir Starmer. He called for the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, for his “crime of aggression”. Lammy said:

No act of imperialism is ever the same.

But Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine this year was just the latest front in an age-old war between democracy and dictatorship. Freedom and subjugation. Empire and independence.

As Vladimir Putin continues to wage his barbaric war, let us send a message directly to him: we will create a special tribunal to prosecute you for your crime of aggression.

And whether it takes six months, three years or 10, Ukraine will win.

David Lammy addressing the Labour conference.
David Lammy addressing the Labour conference. Photograph: James McCauley/Rex/Shutterstock


Here is the full text of Keir Starmer’s speech.

Rupa Huq apologises to Kwarteng for calling him 'superficially' black

The Labour MP Rupa Huq has offered chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng “sincere and heartfelt apologies” for her “ill-judged” comments describing him as “superficially” black, PA Media reports.

UPDATE: Huq said:

I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting.

My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.

I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting. My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.

— Rupa Huq MP (@RupaHuq) September 27, 2022


Scottish nationalists have been responding to Keir Starmer’s move to categorically rule out a Labour election pact with the SNP.

The Labour leader had claimed Scotland’s success in the UK was “met with gritted teeth” and viewed as a “roadblock to independence” by the SNP.

“For them, Scotland’s success in the UK is met with gritted teeth, seen as a roadblock to independence, and so, they stand in the way. We can’t work with them. We won’t work with them. No deal under any circumstance,” he said.

Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, which covers the Outer Hebrides, tweeted this.

Labour's Brexiteer Starmer telling their voters in England they won't work with Scotland's MPs, the SNP!!

That folks is union in action!! #LabourConference2022 #politicslive

— Angus B MacNeil MP🇺🇦 (@AngusMacNeilSNP) September 27, 2022

And Ross Colquhoun, an SNP strategist, also took issue with Starmer’s claims that Scotland was an example of Labour winning again during local elections.

Starmer claiming that Scotland is an example of Labour winning again at the local elections - they lost nationally and only secured power in some places due to grubby backroom deals with the Tories.

— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) September 27, 2022


TUC and CBI welcome plan for state-owned Great British Energy company

The TUC and the CBI have both welcomed the proposal for a state-owned Great British Energy company.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said:

This is a big, bold move that will cut bills and secure our energy future.

This new national energy champion can provide high-quality jobs to every corner of the UK, and it’s about time the public shared in the profits of British energy.

And the CBI president, Brian McBride, said:

There is widespread recognition that the energy market needs significant reform and industry will want to get to grips with the detail of Labour’s proposals.

The UK is not short of renewable generators right now and investment is waiting in the wings, but where Great British Energy could add value is by channelling catalytic public investment to spur innovation and accelerating the delivery of renewable projects.


Keir Starmer taking the stage ahead of delivering his speech earlier.
Keir Starmer taking the stage to deliver his speech. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images


Our colleague Jessica Elgot has more on the plan for Great British Energy.

Some new detail on Great British Energy - the publicly owned energy firm announced in Keir Starmer's speech

- It is a generation company, not retail
- Labour is not nationalising any existing company, supplier or retail
- This is effectively a start-up to grow British renewables

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 27, 2022

Starmer's conference speech - verdict from Twitter commentariat

Here is a round-up of what journalists and commentators are saying about Keir Starmer’s speech on Twitter. The pundit reception is overwhelmingly positive.

Fromy my colleague Gaby Hinsliff

This speech is v Starmer; solid, not over-exciting (tho a publicly owned Great British Energy has legs) but it show he's done the work. He understands what has to be done & grinds reliably through it. There are worse prime ministerial qualities.

— gabyhinsliff (@gabyhinsliff) September 27, 2022

From the FT’s Sebastian Payne

Keir Starmer's #lab22 conference speech was solid, but crucially it was plausible. For the first time in a decade, it's easy to see both the Labour party and its leader in power. There's a palpable sense Starmer now believes (for the first time) he can and will be prime minister.

— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) September 27, 2022

From the Economist’s Matthew Holehouse

Keir Starmer steps into a very large, Boris Johnson-shaped hole in centre of British politics...

— Matthew Holehouse (@mattholehouse) September 27, 2022

Starmer has concluded that with Johnson's exit, his coalition of Labour Leave voters is for the plundering. "If you voted to take back control of your own life..."

— Matthew Holehouse (@mattholehouse) September 27, 2022

From my colleague Pippa Crerar

Snap analysis: Keir Starmer finished his speech with: "As in 1945, 1964, 1997, this is a Labour moment". For the first time in years, the party actually looks and sounds like a govt-in-waiting. There will be difficult times ahead, but he took a big step forwards today.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) September 27, 2022

From the Observer’s Michael Savage

Starmer's speech summary: Open goal, neatly tucked away.

— Michael Savage (@michaelsavage) September 27, 2022

From the New Statesman’s Andrew Marr

What did we learn,or have confirmed? That after a dozen years Labour is almost certainly heading back to power, writes @AndrewMarr9.

— The New Statesman (@NewStatesman) September 27, 2022

And here is an extract from Marr’s column.

All conference speeches have a certain windiness. But his was nailed on to the concrete experiences of everyday life: the raw sewage in rivers; the backlogs in courts and hospitals; burglaries going unpunished; the people told to drive themselves to hospital after a heart attack; the cold; the fear of bills.

It was the speech of someone who has properly listened to the worry pulsing through the country. After a tribute to the Queue following the Queen’s death – he didn’t forget that – Starmer spoke of “a Britain all at sea where a cloud of anxiety hangs over working people”. The speech relentlessly portrayed Labour as a party of reassurance, serious-minded common sense and patient duty – a rather Queen Elizabeth II Labour.

From Sky’s Beth Rigby

Lab & its' leader have changed a lot in a yr. KS, heckled by the left in '21 speech cheered to rafters even as he positions himself heir to Blair. KS's Lab the party of biz, of aspiration, of the centre ground. Starmer more confident than I've ever seen him. Hope turns to belief

— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) September 27, 2022

From the Sun’s Harry Cole

Better than last year's boreathon but a low bar.

V good on Ukraine and linking energy security to national security - not sure an energy company run by Ed Milband is the answer though.

Lifting Tories points based immigration is a plus.

But zero mention of our armed forces? 1

— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) September 27, 2022

Lively attacks on Trussanomics, but nothing to address the fact he will carry on with 80pc of Growth Plan's borrowing.

Pledge to scrap business rates is good - but what do you replace it with is the key issue?

Not sure quoting Meghan on thriving not just surviving was wise. 2

— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) September 27, 2022

But warm reaction v telling. Last year conference was stepping stone to getting rid of the loonies. Clearly massive progress has been made on that front.

Stylistically Starmer still grates a bit, but presentation now a level playing field with the new PM replacing Johnson.

— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) September 27, 2022

From my colleague Owen Jones (who recently has been a fierce critic of Starmer)

This speech from Keir Starmer is... fine, if I'm honest?

It has basic class politics in it - pitching Labour on the side of working people rather than the rich; opposing trickle-down economics; good announcements on a sovereign wealth fund and a publicly owned energy company.

— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) September 27, 2022

From the New Statesman’s Jeremy Cliffe (who for about five minutes was leader of Radicals UK, a party launched late one night on Twitter)

The ultimate goal of @RadicalsUK was a credible, forward-looking Labour Party free of Corbyn’s disgusting anti-Semitism. We didn’t deliver that. But Starmer did.

— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) September 27, 2022

From the Spectator’s Isabel Hardman

Starmer’s big announcement to show how Labour will help Britain win again was a practical one

— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) September 27, 2022

And here is an extract from her column.

The conference hall loved his speech, giving him 14 full standing ovations. Great British Energy got the biggest one. But so did promises on not working with the SNP, on supporting Ukraine and on rooting out antisemitism. Some of the statements felt like an opportunity to show how much Labour has changed: look, they’ll applaud this now, rather than heckle.

But it wasn’t a crowd-pleasing speech in the sense that it promised impossible stuff. Far from it: at one point he had a rather flat-sounding line that ‘I would love to stand here and say Labour will fix everything. But the damage they’ve done – to our finances and our public services means this time the rescue will be harder than ever.’ Public services wouldn’t just need more investment but also reform. Starmer has often been criticised for being too cautious; here, he was trying to justify that as honesty about what was possible.

From the New Statesman’s George Eaton

This is by some distance the best speech Starmer has given as Labour leader – social democratic rhetoric matched by social democratic policy.

— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) September 27, 2022

From the Observer’s Sonia Sodha

Overriding thought having listened to Starmer’s speech: didn’t need to be almost an hour

— Sonia Sodha (@soniasodha) September 27, 2022

From Lewis Goodall from the News Agents podcast

Anyone who says Starmer is channeling reheated Blairism isn’t listening. He’s far more comfortable with a statist turn. Just announced establishing a state owned “Great British Energy” to operate within energy market.

— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) September 27, 2022

From Anja Popp from Channel 4 News

Keir Starmer speech clearly aimed at luring those red wall voters who switched to Cons 'the Tory party gave up any claim it had to be party of aspiration'. Talks about his working class background repeatedly, economic responsibility, Brexit failures and is unashamedly patriotic.

— Anja Popp (@Anja_Popp) September 27, 2022

From the broadcaster Michael Crick

One of best conference leadership speeches I’ve heard. Brilliantly written; superbly delivered. Lots of memorable lines.

— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) September 27, 2022

From the Mail on Sunday’s Dan Hodges

Bit of a feel of Keir Starmer reading out Ed Milliband’s words in that speech. Doesn’t matter. All very safe. Which is all he needs to do at the moment.

— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) September 27, 2022

From my colleague Peter Walker

And that’s it! Fifty minutes - much shorter than last year’s 90 - and I counted 13 standing ovations. The final peroration was a bit middling, and the speech seemed to almost end a touch unexpectedly, but team Starmer will be satisfied. Job done.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) September 27, 2022


Labour’s Lisa Nandy has said she is attracted to the idea that local leaders should be able to make decisions to freeze rent increases and has asked those on her shadow levelling up team to see if a “workable proposal” can be put together.

The shadow levelling up secretary made the comments at a fringe event at the Labour conference, where she also expressed concern about people in the rental sector where “evictions are much easier, and eviction rates are much higher”.

Earlier this month in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced a rent freeze for public and private properties and a ban on winter evictions, in a package of measures “deliberately focused” on the cost of living crisis.

Describing pressures on household budgets as a “humanitarian emergency”, Scotland’s first minister set out the annual programme for government as the Holyrood parliament met for the first time after the summer recess.

In London, Sadiq Khan has called on ministers to grant him powers to freeze private rents in London.


The proposal to set up a Great British Energy company has been welcomed by the thinktank Common Wealth, which published a report at the weekend saying that having a state-owned company producing green energy would “help create a clean energy system faster, fairer and more affordably than leaving development of renewable generation purely to the foreign state-owned entities, private equity actors, and multinationals that currently dominate the renewable sector, while ensuring the public directly benefits from the UK’s common resources”.

Common Wealth has also released polling showing that 72% of voters – including 72% of Conservative supporters – support the idea of having a government-owned company producing green energy.


Labour suspends whip from Rupa Huq over Kwarteng comments

Rupa Huq has had the Labour whip suspended after she described the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, as “superficially” black during a fringe meeting at Labour’s conference.

The move by Labour’s leadership came after Jake Berry, the chair of the Conservative party, wrote to Keir Starmer to express concerns about Huq’s comments.

In audio published online, Huq can be heard discussing Kwarteng’s elite school background, before adding that “you wouldn’t know he is black” when listening to him on the radio.

The comments from the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, in west London, appeared to have been made at an event at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Monday.

In the audio, Huq could be heard saying: “Superficially he is a black man.”

She added: “He went to Eton, I think, he went to a very expensive prep school, all the way through, the top schools in the country. If you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he is black.”

Berry said in his letter to the Labour leader: “I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip will be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence.”


Labour's proposed state-owned Great British Energy could be like EDF in France, says party

The Labour party has released some more details about the plan in Keir Starmer’s speech to set up a state-owned Great British Energy company. In a news release Labour says:

The role of GB Energy will be to provide additional capacity, alongside the rapidly expanding private sector, to establish the UK as a clean energy superpower and guarantee long-term energy security.

A publicly-owned company is the best way to ensure that the British people can derive the benefits from the power that we create on our own shores – delivering cheaper bills, good local jobs, and bringing money back into the public purse. This will enable strategic partnership between the private sector and government to deliver its plan for clean power.

Many European, Asian, and American countries have public generating companies, like EDF in France and Vattenfall in Sweden, which partner with the private sector to increase capacity and build clean energy at scale.

A lack of domestic champions has often compromised the UK’s sovereign capability. It is clear that the Conservative government’s preference for foreign investors stalled our nuclear programme in the 2010s – even to the point that national security was compromised through Chinese encroachment into the UK’s nuclear capacity.


Starmer's conference speech - snap verdict

Occasionally a party conference speech gets remembered and quoted for years, but more often they are largely forgotten soon after conference season and this speech was in the latter category – a standard conference speech, rather than a belter. It was calm, rather than excitable; sensible, rather than audacious; realistic more than inspirational. But after three years of Boris Johnson, and with Liz Truss as PM, there is a lot to be said for calm, sensible and realistic. It was a successful speech for Starmer, in that it did the job.

There was policy in it, but the key takeway from the speech – and the feature for which it will be remembered – is what it said about Labour being back in the centre ground of British politics. Starmer said:

Conference, on climate change, growth, aspiration, levelling-up, Brexit, economic responsibility we are the party of the centre ground.

Once again, the political wing of the British people and we can achieve great things.

Last year, in his conference speech, Starmer was doing battle with leftwingers in his party – almost literally, because they were heckling him loudly. Today he performed a victory lap after marginalising the Corbynite left. One feature of this was the willingness to quote Tony Blair directly. Another was the explicit messaging about being pro-Nato and pro-business, and about putting country before party. The delegates seemed to lap this up, and there was particularly loud applause when he spoke about how he had to “to rip antisemitism out [of the party] by its roots”. That sounded like a reference to Jeremy Corbyn no longer being allowed to stand as a Labour candidate, and it was significant he could say this without anyone in the hall objecting.

But it was not all undiluted Blairism. Starmer included a direct appeal to leave voters in which he went further than he has gone before in adopting what he described as the aims of those voting leave in 2016, and committing to implement them. (See 2.53pm.) This was not a message for the Brexit-hating remainer wing of Labour.

On policy, the big announcement was the creation of a new state energy company. (See 2.39am.) This meets the Labour demand for nationalised energy, without committing the party to the extremely costly option of buying back energy companies sold off by the Tories. Without having seen the detail, it is hard to know how significant this might be. The home ownership goal firms up Labour’s claim to be the party of aspiration, and his comments about a prevention-first approach to public services implies that – at least behind the scenes – some creative thinking about policy might be happening.

Starmer did not say anything about electoral reform, which the party conference voted for yesterday and which he opposes. But he made a clever concession to leftish Labour thinking when he framed support for Ukraine in terms of opposition to imperialism.

Some of the anti-Tory material was particularly well crafted, with the jibe about Kwasi Kwarteng being the best of the lot. (See 2.42pm.)

Overall, it was solid, confident speech from someone whose authority as leader has never been higher, and whose party expects to win the next election. Like Tony Blair – but without the ego and the evangelism.

But one other aspect of Blairism was missing too. Blair, in his capacity as a “warrior against complacency”, was forever telling his party before 1997 not to take victory for granted. Starmer did not really do that today, but perhaps he should have done. A Labour election win seems closer than it has been for at least a decade, but it is not a certainty.

Keir Starmer delivering his conference speech.
Keir Starmer delivering his conference speech. Photograph: Gary Roberts Photography/Rex/Shutterstock


Starmer concludes speech saying 'this is a Labour moment' – like 1945, 1964 and 1997

Quoting Tony Blair, Starmer says Labour is once again the political wing of the British people.

They are the party of the centre ground again, he says.

This is a Labour moment, he says – as in 1945, and 1964 and 1997.

We can do it, he says. “Thank you, conference.”

That’s it. The speech is over.


Starmer turns to the SNP. They will not deliver change, because they are not interested in the UK succeeding, he says.

He says Labour will not do a deal with them.

Starmer tells leave voters he will deliver greater control and higher wages they voted for

Starmer says the government has not made Brexit work.

He voted remain, he says – like Liz Truss. But people voted leave because they wanted more control.

They did not vote leave because they wanted to see services and standards cuts.

Addressing people who voted leave directly, he tells them they have been let down.

UPDATE: Starmer said:

So I want to speak directly to the people who left Labour on this issue. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, you’ve been let down.

And with Liz Truss, the Tories are changing the meaning of Brexit before your eyes.

If you voted for government to step in on your side for better work, higher wages, more opportunities in your community, for an NHS that is modern and reliable.

If you voted to take control of your life and for the next generation to have control of theirs, then I say to you: that is what I will deliver.

I will make work pay for the people who create this country’s wealth. I will make sure we buy, make and sell more in Britain. I will revitalise public services and control immigration using a points-based system. I will spread power and opportunity to all our communities. And I will never be shy to use the power of government to help working people succeed.


Starmer says Labour would adopt more prevention-first approach in public services

Starmer says Labour would invest more in the NHS.

But he says he cannot say Labour will fix everything. The damage done by the Tories means “this time the rescue will be harder than ever”.

There has to be reform, he says.

And technology has to be used.

And services need to be built around users.

And there must be a shift towards a prevention-first policy.

He says he saw that as DPP. Every time he read a serious case review, the story was the same – a life that could have gone differently if change had been made earlier.

(Starmer is fleshing out the intriguing point about childhood trauma that Steve Reed made in his speech this morning. See 11.03am.)


Starmer says Labour would set goal of getting home ownership up to 70%

Starmer says home ownership has been rising for most of his life. He saw what it meant himself. Their pebbledash home meant everything to his family.

But home ownership has stalled, he says.

He says Labour will set a target to get home ownership up to 70%. (It is currently 65% in England.)

We will set a new target - 70% home ownership - and we will meet it with a new set of political choices, a Labour set of political choices.

No more buy-to-let landlords or second homeowners getting in first. We will back working people’s aspiration, help first-time buyers onto the ladder with a new mortgage guarantee scheme, reform planning so speculators can’t stop communities getting shovels in the ground.


Starmer says the economic foundations of the UK are weak.

The Tories have accepted that.

They are the ones not prepared to graft. They are the ones not prepared to do the hard yards on growth.

Starmer says the future wealth is in our air, our seas, our skies.

Government should harness that wealth and share it with everyone.

The Tories record has been appalling, he says. He says even Kwasi Kwarteng says there has been a “vicious cycle of stagnation”.

As a former prosecutor, he is always pleased when “someone caught bang to rights pleads guilty at the first opportunity”. He goes on:

[The Tories] say they do not believe in redistribution. But they do – from the poor to the rich.

He quotes from the recording, revealed by the Guardian, of Liz Truss complaining about British workers not having enough graft.

He says if the Tories want to fight on that issue, Labour will take them on and win.


Starmer says Labour would create new state energy company, Great British Energy

Starmer talks about visiting an insulation scheme in Kirklees. Energy bills were next to nothing. And tenants were delighted. Why not? Their energy bills had been cut by £1,000.

That is what levelling up should look like, he says.

And he says Labour would not make the mistake the Tories made in the 1980s, when they wasted the wealth from North Sea oil.

That is why Labour is proposing a wealth fund.

He says Labour would set up Great British Energy – a new company – within the first year of a Labour government.

It would take advantages of the opportunities for clean power.

And it will be publicly owned, he says.

That gets a sustained round of applause.

UPDATE: Starmer said:

We won’t make the mistake the Tories made with North Sea oil and gas back in the 1980s where they frittered away the wealth from our national resources.

Just look at what’s happening at the moment. The largest onshore wind farm in Wales. Who owns it? Sweden. Energy bills in Swansea are paying for schools and hospitals in Stockholm. The Chinese Communist party has a stake in our nuclear industry. And five million people in Britain pay their bills to an energy company owned by France.

So we will set up Great British Energy within the first year of a Labour government. A new company that takes advantage of the opportunities in clean British power and because it’s right for jobs, because it’s right for growth, because it’s right for energy independence from tyrants like Putin.

Yes Conference, Great British Energy will be publicly owned.

None of this will be easy – it won’t be like flicking a switch. It will mean tough battles on issues like planning and regulation. But when the Tories nay-say and carp, remember this: the road to net-zero is no longer one of stern, austere, self-denial. It’s at the heart of modern, 21st century aspiration.

Keir Starmer addressing the Labour conference.
Keir Starmer addressing the Labour conference. Photograph: James McCauley/REX/Shutterstock


Starmer says it is time to write a new chapter of Labour history, “about how we build a fairer, greener, more dynamic Britain by tackling the climate emergency head on, and using it to create the jobs, the industries and the opportunities of the future.”

Some nation will lead the world in offshore wind. “Why not us?”

Some nation will lead the world in electric vehicles. “Why not us?”

Starmer says that is why he is so pleased to be announcing the green prosperity plan. Labour would ensure all electricity is produced by green energy by 2030.

He summarises the headline components of the plan announced at the weekend.


Starmer is now changing tone. Missions do not achieve themselves, he says. You need to make tough choices.

He says Labour will set up an Office for Value for Money, ensuring money is spent well. And that means that the government will not be able to spend money on things a Labour party would like to do as quickly as they would want.

He says they will only borrow when it is in the long-term national interest, when not borrowing would be more costly in the long run than borrowing.


Starmer says he was struck by a comment from a woman he met on a visit recently. She said: “I don’t just want to survive, I want to live.”

He wants to ensure people like that can thrive. “That is the Britain we’re fighting for.”

Starmer asks delegates to imagine what might change after one term of Labour government.

The cost of living crisis would be defeated. Public services would be back, the economy stable, the NHS in good shape again, he says.

He says Labour is fairer and greener. And because it is fairer and greener, entreprenurial spirit is unleashed.

And Labour would also show “it is possible to govern with integrity”, to unite rather than divide, to govern for the long term.

Labour to put country first, party second - Starmer

Starmer says in the mini-budget on Friday the Tories gave up any claim to be the party of aspiration.

He says he is impatient for change.

As DPP, he overhauled the way victims of sexual violence were treated.

When he became Labour leader, he knew he had a big challenge – changing the party and preparing for government all in one go.

That is why he had to “rip out antisemitism by its roots”.

This gets a prolonged bout of applause.

Labour had to show its support for Nato was non-negotiable, and show its support for business. “Country first, party second.”

He did not do this alone; the party did it together, he says.

And Labour has now shown it can win anywhere.


Starmer says Labour will stand by Ukraine because it will 'never allow imperialism to succeed'

Starmer says he knows that Urkaine is the immediate cause of the crisis. And Labour will stand by Ukraine. It will “never allow imperialism to succeed”.

Starmer says the country united to defeat Covid – only to see the government break the rules they respect.

And now, in the biggest crisis for a century, it turns out that there is money for the richest 1%.

Starmer says it is time for Britain to stand tall again.

He grew up in a pebbledash semi, he says. His dad was a tool maker. It was the 1970s, he says. He recalls rising prices, and having the phone cut off.

There is something else he remembers about being working class in the 1970s – hope.

His parents never doubted things would get better. And they were right. They “worked their socks off” and gave him opportunity. That drives him to make sure no one in this country is held back by their circumstances.

Starmer says this is a British value – work hard, and you will get a fair chance for your family.

But is that true now?

Starmer says, when he speaks to people, they tell him they are working harder and harder, but are standing still.

The Tories talk about aspiration. But they have “choked it off for working people”.


Starmer says the Tories are not on the side of the NHS either.

He is really worried about increased deaths this winter, he says.

He says he told doctors in his local hospital that the NHS was on its knees. No, they said, it is face down on the floor.


Starmer says that when Liz Truss was arguing against handouts, Labour provided clarity on bills. It said people should not have to pay a penny more.

But the question is: who pays?

The head of BP has said the crisis is a cash machine for his company. So what should be done with those profits? They should be put to work for people.


Starmer says the best way to pay tribute to the Queen is to “turn our collar up and face the storm”.

The Tories used to lecture Labour on failing to fix the roof while the sun was shining. They have been different, he says.

They haven’t just failed to fix the roof. They ripped out the foundations, smashed through the windows and now they blow the doors off for good measure.

Starmer says Tories have 'crashed the pound' for the sake of tax cuts for richest 1%

Starmer says we have seen two sides of Britain in recent weeks.

After the death of the Queen, the country came together to pay its respects.

The country needs new leadership.

What we have seen in recent days has no precedent, he says. “The government has crashed the pound.” And they did all this not for you, not for working people, but for tax cuts for the richest 1% in society.


Starmer says one of his first acts as PM will be to put the Hillsborough law on the statute book. Labour will ensure Liverpool gets the justice it deserves, he says.

Keir Starmer starts by saying it is great to be in Liverpool.

After all the work they put in, they are finally seeing results. “Arsenal are top of the league.” (He is a fan.)

Labour has changed, Kaur says.

The party has stopped talking to itself and is talking to the country.

She urges people watching to join Labour if they have not done so already. And if they are already members, and active, “get more active”.

Kaur says Starmer knew what Labour had to do to win. And he knows that Britain needs to do to win again, she says.


Kaur says Labour is now showing it is ready to govern in every corner of the country.

She was an inner-city kid brought up on free school meals. She never expected to be here, she says, introducing the next PM.

She would not be here if it had not been for the last Labour government.

That government gave me and my family opportunities to turn our aspirations into reality.


Satvir Kaur, the new Labour leader of Southampton council, is introducing Keir Starmer.

She says, when Labour lost in Southampton, the local party fought to take Labour back into power. It did not settle for opposition.

Labour “can give this country its future back”, she says.

Ahead of the Labour leader’s speech, striking Liverpool dockers are marching towards the conference centre to demand support from the Labour Party.

The workers have been joined by activists from the Labour campaign group, Momentum. The former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, joined them earlier

The fight of the Liverpool dockers is the fight of all of us.

Great to join the @unitetheunion picket line and show my support and solidarity.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 27, 2022


Jake Berry, the chairman of the Conservative party, has written a letter to Keir Starmer to express concerns about comments that the Labour MP Rupa Huq is reported to have made at a Labour conference fringe event.

Referring to the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, Huq is reported to have said: “Superficially, he is a black man,” and “if you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he’s black.”

Berry, who tweeted the letter he had written to Starmer, said: “I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip will be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence.”

Asked about Huq’s comments, Labour have sources have said they were “totally inappropriate”.

The comments from the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, in west London, appear to have been made at a fringe event on Monday.

An audio recording was published by the Guido Fawkes website shortly before Starmer’s conference speech.


One of Liz Truss’s favourite rightwing thinktanks has criticised the government for considering ditching a much vaunted new funding structure for farmers, calling the existing subsidy system “a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to landowners”.

Truss has announced plans to review the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), where farmers would be paid for environmental protection, in order to potentially go back to largely area-based payments. The plans were criticised as being “deeply economically inefficient” and encouragement for “laziness” by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).


Starmer to use conference speech to say Labour would turn UK into 'growth superpower' with green prosperity plan

Keir Starmer is due to address the Labour conference from 2pm. It will only be his second in-person speech to a conference as leader, and last year he was heckled repeatedly by leftwingers in the hall. No one has expecting that this time; the left has become marginalised in the party, and with Labour’s lead in the polls soaring (see 7.35am), his authority as leader has never been stronger.

As my colleague Pippa Crerar reports in her preview, Starmer will attempt to take on the mantle of Tony Blair on Tuesday by describing Labour as the “political wing of the British people” as he accuses the Tories of losing control of the economy and ceding the political centre.

According to the Labour party preview of the speech, Starmer will say Labour will use its green prosperity plan to “turn the UK into a growth superpower”. Labour says:

The Labour leader will spell out his ambition to “turn the UK into a growth superpower” through Labour’s green prosperity plan. The plan will create 1m new jobs in towns and cities in every corner of the country, as well as bringing down energy bills, raising living standards and ensuring Britain shows global leadership in tackling the climate crisis. Starmer will commit to kicking off this mission within the first 100 days of his Labour government.

To achieve this, he will say, “will require a different way of working – the biggest partnership between government, business and communities this country has ever seen.” But in order to fulfil Britain’s potential, Starmer will say we must end the short-termist approach that has dogged the country for a decade and seize the opportunities ahead of us. He will declare that Labour will get Britain “out of this endless cycle of crisis with a fresh start, a new set of priorities and a new way of governing.”

According to Politico’s London Playbook, the speech is also expected to include a major energy-related announcement. In what might be a hint as to what it involves, Starmer visited the clean energy centre at Liverpool University yesterday.

Keir Starmer touring the clean energy centre at Liverpool University yesterday.
Keir Starmer touring the clean energy centre at Liverpool University yesterday. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


Water bosses who deliberately mislead pollution inquiries could face jail under Labour plans, Jim McMahon says

Water bosses could go to jail if they deliberately mislead investigations into water pollution, Jim McMahon, the shadow environment secretary, told the conference.

He mentioned the new penalties as he used his speech to say the next Labour government would “finally hold water bosses personally accountable” for their failures to stop sewage discharges.

McMahon said there had been more than a million sewage spills over the last six years, “one every two and a half minutes”, and that Conservative MPs were culpable because they had voted against an amendment to legislation that might have stopped this.

Labour would set a legally binding target to end 90% of sewage discharges by 2030, he said. He went on:

Let me be clear. There’ll be no hiding the problem. We will demand mandatory monitors on all sewage outlets. And we’ll introduce automatic fines for every single sewage discharge. We’re not going to wait for an expensive and lengthy investigation to take place. We’re going to hit them in the pockets on day one.

And we know that not all outlets have a monitoring station in place. And that’s fine for now – although they will be made to do it.

But we’ll make sure, where there isn’t one in place, there will be a standing charge on those outlets and we will introduce automatic standing charges so they get charged because of that failure.

Labour will go further than that. We will give the regulators the powers they need to enforce the rules and the laws that we set …

Let me be clear. We will make sure that any failure to improve the system will be paid for by eroding dividends. That will give directors and investors the wake-up call they need and I hope the clarity that they need too.

And, after a decade of of indifference, we will do what Tories so far have failed to do. Labour will finally hold water bosses personally accountable for their failures.

A Labour government will strike off company directors who fail. And, yes conference, we will introduce for the most serious offences, including deliberately misleading investigations, prison sentences for those offences.

The reference to prison sentences was in the speech McMahon delivered to the hall, but not in the text released to the media.

Jim McMahon addressing the conference.
Jim McMahon addressing the conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


The Labour conference is now listening to an address from a surprise speaker, Feargal Sharkey. He says his father would have been very proud to see him on the platform, because his father was chairman of the Labour party in Derry in the 1960s. He says he learned his politics during the civil rights era in Northern Ireland.

But he focuses his speech on the water industry. Sharkey has become a passionate campaigner for cleaner rivers, and he says that “as a direct result of the water industry’s profiteering, there is not a single river in England that achieves good overall environmental health”.

Feargal Sharkey (right) speaking to the shadow environment secretary, Jim McMahon, at the Labour conference.
Feargal Sharkey (right) speaking to the shadow environment secretary, Jim McMahon, at the Labour conference.
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


Savanta ComRes has released some polling this morning suggesting that 48% of voters think Labour has responded well to the cost of living crisis. Just 28% think the same about the Conservatives. This is broadly similar to the results from YouGov polling on the same topic released yesterday.

The Savanta ComRes poll also suggests that Keir Starmer, on 37%, is narrowly ahead of Liz Truss, on 35%, on who would be the best prime minister.

But the poll also suggests that only 35% of people says Labour has produced clear policy ideas; 46% of people say the party has not produced clear policy ideas (including 29% of people who voted Labour in 2019).

Police sniffer dogs checking the Labour party conference venue in Liverpool this morning.
Police sniffer dogs checking the Labour party conference venue in Liverpool this morning. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell tells BBC not to risk its independence by 'dancing to the Tories' tune'

In her speech to the conference, Lucy Powell, the shadow culture secretary, said a Labour government would keep Channel 4 in public hands and “secure the future of the BBC as a universal, publicly owned broadcaster”. But she also suggested that the BBC’s news coverage was too favourable to the Conservatives. She said:

We will protect [the BBC] from party political interference.

But I say this to BBC executives: public trust is at its strongest when the BBC is truly independent.

Don’t put that at risk by dancing to the Tories’ tune.

Many in the Labour party believe that BBC news coverage is too pro-Tory, and at the last general election Labour submitted a formal complaint to the BBC about its election coverage. But BBC executives take consolation from the fact that Conservatives also complain frequently about the broadcaster being biased against them.

Lucy Powell addressing the Labour conference
Lucy Powell addressing the Labour conference. Photograph: Michael Bowles/Rex/Shutterstock


Labour would create a new cross-border unit to crack down on criminal gangs and pay for it “by cancelling the deeply damaging, extortionately expensive, unworkable and unethical Rwanda plan,” the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has told her party’s conference, to applause.

A raft of policies for government – including outlawing the exploitation of children for crime and putting domestic abuse experts into 999 control rooms – were laid out by Cooper at the end of a speech that earned a standing ovation.

Earlier, she smiled as she reached back for a slogan from the Blair years to insist that law and order plans would involve being “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”.

Cooper had opened up her speech by recalling the killing of Olivia Pratt-Korbel a few miles down the road from the conference in Liverpool five weeks ago, warning that “serious violence” was affecting other British cities.

Taking aim at the government, she said a laissez-faire ideology on the part of the Conservatives had led to the slashing of police numbers, courts and youth services.

She said:

Labour believes in community solidarity – we know strong communities are safe communities. We believe in public services, valuing public servants, and setting high standards.

Labour knows that you don’t get social justice if you don’t have justice or feel safe. Inequality and poverty corrode people’s security. And security is the foundation on which all other opportunities are built. Labour will always stand up for the security of our nation, our borders, and our communities.

Yvette Cooper speaking at the Labour party conference on Tuesday
Yvette Cooper speaking at the Labour party conference on Tuesday. Photograph: Michael Bowles/Rex/Shutterstock


Deltapoll has released new polling giving Labour a 13-point lead over the Conservatives – up three points from the previous week. The fieldwork was carried out in the period just before and after the mini-budget.

🚨🚨New Voting Intention🚨🚨
Labour extend their lead over the Tories to 13 points in latest poll.
Con 31% (-1)
Lab 44% (+2)
Lib Dem 12% (+2)
Other 13% (-3)
Fieldwork: 22 - 25 September 2022
Sample: 2,129 GB adults
(Changes from 16 - 20 September 2022)

— Deltapoll (@DeltapollUK) September 27, 2022

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, started her speech to the Labour conference with an attack on the Tories.

Former Tory prime minister Boris Johnson proudly announced: “We are the party of law and order.”

What he meant was he’d had a party, broken the law and created disorder.

Then he announced it was government crime week.

The police announced 120 fines for lawbreaking in government – including the prime minister and chancellor.

It was definitely government crime week.

For once Boris Johnson was telling the truth.

But we’ve got a new prime minister now.

And Liz Truss has a big idea to turn it all round. She says she’s going to tell the police they need to investigate more crime.

Genius! If only all the other Tory prime ministers had thought of that.

We will post more from the speech soon.


Keir Starmer having breakfast with his wife, Victoria, at the Labour conference in Liverpool this morning
Keir Starmer having breakfast with his wife, Victoria, at the Labour conference in Liverpool this morning. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images


Steve Reed says stopping children experiencing trauma could cut crime

Just as Keir Starmer is resurrecting a Tony Blair slogan in his speech this afternoon, Steve Reed, the shadow justice secretary, said in his speech that a future Labour government would adopt Blair’s “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” mantra. But whereas in the 1990s, when Blair talked about the causes of crime, he was primarily referring to poverty, Reed said an understanding of childhood trauma was important. He said:

No child is born bad. Things happen in some young lives that lead them into crime.

All the evidence shows that tackling trauma from childhood can break the cycle and prevent a child from becoming a criminal or stop a criminal from reoffending.

Labour will use this understanding to reshape our criminal justice system – to stop crime at source.

Our old slogan ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ is about to meet the future.

Conference, Britain needs a fresh start to tackling crime.

Prosecute, yes. Punish, yes. But never forget the need to prevent crime in the first place.

Reed did not elaborate in his speech on what this approach might mean in practice.

Steve Reed speaking at the Labour conference.
Steve Reed speaking at the Labour conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


Crimes such as burglary and fraud 'have effectively been decriminalised' under Tories, says shadow justice secretary

Steve Reed, the shadow justice secretary, told delegates in his speech that crimes such as burglary and fraud “have effectively been decriminalised” under the Tories. He said:

Every victim of crime deserves justice. Yet under this Tory government, justice is denied.

They’ve taken thousands of police off our streets, closed hundreds of courts, and trashed the probation system.

Prosecutions are so low that crimes as serious as burglary and fraud have effectively been decriminalised.

Reed said that under the Tories only one in every 100 people accused of rape is prosecuted in court. The claim that rape has in effect been decriminalised too is one that people such as Dame Vera Baird, the outgoing victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, have been making for years.

Reed confirmed that Labour would force people convicted of domestic abuse to be included on a register, like sex offenders, so they could be subject to monitoring, making it harder for them to find new victims.


Streeting says banning 'bogof' offers during cost of living crisis would be wrong

When Boris Johnson was prime minister, the government was set to ban “buy one, get one free” (“bogof”) offers as part of its anti-obesity strategy, but in May that ban was delayed until 2023. The ban is probably gone for good, because during the Tory leadership contest Liz Truss said she was opposed to initiatives like that.

This morning, Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said he also thought it would be wrong to ban “bogof” offers during the cost of living crisis. He said:

There are good public health arguments for banning such offers. I’m not tin-eared enough to say that a Labour government would do that in the middle of a cost of living crisis. I don’t think that would be the right thing to do right now.

What I’ve said to the food and drink industry is before government comes along with a stick and tries to regulate it to do the right thing, let’s work together.

Price isn’t the problem here, it’s the salt and sugar content of food, because as we saw with soft drinks, a bit of reformulation can go a long way.


Thornberry says 'era of criminal impunity' will end under Labour

Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, delivered the first main speech in the conference hall this morning and she said that under Labour the “era of criminal impunity” would end. She said:

In 2013, I published a report urging the government to tackle those companies committing fraud at the expense of their employees, their competitors, and all too often the public purse.

In the decade since I published that report, just seven companies have been convicted of corporate fraud. In that same period, 5,000 times as many people have been convicted of benefits fraud.

That shows this government’s double standards, but also their downright indolence. Faced with a complex challenge, they have simply waved the white flag to white-collar crime, and stopped trying to convict those responsible.

Another addition to their special club of criminal impunity, along with burglary, vehicle theft, street robbery and, to their eternal shame, rape and sexual assault.

But that will all change under a Labour government …

We will end the era of criminal impunity. We will give protection and security to women and girls, the elderly and the vulnerable. And we will send the message loud and clear to all those who prey on our communities, that we are coming for you.

Thornberry said part of the problem was that the Conservative party treated the law “not as a guardrail to keep it on the straight and narrow, but a barrier to be torn down whenever it gets in their way”.

Emily Thornberry speaking at the conference.
Emily Thornberry speaking at the conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, will be speaking in about an hour’s time at Labour’s conference, where she will recall the killing of Olivia Pratt-Korbel five miles down the road from the where she is speaking today.

We’re expecting Cooper to talk about how Labour in government would bring in a new law to crack down on criminals who lure young people into violence.

“We will outlaw the exploitation of children for crime,” she will tell delegates during a session at the conference called “Safe and Secure Communities”.

Cooper is preceded by the shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, and the shadow justice secretary, Steve Reed.

The Guardian’s home affairs editor, Rajeev Syal, reported yesterday on how Cooper would also announce that victims of rape, domestic and sexual abuse will be given immediate access to trained specialists in police control rooms and a dedicated investigative unit in every force under a future Labour government.


Labour can make 'significant gains' in Scotland at general election, says Anas Sarwar

Good morning. I’m Andrew Sparrow, joining Ben Quinn. We will be writing the blog together today.

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, has told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that he expects Labour to make “significant gains’” in Scotland at the next general election. He explained:

I’m not going to put a number on it, but I want us to make significant gains.

If we look at the council election results, we were in the game in around 13, 14 seats if that council election was reflected – I’m not saying we would have won 13, 14 seats, we were in the game in 13, 14 seats.

I think in the context of a UK government where we’re not just going to oppose the Tories, we’re going to replace them, I genuinely believe we can make significant gains.

I think Scotland is not going to be the drag on the ticket – Scotland’s not going to be what stop us from having a UK Labour government. Scotland’s going to help us deliver that UK Labour government.

Scotland was dominated by Labour for much of the postwar period, and even in 2010 when Labour lost in the UK, it won 41 of the 59 Scottish seats. But the SNP vote soared after the failed independence referendum in 2014, which led to yes voters swinging wholesale behind the nationalists, and in the 2015 general election Labour won just one seat in Scotland. That went up to seven seats in 2017, but at the last election the party was back on just one seat.

Anas Sarwar.
Anas Sarwar. Photograph: Gary Roberts Photography/Rex/Shutterstock


Keir Starmer in his hotel room in Liverpool yesterday checking the conference speech he will deliver this afternoon.
Keir Starmer in his hotel room in Liverpool yesterday checking the conference speech he will deliver this afternoon. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA


Bank of England should hold emergency meeting – former deputy governor

The Bank of England should consider an emergency meeting in light of the UK economy’s current state, its former deputy governor for monetary policy has said.

Prof Sir Charlie Bean told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Bank was “rightly reluctant to have emergency meetings”, but he added:

I think on this occasion if I had still been at the Bank in my role as deputy governor, I certainly would have been counselling the governor that I think this is one of the occasions where it might have made sense.


Labour conference schedule today

Here’s a schedule what is expected to happen today at the Labour party conference, where delegates are beginning to filter in:

10am A report by the conference arrangements committee, which is responsible for deciding the schedule and what topics are debated on the floor.

10.10am Morning plenary: discussions themed on “Britain in the world; a green and digital future”.

Speeches are expected from the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, the shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell, and Jim McMahon, the chair of the Co-operative party and shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs

12.35pm Voting.

2pm Keir Starmer will address the main hall – and the country at large – in the conference’s set-piece event, in which the Labour leader will seek to project himself as a future prime minister.

4pm Afternoon plenary: discussions themed around “a future where families come first”. The shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, is expected to have given a speech by now in which he will lay out Labour’s foreign policy priorities.

5.20pm Last voting of the day.


The decision to pay Liz Truss’s new chief of staff, Mark Fullbrook, through a private company has been dropped after criticism from within the Conservatives as well as from opposition parties.

The government admitted over the weekend that Fullbrook would be paid through his lobbying firm, a move that could have helped him avoid paying tax. He had previously claimed the firm had stopped all commercial activities.

It subsequently emerged that Fullbrook had been promised a lucrative contract to run Truss’s next election campaign as well as being made chief of staff.

However, the government made a U-turn after an outcry from the opposition and some Tory MPs, with one saying it did not “smell right” after tax changes in the budget making it easier to pay less tax if paid through a self-employed company.

Mark Fullbrook in Downing Street
Mark Fullbrook in Downing Street.
Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA


Balancing the books has been made tougher for the chancellor after the mini-budget, according to a thinktank.

The Resolution Foundation’s chief executive, Torsten Bell, told Sky News:

The world we are heading for is a bumpy few weeks. The chancellor is now going to have quite a tough time because he has now set out plans to balance the books in November. That is going to be very hard.

Actually balancing the books in November is going to be harder than it would have been to show you are balancing the books last week because higher interest rates will make it harder to do. You might need £15bn worth of tough choices now that you didn’t need last Friday.

Bell earlier told the programme that markets did not have confidence in the government’s proposals because they did not think they were serious. He added:

In the end, lower taxes will mean worse public services, or other people’s taxes having to go up, and it is those choices and ducking those choices that markets are looking at and saying that is not what serious policymaking looks like.


While David Lammy will be laying out his vision later today of what a potential Labour government’s foreign policy platform would be, I listened to him speak at a conference fringe meeting yesterday where he was scathing of the government’s relationship with regimes such as Saudi Arabia, particularly when it came to the supply of arms against the backdrop of the war in Yemen.

The same fringe, organised by the Electoral Reform Society and focused on a discussion about renewing democracy “in the age of authoritarianism”, was overshadowed by far-right gains in Italy at the weekend, and also in Sweden recently.

But Lammy said the examples of Germany and Australia – and the Social Democratic party (SPD) and the Labor party respectively – showed how progressive parties could push back against the rise of populism.

“Progressive parties do that by staying part of the mainstream and that means – in the UK – education and the NHS ,” he said.

Lammy, sitting alongside the shadow leader of the House of Commons, Thangam Debbonaire, was asked by one Labour member how canvassers could overcome what she described as the “cult of personality”.

“You can imagine what people say, that Keir is boring, Beergate, and that Boris Johnson is a fun guy,” said the member.

Debbonaire suggested that her experience was still that policy trumped personality when it boiled down to voters worried about basics, such as childcare.

Parth Patel, a senior fellow at the IPPR, which has highlighted in the past a “deficit” of working-class representatives in Labour and other parties, told the fringe that personality mattered alongside policy, adding: “It’s no coincidence that many of the rising stars of populism come from working-class backgrounds. Just look at Meloni.”

After Far Right gains in Sweden & Italy, shadow foreign sec David Lammy cites Australia, Germany as how progressive parties can push back.
They have to “stay part of mainstream conversation, which in UK means NHS, education ..” tells #LabourConference2022 fringe

— Ben Quinn (@BenQuinn75) September 26, 2022


British citizens abroad will have a statutory right to receive Foreign Office consular assistance under a Labour government, in plans proposed by the shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, who will lay out his priorities in a speech later today to delegates at the party conference.

The proposals come in the wake of repeated complaints by British prisoners abroad of Foreign Office indifference, or determination to put British diplomatic interests ahead of individual citizens.

In a speech to the Labour conference, Lammy will say it is time to learn the lessons from the experiences of British-Iranian dual citizens such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and the British Sikh activist Jagtar Singh Johal, who is still being held in an Indian jail without charge.


Ethics rules for the London mayor must be strengthened as Boris Johnson may have failed to meet the standard expected of public figures over his failure to declare personal links to the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, an inquiry into the affair has found.

An investigation by the Greater London Authority’s oversight committee said Johnson had opened himself up to “a perception of lack of due process and favouritism” over Arcuri’s inclusion on trade missions in an unofficial capacity.

The inquiry is the latest in a long-running saga concerning Johnson and his relationship with Arcuri, an American entrepreneur whose startup was given £126,000 in sponsorship money and who was allowed on three trade trips with the mayor in 2014 and 2015.

Arcuri has signalled that the pair were at one point in a relationship, and a previous inquiry found there was some evidence of this.

Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri at an event in July 2013
Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri at an event in July 2013. Photograph: Innotech Network/YouTube


Jeremy Corbyn should not have the Labour whip restored, the shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said this morning.

Keir Starmer has previously suggested Corbyn may be allowed to return to sitting as a Labour MP if he apologises for a statement made in the wake of the equalities watchdog’s report on antisemitism.

But he went on to say in April that Corbyn would not have the Labour whip restored while he continued to associate with the Stop the War coalition.

Though Corbyn has been readmitted as a Labour member, Starmer has not allowed him to take the Labour whip, meaning he cannot sit as a Labour MP.

Corbyn took to the stage at a rally in Liverpool last night organised by Tribune magazine.

Standing ovation for @jeremycorbyn as he takes the stage at our Tribune rally.

— Tribune (@tribunemagazine) September 26, 2022


Turmoil in the financial markets which saw the pound fall to a record low against the dollar dominates today’s front pages.

The currency tumbled as investors lost confidence in the UK’s public finances after last Friday’s mini-budget.

The Guardian leads with “Sterling crisis deepens as Truss’s strategy unravels”, reporting that the government was struggling to prevent a full-scale loss of financial market confidence in its economic strategy.

Guardian front page, Tuesday 27 September 2022: Sterling crisis deepens as Truss’s strategy unravels

— The Guardian (@guardian) September 26, 2022

The Financial Times has “Bank of England and Treasury fail to calm market nerves over UK finances”. The paper says a statement from the Bank “dashed market hopes of an emergency interest rate rise to prop up the pound”.

The Times leads on the central bank’s pledge to act after the fall of the pound with its headline “Bank vows to step in after day of turmoil”.

The Telegraph has “Spooked lenders ditch new mortgages in pound chaos,” noting Halifax, Virgin Money and Skipton were among the lenders pulling mortgage deals ahead of an anticipated rate rise.

The i newspaper has a similar take with its lead story, “New mortgages blocked amid UK market turmoil”, above a picture of Liz Truss and a smiling Kwasi Kwarteng.

The Express says “Don’t panic! We have got a plan to cut debt”. It says the chancellor “shrugged off yesterday’s financial market jitters” with a vow to set out his strategy to bring down debt.

The Metro has “The pound Kwartanks” alongside a picture of Kwarteng.

The Mirror runs the subheading “Tories economic disaster” above its headline “Out of control”. The paper says millions of households face further financial misery as “Kwarteng’s tax cuts plunge markets into chaos”.

The Mail’s take is “Fury at the city slickers betting against UK Plc.” It cites senior Tories as saying short sellers were “trying to make money out of bad news”.


Meanwhile, more than a few eyebrows were raised last night as the prime minister, Liz Truss, sent her congratulations to Giorgia Meloni, the far-right leader who is set to become Italy’s first female premier.

Congratulations to @GiorgiaMeloni on her party's success in the Italian elections.

From supporting Ukraine to addressing global economic challenges, the UK and Italy are close allies. 🇬🇧🇮🇹

— Liz Truss (@trussliz) September 26, 2022

Wes Streeting says 'cavalry is coming' with Labour for people worried about cost of living crisis

In early morning broadcast interviews, the shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, told people with mortgages that the “cavalry is coming” with the Labour party.

He told Sky News:

All of us are frankly still recovering from our jaws hitting the floors last week with that budget from Kwasi Kwarteng. And the real-world consequences we’re seeing overnight, the withdrawal of mortgage products, tell us about the extent to which our own chancellor in this country has frightened the markets.

He added that what had unfolded on Monday was “just the tip of the iceberg” and that there would be huge additional costs to people with mortgages if interest rates go up in the way that some people are predicting.

And what was the chancellor’s answer yesterday? ‘Don’t worry folks, in November I’m going to come up with some new fiscal rules - ie I’ve ignored all the ones I’ve already got and I’m rewriting the rules and making them up as I go along.’ This isn’t serious leadership, it’s a reckless gamble.

The cavalry is coming with Labour. We’ve got serious people, with a serious plan that would make an enormous difference to families right across the country and to businesses, who are the backbone of our economy and will be the bedrock of economic growth.

Wes Streeting.
Wes Streeting. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images


Labour has 17-point lead over Tories - YouGov survey

Good morning from a chilly Liverpool where many delegates to the Labour conference are waking up to the news that their party has take its biggest poll lead over the Tories for more than 20 years.

The YouGov survey – for the Times – put Labour 17 points ahead, the party’s greatest lead since the firm started polling in 2001.

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, and aides were meanwhile rewriting key sections of the speech he will make at conference today against the backdrop of market turmoil yesterday which was sparked by Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax-cutting mini-budget.

The Guardian’s political editor, Pippa Crerar, reports here on how Starmer will attempt to take on the mantle of Tony Blair later today by describing Labour as the “political wing of the British people” as he accuses the Tories of losing control of the economy and ceding the political centre.

In his keynote address, Starmer will set out his stall for the next general election by saying his plans show that Labour is once again “the party of the centre ground”.

He will state that Labour now offers the country a “fresh start” after the turbulence of successive Conservative governments, and will commit to getting the UK “out of this endless cycle of crisis”.

Echoing a view on the last few days’ economic disarray shared by many jittery Tory MPs, he will say:

What we’ve seen from the government in the past few days has no precedent.

We’re also going to hear keynote speeches today from the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, and shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy.

We’ll keep your updated on all developments here in Liverpool and of course on all other political events, not least the government’s response to the crisis surrounding the pound as ministers struggle to prevent a full-scale loss of financial market confidence in their economic strategy.

It’s Ben Quinn here at the moment at the conference – you can find me on Twitter at @BenQuinn75 if you’d like to flag up any political story we should also be covering today. Andy Sparrow will be coming on deck shortly as well.

You can also follow our colleague Graeme Wearden’s liveblog coverage here of what’s been happening on the markets, where the pound has risen slightly in Asian trading on Tuesday to $1.08 after Monday’s record low of around $1.035.



Nadeem Badshah (now); Andrew Sparrow and Ben Quinn (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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