Sir Keir Starmer vowed to set up a new nationalised energy company as he vowed to take the fight to the Tories ahead of the next general election. The Labour leader urged voters “don’t forgive, don’t forget” Liz Truss and her Tory predecessors in a full-throttled attack on the governing party for having “let control of the British economy”.
Seeking to capitalise on Britons’ fears over spiralling bills, the Labour leader announced he would to set up “Great British Energy” within the first year of power.
He said: “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.
The policy announcement received one of 12 standing ovations from Labour members. In a marked departure from the repeated disruptions from Left-wing protesters at last year’s mammoth 90 minute speech, those in the conference hall today cheered on the leader’s address in Liverpool.
Outlining his bid to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, the Labour leader pledged to take on the Conservatives on every front from Brexit to the NHS to tackling Scottish independence.
Sir Keir claimed Britons has been “let down” by the Tories on Brexit and repeated his promise to “make Brexit work”.
The Remain voter who shaped Labour’s Brexit policy at the last general election said: “I didn’t hear that Brexit was about slashing workers’ rights. I didn’t hear people wanting to lower standards on food, animal welfare or the environment. I didn’t hear them wanting to end redistribution.
“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.
“Labour will make Brexit work. Labour will deliver change.”
Polling currently shows Labour hold a significant lead over the Tories, with one survey published this morning even giving suggesting they were 17 percentage points up.
With most electoral experts agreeing Labour can only win a general election if they take seats off the SNP in Scotland, Sir Keir also attacked Nicola Sturgeon.
He said: “Scotland needs a Labour Government that can deliver change. But it also needs the power and resources to shape its own future, whoever’s in power in Westminster. And the SNP are not interested in this.
“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 circumstances.”