Conservative conference: Dominic Raab accuses Keir Starmer of being ‘unwilling to stand up for Britain’

Foreign secretary urges Britain to ‘rediscover our self-belief as a country’

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Saturday 03 October 2020 17:49
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Dominic Raab accuses Keir Starmer of not standing up for Britain

Dominic Raab has accused Sir Keir Starmer of being unwilling to stand up for Britain, in the latest sally of a culture war that the Conservatives are trying to wage with Labour.

In his keynote speech to the virtual Tory conference, the foreign secretary called on Britons to “rediscover our self-belief as a country” and claimed that Labour “can’t be trusted to make global Britain a reality”.

Mr Raab claimed that some Britons found it “hard to take pride in this great country of ours”.

And he tried to revive the controversy over BBC plans to broadcast “Rule Britannia” and “Land of Hope and Glory” without words at the Last Night of the Proms.

Pointing to a recent Ipsos Mori poll which found that young people in G20 states saw the UK as the world’s most attractive country, he said: “Around the world young people aren’t deterred by the renewed pride we take in Britain.

“And, no, they’re not offended when we sing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

“No, they’ve been inspired by our decision to stand tall so we can realise our full potential as an independent nation.

“So, as Conservatives, we’ve got a responsibility, I’d say a solemn duty to our children, not to shrink into the shadows, but to look to the stars.”

Mr Raab hailed the UK as a “science superpower” leading the search for a Covid vaccine, and said it had stood up for its values against China, North Korea, Belarus and Russia and taken a leading role in the fight against climate change.

“That’s Conservative leadership, that’s global Britain,” he said.

“And what about the Labour Party?

“They can’t be trusted to make global Britain a reality.

“Only last year, Keir Starmer was asking this country to make prime minister a man who wants to cosy up to Britain’s enemies.

“Jeremy Corbyn may have gone but the instincts that led Labour to elect him haven’t.

“And the people of this country know, when it comes down to it, Labour won’t stand up for Britain.”

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