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As it happenedended1697004180

Keir Starmer speech - live: Labour leader shakes off glitter ambush and unveils ‘mission for government’

Heckler storms stage shouting ‘we are in crisis’ before being dragged off by security

Starmer speech

Keir Starmer vowed to oversee a “decade of renewal” if Labour wins the next election after his conference speech got off to a shaky start when a protester stormed on stage and covered him in glitter.

The Labour leader set out his mission for government, promising to build 1.5 million homes in what he described as a “new generation of towns”.

Shocking footage captured the moment the heckler evades security and dumps glitter over the Labour leader while wrapping his arms around him and shouting “we are in crisis” before finally being bundled to the ground.

The heckler was heard shouting: “We demand a people’s house, we are in crisis – politics needs an update. We are in crisis”. Footage emerged online afterwards of the protester being dragged from the building by police.

Removing his jacket and rolling up his sleeves, Starmer was applauded for keeping his cool and regaining control of the podium. He told the audience: “If he thinks that bothers me he doesn’t know me. Protest not power, that is why we changed our party conference.”

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Watch: Ex-Bank of England boss Mark Carney endorses Labour

Ex-Bank of England boss Mark Carney endorses Labour
Matt Mathers9 October 2023 15:15
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Sunak admits HS2 replacements only ‘illustrative’ in awkward BBC grilling

Rishi Sunak admitted some of the transport projects promised as replacements for Hs2 were only “illustrative” examples of what could be done, as he was grilled by BBC Radio 2 host Jeremy Vine, Adam Forrest reports.

The PM got impatient during the testy exchange – ducking questions about the list of projects unveiled for his ‘Network North’ plans, having promised “every penny” £36bn taken from HS2 would be redirected.

Asked if it was a mistake to claim money would be used to extend the Metrolink tram network to Manchester Airport – when that has already opened – Mr Sunak said: “No … Well, look, there’s a range of illustrative projects that could be funded. But ultimately it’s going to be local leaders are in charge.”

The BBC host challenged the PM by saying: “None of this stuff is going to happen, is it?” Mr Sunak replied: “No – that’s completely not right. Do you know why it’s going to happen? It’s because actually that money is going to be given to local areas.”

Mr Vine said the pledge of “£100m for a mass transit system for Bristol” was listed – but had disappeared a day later. “You keep pointing out these things …  Money is going to be given to local mayors or local councils in all of these areas.”

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 15:30
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Rachel Reeves: Rishi Sunak is ‘desperate’

Rachel Reeves has branded Rishi Sunak’s apparent attempt to interrupt Labour’s conference as “desperate”, Archie Mitchell reports.

The prime minister on Monday broke a political tradition that the two parties don’t hijack each other’s annual get-togethers, holding a business event in Nottinghamshire and appearing on Jeremy Vine’s radio show.

Labour sources attacked the PM over the plans, branding it “below the belt and a bit naff”, and “desperate stuff”.

But, asked after her speech to the conference, the shadow chancellor’s official spokesman branded Mr Sunak’s move “desperate”.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves making her Labour conference speech
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves making her Labour conference speech (PA)

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 15:45
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UK would start ‘dating’ the EU again under Labour, says Lammy

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has said Britain would start “dating” the EU again under a Labour government, Adam Forrest reports.

Lammy did not signal any change in position at the conference fringe event – insisting the UK would remain outside the single market and customs union. But he suggested Labour would seek much closer ties – again backing a formal defence pact with Brussels.

“We had a very, very bitter divorce with the EU. It’s a divorce that went on for years and years and years … No one in this room in all seriousness would suggest you can have a divorce and … that you could get married again without even going on a date.”

He added: “The starting point for a Labour government is let’s get back to the strong partners that we have always traditionally been with our friends and colleagues in Europe.”

David Lammy
David Lammy (AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 16:00
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High profile business organisation and union back Reeves

Rachel Reeves has won unions and business backing for her speech. CBI chief executive Rain Newton-Smith said business leaders will be “encouraged to hear the shadow

chancellor speak so ambitiously about driving up business investment”, adding: “Businesses will welcome the focus on planning and infrastructure delivery.”

The TUC’s general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Labour’s plan for decent work and increased investment will rebuild our infrastructure hand in hand with unions and employers, and deliver the economic growth and boost to living standards this country has been crying out for.”

Former Tory backer Iain Anderson, executive chairman at Cicero, told the BBC that it was “one of the most speeches I have heard from a conference platform in decades”.

CBI director general Rain Newton-Smith (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)
CBI director general Rain Newton-Smith (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) (PA Media)

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 16:15
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Labour mocks Jeremy Hunt over inflation claim

Darren Jones, Labour shadow Treasury secretary, has mocked chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s claim that Rachel Reeves failed to mention inflation, Adam Forrest reports.

Labour pointed  out that she did say prices had gone up. “Odd that the Tory Chancellor doesn’t know what inflation means,” he tweeted.

Mr Hunt had said: “Oops…when the biggest single issue for the economy is inflation it doesn’t get ONE mention from the Shadow Chancellor?

“Because adding £28 bn a year to borrowing will push it up - meaning higher mortgages, higher debt interest and lower growth…”

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 16:30
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Fight for better pay ‘far from over’ - union boss

The fight for better pay and conditions in the public sector is “far from over” after a year of industrial action by hundreds of thousands of workers, the head of the TUC said.

Paul Nowak said the government has been forced to improve pay offers because of the series of strikes across the country.

He told a fringe meeting at the Labour Party’s annual conference in Liverpool that, a year ago, the government was trying to impose pay cuts on millions of workers.

“We were told there would be no money, no more negotiations. It was take it or leave it,” he said.

“Our members did not take it – hundreds of thousands of public sector workers took industrial action, often for the first time.

“The government was forced back to the negotiation table and gave a better offer.

“But the fight is far from over. We have proved we can move the government – taking industrial action does matter.”

TUC leader Paul Nowak
TUC leader Paul Nowak (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 16:45
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Just 9% of British voters think Brexit has gone well, poll finds

Fewer than one in 10 British voters think Brexit has gone well, a new study has found.

Research by the think-tank UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) found that just 9 per cent now say leaving the EU had been a success.

Voters are also increasingly pessimistic that the policy will ever turn out well, with fewer than one-third (30 per cent) agreeing.

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 17:00
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Welcome to the Rachel Revolution – where the less you say, the more they love you

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves wowed the Labour conference hall with a succession of weary sighs – and the more humdrum she was and the less carried away she got, the louder they clapped, writes Tom Peck

Read Tom’s full sketch here:

Welcome to the Rachel Revolution, where the less you say the more they love you

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves wowed the Labour conference hall with a succession of weary sighs – and the more humdrum she was and the less carried away she got, the louder they clapped, writes Tom Peck

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 17:30
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Labour’s Iron Lady? How ‘boring, snoring’ Rachel Reeves roared into contention

The politician once dismissed as reliably dull gave a barnstorming conference speech, writes Andrew Grice – and now Reeves looks not just like our first female chancellor, but a future leader

Read Andrew’s full comment piece here:

How ‘boring, snoring’ Rachel Reeves roared into contention

The politician once dismissed as reliably dull gave a barnstorming conference speech, writes Andrew Grice – and now Reeves looks not just like our first female chancellor, but a future leader

Matt Mathers9 October 2023 18:00

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