Starmer is shifting Labour policy in a more moderate direction

Keir Starmer: ‘Three stages’ of leadership culminated in my conference speech

Sir Keir Starmer has said he views his speech at Labour Party conference as a “culminating moment” for his leadership.

When the characterisation was put to the Labour leader, Starmer responded: “Oh, very much yes. I have always seen this as three stages”.

He told Times Radio: “I took over three and a half years ago, the Labour Party, picked it up off the floor. We had to change the Labour Party at pace and ruthlessly, expose the Tories and the SNP as not fit to govern but then this stage which was always the third stage but very important which is setting out the positive case.”

Yesterday, the Labour leader argued that the Labour Party are “the healers, the modernisers, [and] the builders” in his conference speech — which is expected to be the last before a general election. 

He set his sights on at least two terms in power as he vowed to lead Britain through a “decade of national renewal”.

He claimed that Rishi Sunak and the government “cannot see the country before them” because the “walls of Westminster are so high”, and announced a plan to “get Britain building again”.

He said Labour will “serve your interests” and “grow every corner of our country”.

“Britain must, Britain can. Britain will get its future back”, he closed.

However, before the Labour leader could get underway, a protester interrupted the Labour leader, pouring glitter over him. “If he thinks that bothers me, he doesn’t know me”, Starmer said.

Asked this morning about the incident, Sir Keir told Sky News: “It could have been a lot worse.

He said a lot of people have asked him what was going through his mind, which he said was: “We have worked for four years to get the Labour Party to a position where I could speak not just to the room – there were 2,000 or so people in the room – but to the country.

“I was not going to let that idiot deflect me. And that’s why I took my jacket off, rolled up my sleeves, notwithstanding the bits of glitter still in my hair and I think on my shoulder, and delivered the speech about national renewal versus continuing decline.”

He added: “I was absolutely not going to be put off delivering a very important speech for me and for our party, particularly at this time where we’re going into an election year.”