Labour conference live: Starmer says ‘Reasons to be confident’ as party membership surges after tory conference

Angela Rayner says next Labour government will make misogyny a hate crime

Labour has said it recruited 1,000 new members during the week of the Conservative Party conference.

Party treasurer Mike Payne told the Labour party conference in Liverpool on Saturday: “Due to the turbulence in the government over the summer and autumn, and given the positive vision for Britain and the policy agenda set out by (Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer), we have seen a surge in new members into the party.”

He added: “During the Tory conference we recruited 1,000 members in a week.”

Mr Payne said membership fees continue to be the primary source of income, and raise approximately £16 million.

Labour general secretary David Evans, looking ahead to the next general election, said: “Keir will often remind us we should never be complacent, and we’re not, but there are reasons to be confident.”

On the first day of the annual conference, Angela Rayner pledged a massive “boost” to social housing as she told the Labour Party conference to “stare right back” at Tories “looking down” on council tenants.

Labour also announced £1.6 billion of health policies, including £1.1 billion for overtime payments to cut the 7.7 million-long waiting list for hospital treatment in England.


‘Very hard’ to improve public services without additional tax rises – IFS

It would be “very hard” to improve public services without additional tax rises, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if Labour could stick to their spending plans without substantial rises in taxes, Paul Johnson said: “I’m not convinced that either a Labour or a Conservative government could do that.

“The most recent budget red book suggests extremely tight spending plans after the next election, even though taxes are at quite a high, or very high, level.”

Speaking about any potential Labour plans to improve public services and the welfare system, he said: “That’s going to be very hard indeed, I think, without some tax rises, at least in the short run until and unless growth really does change.”


Matt Mathers9 October 2023 07:25


Labour risks losing black and LGBT voters, MP warns

Labour risks losing black and LGBT voters in the same way voters in Scotland ditched the party for the SNP, an MP has warned.

Left-winger Bell Ribeiro-Addy used a fringe event at Labour conference to urge the party to stand up to racism and stand up for trans rights.

Ms Ribeiro-Addy said: “In 2015, we saw what happened when one of our most loyal voting bases just decided to vote for another party, and that was the voters of Scotland.

“No one ever thought they would turn in the numbers that they did away from the Labour Party.

“And we risk that with the black community. We risk losing the black community if we do not take the time to stand up against racism.

“And we risk the LGBT community if we do not stand up for trans rights.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy say Labour ‘risk losing the LGBT community’


Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 06:30


Voices: Why Keir Starmer has opened up clear blue water with the Tories over their Rwanda deportation plan

The Labour leader insisted that putting Channel migrants on one-way flights to Rwanda was the “wrong policy” as he kicked off his party’s crucial conference in Liverpool.

The Independent explains:

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 06:00


Labour to host hundreds of company bosses at party conference forum

Sir Keir Starmer will ramp up his attempts to charm business by gathering hundreds of company bosses at the Labour conference.

The party said Monday’s meeting in Liverpool will be the biggest of its kind – with hundreds remaining on the waiting list despite a doubling of the capacity.

Microsoft, Ikea and Octopus were to be among the attendees as the Labour leader tries to portray his party as both pro-worker and pro-business.

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 05:30


Anas Sarwar: Labour can beat SNP across Scotland

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will say his party can beat the SNP in seats “across Scotland” at the next general election.

He will address Labour’s conference in Liverpool on Monday, where he will hail his party’s win in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Michael Shanks exceeded expectations and took 58% of the vote at the by-election count in South Lanarkshire on Thursday night. While turnout was low, Labour achieved a swing of 20.4% from the SNP.

Mr Sarwar will say his SNP opponents have chosen to “blame the voters” for their loss.

He will tell delegates: “Now no SNP MP can sit safely, taking their communities for granted as so many have.

“So I say to Humza Yousaf: This isn’t about swings or the polls – this is about putting the people of Scotland first.

“And because you won’t do that – we can beat you across Scotland.

“Every community in Scotland now has the chance to choose change with Scottish Labour.”

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 04:30


‘I was really worried by Keir Starmer interview,’ says former shadow chancellor

John McDonnell has said he was “really worried” watching Sir Keir Starmer being interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday morning.

The former shadow chancellor slammed the Labour leader’s suggestion NHS staff could work overtime to bring down record waiting lists.

“I was really worried …health Workers in my constituency are already on their knees.”

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell (Beresford Hodge/PA)

(PA Archive)

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 03:30


Labour accuses Rishi Sunak of leaving Britain isolated on world stage

Labour will accuse Rishi Sunak of leaving Britain isolated on the world stage and pledge to “reconnect” the UK with other countries.

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, will tell the party’s conference in Liverpool that a government led by Keir Starmer would “reconnect Britain for its security and prosperity”.

And he will blast the prime minister for skipping key international climate summits to throw red meat to the Tory base at home.

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 02:30


Jeremy Corbyn refuses to answer reporter’s question: ‘do you condemn Hamas?’

In a tetchy exchange with journalists on the way to one event, Mr Corbyn said he wants “peace, a ceasefire and a process that ends the Israeli occupation of Palestine”.

“I don’t support any attacks, therefore I criticise them all,” he said, after being repeatedly asked whether he would condemn Hamas, having not been clear about his position on the group.

Jeremy Corbyn refuses to answer reporter’s question: ‘do you condemn Hamas?’

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 01:30


Labour MP: ‘Tory conference threw Naziism into the discourse’

A Labour MP has said the Conservatives are “whipping up fear like never before” and “threw Naziism into the discourse” at their party conference last week.

Socialist Campaign Group member Zarah Sultana accused the party of “peddling conspiracies” and using “disgusting rhetoric” at the event in Manchester.

She told an event at the Labour conference: “As an election comes closer, they will ramp it up farther and farther, whipping up hate. They’re whipping up fear like never before and it’s because they don’t have answers to the crisis.

“At the Tory party conference the cost of living crisis was barely mentioned. They didn’t touch on falling pay or crumbling public services.

“In fact, what I saw was really problematic, Nazism just thrown into some of the discourse, absolutely disgusting rhetoric.

“They didn’t talk about rising bills. Instead, we heard about a migration hurricane. They proposed a transphobic ban in hospitals and peddled conspiracies about 15 minutes cities.”

Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South with Jeremy Corbyn

(PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou9 October 2023 00:30


‘So many corporates, I thought it was the CBI conference,’

Labour’s former shadow chancellorJohn McDonnell said there are “so many corporates” at Labour conference he thought it was a gathering of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

He said it was “nice to be among Labour members” at a fringe event on Sunday night.

“When I came into conference this morning, there were so many corporates I thought it was the CBI conference,” he said.

The desire among business to attend Labour’s get together has been seen as a coup for shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and Sir Keir Starmer.

It represents a break with Labour under Mr McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn, whose left-wing agenda spooked industry.

Athena Stavrou8 October 2023 23:30

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