Sir Keir Starmer’s conference speech drew praise from Labor MPs and many union supporters, who said he had established a compelling “vision” to lead the country and fix the cost of living crisis.
Union Unite, however, criticized Starmer’s 90 Minutes address – claiming he had failed to treat hard-pressed workers as policy or to show enough “anger” over wages and conditions.
Centrist Labor figures shared their “relief” that Starmer praised the Labor government led by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and made a clear attempt to draw a line under the Jeremy Corbyn era.
Blair’s former spin doctor Alistair Campbell said you can “relieve in the party that a leader actually protects the record of a Labor government”.
Former new Labor cabinet minister Lord Mandelson said: “With every paragraph of his speech Keir seemed more and more ordinary and in touch with the lives of ordinary people.”
The members of the shadow cabinet were soft-spoken in their praise. David Lamy described the speech as “barnstorming and inspirational”, while Ed Miliband said the leader had expressed “his inspiration, mission and the country he wants to build”.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said Starmer had shown Labor had “a plan to fix the cost of living crisis, provide well-paid work and pay, and give our children a brighter future”.
Unison’s Secretary-General Christina McNay also said it was a “new” and optimistic vision for a Labor administration, adding: “Keir’s speech shows that Labor in power is the cause of many families forgotten by this government. This is a serious plan for change.”
But Unite bosses were less impressed. Union national official Rob McGregor said members are concerned about the “life crises, empty petrol pumps, disgusting fires and the cost of reworking our workplaces and only a few hours off, much for you in this speech.” was not”.
He continued: “We need to hear a Labor leader who is equally angry about the damage being done to our workers … we are clearly not there yet.”
The National Education Union (NEU) welcomed Starmer’s promise to recruit more teachers – but denounced his plan to focus Ofstead more on failing schools, claiming that it was due to the “unnecessary” workload on teachers. The regulator was already responsible.
Political commentators felt that the 90-minute speech was too long, but agreed that the admiration that Starmer had for the New Labor-era government was a turning point.
MirrorKevin Maguire said: “Starrer claiming achievements of previous Labor government – NHS, schools, reduction in child poverty, minimum wage – what is [Ed] Miliband should have done it 11 years ago.”
Labor Labor dismissed the speech as light on policy, amid a conference row over Starmer’s failure to support the £15 minimum wage. “Starmer’s speech identified a lot of problems, but offered very few solutions,” said Andrew Scattergood, co-chair of the grassroots group Momentum.
“Throughout this convention, members have voted overwhelmingly for transformative socialist policy – from the Green New Deal to the £15 an hour minimum wage … we in the party intend to pursue these policies.”
Former left-wing Labor MP Laura Pidcock – now a member of the party’s NEC – called the speech “long” and “quite disappointing”.
Defending the hecklers who repeatedly shouted at Starmer during his address, Pidcock said: “There is discontent among the membership and it sometimes spreads.”
Labor’s Barry Gardiner, who worked with Starmer in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, said: “I think we need more from him about wages, I think we need to get more from him about workers’ rights. need to.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /