Labour’s annual conference begins in Liverpool on Sunday and Sir Keir Starmer is expected to draw high lines between his party and the new Tory government.
The Labor leader’s supporters hope he will use the four-day rally to capitalize on the unpopularity of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s economic measures.
The government’s controversial program of capping bankers’ bonuses, curbing benefits and sweeping tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy has widened the ideological divide between the two main parties and given Labor plenty of ammunition.
We come together to build the better future our country deserves
Sir Keir should link Conservative decisions to falling living standards and articulate a compelling vision to improve them.
At the core of the argument is Labour’s call for a heavier emergency tax on the profits of energy and oil giants to fund freezing energy bills – which Ms Truss will pay with a loan.
In his speech on Tuesday, Sir Keir will try to portray himself as a future prime minister and his confidence will be boosted by a comfortable lead in the polls.
However, there are concerns that the gap will not be wider despite Boris Johnson’s government being in disarray, and while voters are still unsure of the direction his successor will take.
Hopes that Sir Keir can lead the party to victory at the next general election are still higher than last year’s conference, which was seen as a turning point for him.
This year’s event – his second in-person conference since taking office – is expected to be less divisive as members of the left leave the party.
But sources of tension could be debates over electoral reform and Sir Keir’s ban on presiding officers joining strikers on pickets, which cost Sam Tarry his role as shadow transport minister in July.
Some dissent is also possible when delegates sing the national anthem at the start of the gathering on Sunday for the first time in recent history.
After Sir Keir pays tribute to the late Queen, Deputy Leader Angela Rayner opens the conference by pledging to end the Tory “procurement chain” and instead reward businesses that create local jobs, skills and regeneration.
He said: “Under the next Labor government, there will be no crony hideouts and no corruption corners. We will give pretentious junk dealers their marching orders, end cuts to tax havens and crack down on failed bidders.
The TUC has welcomed the plans, which involve mass procurement of government contracts.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These proposals are badly needed. Outsourcing has been a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and has led to a race for workers’ pay and working conditions.
Other announcements include a new Hillsborough Act to help prevent future injustices if the state is involved.
Labor is also reviving its “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” slogan, announcing plans to tackle child exploitation.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told the Mirror ahead of the conference: “We are banning the luring of children into crime because gangs should not be able to take advantage of children and teenagers and draw them into potentially criminal and exploitative lives.”
Labor leader Anneliese Dodds called on her party to come together “to build the better future our country deserves”.
He said: “We come at a difficult time for Britain. Families and businesses are facing rising costs and the whole country is worried about a winter of uncertainty.
“Twelve years of Tory governments have left us with lower growth, lower investment and lower productivity. The only things that go up are inflation, interest rates and bankers’ bonuses.
“But Labor has a plan for a fairer and greener future, one that secures our economy and sparks growth, one that ends the short-termism that has seen us lurch from crisis to crisis, that delivers energy security and lowers bills, that seizes the opportunities of the future and puts working people to work.
The Conservative Conference will take place in Birmingham from 2nd to 5th. The Liberal Democrats canceled theirs as it fell into the mourning period following the Queen’s death.
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