Keir Starmer to channel Tony Blair in vow to get Britain 'out of endless cycle of crisis'

Sir Keir Starmer is poised to channel former Prime Minister Tony Blair as he sets out his pitch for government at the Labour Party conference


Sir Keir will no doubt be buoyed by promising polling, as a new YouGov survey suggests the Labour Party has opened up a 17-point lead over the Conservative Party.

He will quote Sir Tony Blair as he accuses the Tories of losing control of the economy and vows to get the UK “out of this endless cycle of crisis”.

Addressing his party's conference in Liverpool, Sir Keir will outline an ambition to “turn the UK into a growth superpower” as he argues Labour is the party of financial responsibility after the pound plummeted in response to the Tories’ plans to borrow billions to pay for massive tax cuts.

He will argue Labour is now the party of “sound money”.

Sir Keir Starmer ahead of his conference speech in Liverpool
Sir Keir Starmer ahead of his conference speech in Liverpool
Sir Keir Starmer is hoping to channel Sir Tony Blair
Sir Keir Starmer is hoping to channel Sir Tony Blair

Directly quoting Sir Tony to dub Labour the “political wing of the British people” will no doubt put further distance between himself and his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, while angering the party's left wing.

Sir Tony initially made the quote ahead of his landslide 1997 election victory, in a departure from the party being described as the political wing of the union movement.

A Labour spokesman said echoing Sir Tony is an intentional move to show the party is “back in the centre ground” and in the “mainstream” of public opinion.

A spokesman said: “Ultimately he wants to be the next Labour leader who takes the party from opposition into government.

“We’ve changed the party to make sure we’re in tune with the instincts and aspirations of the British people once again.”

It came as the Tories accused Labour of “another relaunch full of vacuous statements and empty promises, with no details”, as they claimed “no one knows what Starmer stands for”.

A spokesman said: “Starmer is a weak leader with no plan to grow the economy.

“This Conservative Government is taking bold and decisive action to grow the economy and get Britain moving again.”

Sir Keir’s strategy to boost growth includes a green prosperity plan to create one million new jobs in towns and cities across the country.

He was committing to begin this mission, to also include bringing down energy bills, raising living standards and tackling the climate crisis, within 100 days of forming a government.

To achieve this, he will say, requires “a different way of working”, developing “the biggest partnership between government, business and communities this country has ever seen”.

Sir Keir will argue “we cannot afford to miss out” on the opportunity to lead the world in renewable energy, electric vehicles and harnessing new hydrogen power.

Sir Keir was set to attack the Conservatives on the economy by saying: “What we’ve seen from the Government in the past few days has no precedent.

“They’ve lost control of the British economy – and for what? For tax cuts for the richest one per cent in our society.”

Sir Keir is pledging to reverse the abolition of the top rate of tax for the nation’s wealthiest, but was supporting the reduction of the bottom rate to 19p in the pound.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has said her fiscal rules set out that increased borrowing is permitted during national emergencies.

Sir Keir will declare that Labour will get the UK “out of this endless cycle of crisis with a fresh start, a new set of priorities and a new way of governing”.

“We should never be left cowering in a brace position, worrying about how to get through a winter. It’s time for Britain to stand tall again,” he will add.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng outlining his mini-budget on Friday
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng outlining his mini-budget on Friday
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves spoke at the Labour Party conference on Monday
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves spoke at the Labour Party conference on Monday

The YouGov polling for The Times suggests widespread public dissatisfaction with the Government’s mini-budget on Friday, with 72 percent of voters – including 69 percent of those who voted Tory in 2019 – opposing Mr Kwarteng’s move to axe the top rate of 45 percent tax for those earning more than £150,000.

The survey also finds that 71 percent of the electorate, including 67 percent of Tory voters, disagree with the Government’s decision to lift restrictions on bankers’ bonuses.

Only nine percent of voters thought the budget would benefit them financially, and just 15 percent believed it would help boost economic growth.

The polling, conducted over the weekend, suggests Tory support had dropped by four points to 28 percent in the wake of the budget and Labour’s had surged by five points to 45 percent, with the Lib Dems unchanged on eight percent.

It comes as the pound crashed to its lowest level for at least half a century and the Bank of England issued a statement saying it “will not hesitate” to raise interest rates if needed.