Sir Keir spoke at the party’s virtual conference in Doncaster with his first conference speech as chairman in the peculiar setting of a room without an audience.
Keir Starmer aimed his power at the “incompetent” Boris Johnson and today, in a passionate speech at the party conference, exploded the history and actions of the Prime Minister.
Labour leader personally targets an “incompetent” Prime Minister in his first conference speech as Labour leader
“While he was fired by a newspaper for making up quotes, I fought for justice and the rule of law”.
Trying to draw a clear distinction between his own character and his notes and those of Johnson, he said: “While Johnson was writing snappy columns about bendy bananas, I was defending victims and prosecuting terrorists.
At first he looked a little awkward when he spoke into a canvas, but he grew into the speech, and when he criticized Johnson and his government, he showed a level of rage and fire that some in the party wanted to see more of.
He was largely critical of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, he added: “I have tried to be fair, to give the government the benefit of the doubt… … but the incompetence of this government is holding Britain back”.
He continued the attack, adding: “He just doesn’t mean it, he’s just not up to the task.
He said that while no-one blamed the government for the arrival of Covid-19, it must be held responsible for the underfunding of the NHS and social services in the country and for a litany of mistakes in responding to the crisis.
He added: “The arrogance of this government makes me so angry”.
But the speech was not only aimed at the current government but was also intended to herald a new beginning for Labour, and Starmer also spoke openly about the party’s historic defeat in the December elections.
He said: “”If you lose an election in a democracy, you deserve it. “You don’t look at the voters and ask them, ‘What were you thinking? You look at yourself and ask, ‘What have we done?
His big pitch was that Labour is now a party you can trust on family, economic and national security issues – while at the same time caring for the weakest and improving people’s lives.
“Besides the anger, I also feel frustration that every Labour spokesperson is a shadow. Shadow Education. Shadow Health. Shadow Chancellor. Shadow Foreigners. Until we come out of the shadows, this party cannot change anything.”
In direct conversation with voters who had turned away from the party in the last election, he said: “Trust takes time. It starts with being a credible opposition. It starts with taking the task seriously. That is what we will do.
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