Starmer to pledge ‘decade of national renewal’ in key Labour conference speech

Sir Keir Starmer will promise the country a “decade of national renewal” if Labour gets into power at the next general election.

Speaking at his party’s annual conference on Tuesday, the Labour leader will make pledges on housing, policing and devolution as he sets his sights on at least two terms in office to rescue a country “ruined” by 13 years of Conservative rule.

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This will include plans to build a “new generation” of large towns and suburbs, with Georgian-style townhouses favoured as the design to maximise their impact.

State backed companies will be given powers to acquire the land at a lower purchasing price, freeing up cash so amenities including GP surgeries, schools and transport links can be “hardwired” into the developments.

Sir Keir will say Labour would run a six-month consultation to identify areas with “unmet housing need” suitable for new development.

The plans will be underpinned by a new devolution deal for towns and cities, which will see local leaders handed greater powers and funding to boost local economies, deliver new homes and create high-quality jobs.

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In his speech to party delegates Sir Keir will also propose a “Community Policing Guarantee” – guaranteeing patrols through 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the streets.

The key speech will come on the third day of the annual event following a raft of appearances from shadow ministers, as they attempt to rally the membership ahead of the election campaign, and appeal to the public before they go to the polls.

It follows the Conservative gathering last week – dominated by the news Rishi Sunak was scrapping HS2’s northern leg to Manchester – and the Liberal Democrat event last month.

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The Labour event comes against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which Sir Keir is expected to talk about.

Reiterating his five missions of “economic growth, safer streets, cheaper homegrown British power, better opportunities, and a rejuvenated NHS”, Sir Keir will warn of a tough road ahead due to the current state of the public purse.

But he will say “what is broken can be repaired”, adding: “An economy that works for the whole country will require an entirely new approach to politics: mission government, ending the Tory disease of ‘sticking plaster politics’ with a simple Labour philosophy that together we fix tomorrow’s challenges, today.”

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Sir Keir will also celebrate his party’s turnaround since the disaster of the 2019 election, with the party now leading the polls, saying: “A changed Labour Party, no longer in thrall to gesture politics, no longer a party of protest… those days are done. We will never go back.”

He will put particular focus on the latest victory in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, where his party ousted the SNP from their seat by over 9,000 votes on Thursday, saying: “Let the message from Rutherglen ring out across Britain – Labour serves working people in Scotland because Labour serves working people across all these islands.”

But the leader himself still has work to do to win over voters as polling continues to show he is not cutting through and people don’t know what he stands for.

Addressing the public, Sir Keir will echo the words of a former Tory prime minister, promising a country “strong enough, stable enough, secure enough for you to invest your hope, your possibility, your future”, and one where people can be “certain that things will be better for your children”.

He will conclude: “People are looking to us because they want our wounds to heal and we are the healers.

“People are looking to us because these challenges require a modern state and we are the modernisers.

“People are looking to us because they want us to build a new Britain and we are the builders.”


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