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Keir Starmer makes pitch to Tory voters looking in ‘horror at descent of party’ | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer has called on Tory voters looking in “horror at the descent of your party” to join Labour as he vowed to create “a Britain built to last”.

Delivering a keynote speech at the annual party conference in Liverpool, the Labour leader said the government was exploiting the country’s problems rather than solving them.

In a direct message to Tory voters he said: “So if you are a Conservative voter who despairs of this, if you look in horror at the descent of your party into the murky waters of populism and stability, with no argument for economic change.

Politics Live: Keir Starmer revealing plans to ‘build a new Britain’ in party conference speech

“If you feel that our country needs a party that conserves, that fights for our union, our environment, the rule of law, family life, the careful bond between this generation and next.

“Then let me tell you: Britain already has one. And you can join it. It’s called the Labour Party.”

The hour-long speech was not policy heavy but set out the defining values of a government led by Sir Keir if he wins the next election.

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Protester interrupts Starmer’s speech

With a theme of “getting Britain building again” recurring throughout, Sir Keir promised to build 1.5 million homes including new towns, modernised infrastructure and support for green industries.

The plans, trailed by Labour earlier this morning, would involve “bulldozing” current planning restrictions and creating new development corporations with powers to cut through red tape.

Sir Keir said that “doesn’t mean tearing up the greenbelt” but where there are “clearly ridiculous uses for it” – like disused car parks – “then this can’t be justified as a reason to hold our future back”.

Sir Keir – who is setting his sights on two terms to turn around “13 years of Tory decline” – said the country needed a “decade of national renewal”.

He said in his speech he was seeking “to answer the question ‘why Labour?’ with a plan for a Britain built to last”.

Sir Keir took off his suit jacket after being showered in glitter by a protester at the start of his speech – but insisted it showed why he changed his party from one of protest to one ready for power.

The protester was wearing a T-shirt which appears to tie him to a group called People Demand Democracy.

The man was removed from the conference building through a back exit by two police officers before being put in a police van.

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