Sir Keir Starmer vowed to create a newly nationalized energy company, while vowing to do battle with the Tories ahead of the next general election. The Labor leader urged voters to “forgive, remember” Liz Truss and her Tory predecessors in an all-out attack on the ruling party for giving “control of the British economy”.
Taking advantage of Britain’s fears of rising bills, the Labor leader announced he would set up “Great British Energy” within the first year of power.
He said: “A new business that is taking advantage of the opportunities in clean British power and because it’s good for jobs, because it’s good for growth, because it’s good for energy independence from tyrants like Putin.
“Yes Conference, Great British Energy becomes state-owned.
“None of this will be easy — it won’t be like hitting a switch.
“It will be an uphill battle over things like planning and regulation. But when the Tories say no and carp, remember this: the road to net zero is no longer one of stern, austere, self-denial.
“It is at the heart of the modern ambition of the 21st century.”
He blamed conservatives for the current energy crisis, adding: “We will not make the mistake the Tories made with North Sea oil and gas in the 1980s, when they squandered the wealth of our national resources.
“Look what is happening right now. The largest onshore wind farm in Wales. Who owns it? Sweden.
“Paying energy bills in Swansea for schools and hospitals in Stockholm.
“The Chinese Communist Party has a stake in our nuclear industry. And five million people in Britain pay their bills to an energy company owned by France.”
The policy announcement received one of 12 standing ovations from Labor members. In a marked departure from the repeated disturbances from left-wing protesters during last year’s massive 90-minute speech, those in the conference hall today cheered the leader’s speech in Liverpool.
Outlining his bid to become the UK’s next prime minister, the Labor leader pledged to include the Conservatives on every front from Brexit to the NHS to tackle Scottish independence.
Sir Keir claimed Britons have been “abandoned” by the Tories over Brexit and reiterated his promise to “make Brexit work”.
The Remain voter who shaped Labor’s Brexit policy at the last general election said: “I have not heard Brexit was about cutting workers’ rights. I have not heard people food, animal welfare or the environment, I didn’t hear that they wanted to end the redistribution.
“So I want to speak directly to the people who have left Labor on this issue. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, you are disappointed. And with Liz Truss, the Tories are changing the meaning of Brexit before your eyes.
“If you voted for the government to come to your side for better work, higher wages, more opportunities in your community, for an NHS that is modern and reliable, if you vote to take control of your life and for the next generation to control theirs, then I tell you, that is what I will deliver.
“I will make work pay for the people who create the wealth of this country.
“I will make sure we buy, make and sell more in Britain. I will revitalize public services and control immigration using a points system.
“I will spread power and opportunity to all our communities. And I will never be shy about using government power to help working people succeed.
“Labour will make Brexit work. Labor will bring change.”
More to follow…