SIR Keir Starmer claimed to be a patriot and branded Boris Johnson a “tool” in a lengthy boring pitch to be PM yesterday.
His 90-minute Labour conference address was constantly heckled as angry supporters of the hard-Left waved red cards from the crowd.
The opposition leader made a big play of his love for his country and his family, including a hug from wife Victoria at the end — but his audition for No 10 ran to more than 25 pages and 7,000 words.
In a death knell for the Jeremy Corbyn-era, Sir Keir declared “patriotic” Labour was back, as he pledged his commitment to our troops and Britain’s role in NATO.
And he attempted to steal BoJo’s “Get Brexit Done” slogan, instead telling the PM to “Make Brexit Work”.
Attacking the Tory handling of the fuel crisis and broken election promises, he said: “Level up? You can’t even fill up.”
His most pointed words were for his predecessor, vowing never to go into an election with a barmy manifesto like Corbyn.
But he was harangued by Corbynistas, who waved red cards and even jeered as he paid tribute to the nurses who cared for his dead mother.
Speaking about his late father Rod — who was a toolmaker — Sir Keir asked voters to give him the tools “to fix Britain”.
And he quipped that Mr Johnson’s dad was also “clearly a toolmaker”.
Apart from a £6billion-a-year pledge to insulate every home in Britain, his call for voters to forget Labour’s years in the hard-Left wilderness and 2019 drubbing was light on policy.
Addressing hecklers who tried to disrupt his speech, Starmer said he would be “changing lives” rather than “shouting slogans from the sidelines”.
The big speech drew to a close a fractious four-day party conference for Labour in Brighton.
Sir Keir had attempted to wrestle control of the party back from Corbyn’s cronies.
He wants to make it harder for moderate Labour MPs to be deselected by local cranks back in their constituencies.
He promised to fix the legal system while handing tougher sentences to rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers.
And Sir Keir said: “Under my leadership, the fight against crime will always be a Labour issue.”
But ex-Labour MP Laura Pidcock branded the speech “uninspiring”, adding: “I didn’t think that was his moment.”
Sir Keir’s spokesman said speeches often run for over an hour but his went on longer because of all the clapping.
Schools & eco among pledges
THE Labour leader’s speech did include some policies.
- INSULATING 19million homes over ten years with grants and low- interest loans — at a cost of £6billion a year;
- LAUNCHING a school improvement plan that includes digital skills to go with reading, writing and arithmetic;
- COMPULSORY two weeks’ work experience for school children and guaranteed access to a careers advisor;
- A PLEDGE that mental health support will be available in less than a month, by recruiting 8,500 specialist staff to support a million more people every year.
And, er, that’s it . . .
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