KEIR Starmer set out his vision for the country during a passionate speech at the Labour party conference.

The new leader was scathing about Boris Johnson's performance over the coronavirus during his first major speech since taking the party's top job in April.

He also criticised his own party for allowing the Conservatives a decade in power, admitting they "deserved" to lose the latest General Election.

During the live address in Doncaster, he he was "frustrated" that his party was not in Government, and urged members to "get serious about winning".

He also vowed to stand up for a united country, and "stop the nationalists from ripping the country apart".

The former prosecutor said: "We must make the case much more persuasively that we achieve more together than we do alone.

To stop the nationalists ripping our country apart by design and to stop the Tories dismantling it by neglect."

He continued: "As well as anger, I feel frustration. Frustration that every Labour Party spokesperson is a shadow...Shadow education, Shadow health, Shadow chancellor, Shadow foreign.

"Until we come out of the shadows, this party can’t change anything.

"When you lose an election in a democracy, you deserve to.

"You don’t look at the electorate and ask them 'What were you thinking?'. "You look at yourself and ask: 'What were we doing?'.

"The Labour Party has lost four general elections in a row. We’ve granted the Tories a decade of power.

"The Tories have had as many election winners in five years as we’ve had in 75.

"It’s a betrayal of what we believe in to let this go on. It’s time to get serious about winning."


Taking a swipe at Boris Johnson, he said he was busy prosecuting terrorists and "protecting the rule of law" while the PM was "writing columns about bendy bananas".

He explained: "While Boris Johnson was writing flippant columns about bendy bananas, I was defending victims and prosecuting terrorists.

"While he was being sacked by a newspaper for making up quotes, I was fighting for justice and the rule of law.

"The grown-up way to deal with Brexit is to negotiate properly and get a deal.

"And on Brexit, let me be absolutely clear. The debate between Leave and Remain is over."

He vowed that his party would not keep "banging on about Europe" and urged Mr Johnson to "go and get" a deal.

Mr Starmer thanked care workers and other essential employees who have helped keep the country running during the pandemic, and blasted the Prime Minister's "serial incompetence" over the crisis.

He said another national lockdown would be a sign of Government failing, not an "act of God". 

He explained: "It makes me angry that, just when the country needs leadership, we get serial incompetence.

"Six months in, a Cabinet chosen on loyalty alone shows no sign of having learnt any lessons from the crisis."

He said that the Tories had under-funded the NHS, abandoned social care and stopped investing in prevention, adding: " That’s all on their watch. That’s all down to them.

"And it always ends this way with Tory governments: public services are neglected, cut back, and left to decline. For a party called the Conservative Party, they don’t seem to conserve very much."

In closing, he appealed to Labour supporters who have turned away from the party in recent years to "take another look".

He said: " To those people in Doncaster and Deeside, in Glasgow and Grimsby, in Stoke and in Stevenage, to those who have turned away from Labour, I say this: we hear you.

"Never again will Labour take you or the things you care about for granted. And I ask you: Take another look at Labour.

"We’re under new leadership."