POLITICS
30/09/2015 11:04 BST | Updated 30/09/2015 11:59 BST

Tom Watson Closes Labour's Conference: 'Let's Kick These Nasty Tories Down The Road'

Tom Watson
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Tom Watson

Tom Watson tore into the Conservatives and Lib Dems this afternoon as he called on Labour to “kick these nasty Tories down the road.”

Bringing the Labour Party’s annual conference to a close, the newly-elected Deputy Leader attacked George Osborne over his economic record and mocked the Lib Dems for their electoral disaster.

In a marked contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech yesterday, Mr Watson seemed to do away the mantra of a “kinder, gentler politics”.

The West Bromwich East MP described the Lib Dems as a “useless bunch of lying sellouts” before turning his guns on the Conservatives.

He said: “Tory austerity’s wreaked havoc on ordinary people. Over three million working people are worse off. This winter they’ll have to choose between keeping their children warm or keeping them fed in one of the richest countries in the world.

“That’s what austerity means. It’s disgusting."

He added: “Leaving the elderly to struggle, closing refuges to desperate women and children, sanctioning disabled people and people with mental health problems, thousands dying after being declared ‘fit for work’ - that’s why they’re called the nasty party.”

jeremy corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn sung The Red Flag, the socialist anthem which marks the close of the Labour party conference, which critics are likely to contrast with furore over not singing the national anthem.

Mr Watson overwhelming won Labour’s Deputy Leadership election this summer, which took place at the same time as the party chose Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader.

The former Armed Forces minister called on Labour to represent the millions of self-employed workers across the country in a bid to win back power.

He said: “[There are] 5.2 million private sector businesses in the UK, employing more than 25 million people.

“96 per cent of these are micro business, with 0-9 employees. That’s a third of all private sector employees in the UK. More than 8 million people in 5 million businesses. And the proportion’s growing all the time, faster than any other segment of the economy.

"These people are not posh. They’re not privileged. They’re not greedy or selfish or stupid. They work hard, they want to get on, but they also care about their neighbours and the communities we share.

“They’re our people, and we’re their party - or we are nothing.”

He added: “We have to be the party of everybody, or we’re the party of nobody.”

Mr Watson praised former Labour leader John Smith for his work in democratising the party, and also expressed gratitude to Ed Miliband in opening up the party to members who could join for £3.

However, he made no mention of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown in his speech.

After he had finished his address, Labour delegates sang socialist anthem The Red Flag and popular hymn Jerusalem.