Keir Starmer Hits Back At Hecklers During Labour Party Conference Speech

“At this time on a Wednesday it’s normally the Tories that are heckling me."
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Keir Starmer hit back at hecklers during his speech to the Labour Party’s conference in Brighton on Wednesday.

The Labour leader faced some opposition in the hall from fans of Jeremy Corbyn during his first in-person conference speech since taking over the job.

“At this time on a Wednesday it’s normally the Tories that are heckling me,

He added to supportive laughter: “It doesn’t bother me then, and it doesn’t bother me now.”

Starmer used his speech, perhaps the most important of his political career so far, to try and mark a break from the Corbyn-era following the 2019 election defeat.

In response to further heckles, as he spoke about the death of his mum, Starmer replied from the stage: “Shouting slogans or changing lives, conference?”

“I can promise you that under my leadership Labour will be back in business,” he said.

He told activists: “My job as leader is not just to say thank you to the voters who stayed with us. It is to understand and persuade the voters who rejected us.

“To those Labour voters who said their grandparents would turn in their graves, that they couldn’t trust us with high office, to those who reluctantly chose the Tories because they didn’t believe our promises were credible.

“To the voters who thought we were unpatriotic or irresponsible or that we looked down on them, I say these simple but powerful words: We will never under my leadership go into an election with a manifesto that is not a serious plan for government.

“It will not take another election defeat for the Labour party to become an alternative government in which you can trust.

Starmer added it had been important for Labour to use its conference to “get our own house in order”.