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Starmer Says Party Conference An Opportunity To Give Voters An Answer To The ‘why Labour?’ Question – UK Politics Live

Starmer says party conference an opportunity to give voters an answer to the ‘why Labour?’ questionGood morning. The Conservative party conference provided the nation with several blessings – an insight into factional infighting, and a glimpse of where the Tories are heading after the general election, a decision about HS2, a test for whether Rishi Sunak can present himself as a change candidate (answer – no), but what it didn’t provide was any boost for the party in the polls. The Labour conference formally opens in Liverpool today and Keir Starmer will be hoping that his event proves more successful.

The conventional wisdom is that Starmer has brilliantly persuaded the public that Labour has changed from the Corbyn years, and that he has made the case that the Conservatives do not deserve another term in office, but that he has not yet shown why voters should be enthusiastic about Labour. Parties do best when candidates and their supporters can convincingly answer the “I’m voting X because …” question in a clear, compelling sentence. In a interview with Andrew Rawnsley and Toby Helm for the Observer, Starmer says that his mission this week is to address that. He says:

This is the conference we wanted at this stage of the journey and this is where we intend to answer that question ‘Why Labour?’ with confidence and a coherent plan.

We’ll hear more from him on this shortly, when he gives the traditional pre-conference long sit-down interview to the BBC.

Here is the agenda for the day.

8.30am: Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, is interviewed on Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips.

9am: Keir Starmer is interviewed on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.

11.10am: The formal conference proceedings opens. At 11.25am Angela Rayner, the deputy leader, will speak. There will also be speeches from David Evans, the general secretary, at 11.45am and Anneliese Dodd, the party chair, at 12.15pm. Delegates will debate party reports.

12pm: Speakers at lunchtime fringe meetings include Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, on innovation in the NHS; Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, at an event with Labour candidates; David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, on lessons from abroad for progressives; and Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader, on Labour’s spending priorities.

2pm: Pat McFadden, the national campaign coordinator, speaks in the conference hall during a session on winning the next election.

4pm: Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, speaks at an in conversation fringe event.

5.30pm: Streeting is interviewed by Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, at a fringe meeting.

5.30pm: John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, and other leftwingers speak at a fringe meeting on “socialist solutions to the Tory crisis”.

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