Labour Party Conference came to a close in Liverpool as Jeremy Corbyn delivered his forth speech as party leader. Confident, relaxed and assured, Corbyn delivered a rousing speech, weaving together the themes from the week and announcing new policies while mocking the Conservatives and repeating calls for a General Election.
Corbyn started by paying tribute to his team and his family, addressing his wife in Spanish to say, “You are my force and my support”. Moving on to recent anti-Semitism accusations that have dominated the summer, Corbyn said Labour would always be an ally to the Jewish people and called for a line to be drawn under the affair.
The most eye-catching policy announcement was 30 hours of free childcare for every 2-4 year old. Similar plans by the Tories have been slammed as underfunded and full of exemptions. There was always pledge to create 400,000 green jobs by 2030 by investing in renewable energy, so senselessly ignored by the Tories.
On foreign policy, Corbyn pledged to facilitate a two-state solution in the Middle East and said this would be aided by recognising the Palestinian State on day one of his administration. He also promised to keep Britain out of “reckless wars or interventions” by “putting diplomacy before tub-thumping threats”.
But it was Brexit where Corbyn exceled. Accusing the Tories of wanting a future based on the 1950’s politics and 19thcentury economics, where “Britannia rules the waves and waives the rules”, he confirmed Labour plans to vote down May’s Brexit deal in the autumn. Corbyn travels directly from Liverpool to meet the Eu Chief Negotiator in Brussels on Thursday.
In the final morning session of the Conference Shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler pledged to give 10 days paid leave to individuals suffering from domestic abuse and end period poverty through the provision of free sanitary products. Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth unveiled plans for a £5m fund to assist young people with cancer.