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Rolling coverage of the final day of the Labour conference in Liverpool, including Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech
10 things we’ve learnt from the Labour conference LIVE Updated Jeremy Corbyn makes closing speech at Labour party conference – watch live Andrew Sparrow
@AndrewSparrow Wed 26 Sep 2018 12.55 BST First published on Wed 26 Sep 2018 08.53 BST
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Key events Show 12.52pm BST 12:52 Corbyn says privatisation and outsourcing has become ‘national disaster zone’ 12.49pm BST 12:49 Corbyn says May is personally responsible for ‘nasty, cynical’ immigration policies 12.47pm BST 12:47 Corbyn accuses Tories of hypocrisy on racism and antisemitism 12.45pm BST 12:45 Corbyn says Labour will ”always be implacable campaigners against antisemitism’ 12.43pm BST 12:43 Corbyn urges Labour to ‘listen a bit more, and shout a lot less’ 12.39pm BST 12:39 Corbyn says in UK press freedom has too often meant ‘freedom to spread lies’ 12.22pm BST 12:22 Jeremy Corbyn’s speech Live feed Show 12.55pm BST 12:55
Corbyn says Labour will “embark on the biggest home building programme in half a century”.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.55pm BST 12:55
Corbyn turns to housing.
Austerity is putting other strains on the NHS too, one in five homes in England are now unfit for human habitation and 120,000 children are living in temporary accommodation.
So as John Healey has pledged, we will put a levy on those with second homes. Think of it as a solidarity fund for those with two homes to help those without any home at all.
There are more details here.
Radical Labour levy would double council tax on holiday homes Read more Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.54pm BST 12:54
Corbyn turns to the NHS.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS Labour’s proudest creation and it stands as a beacon for those still fighting for universal healthcare free at the point of need. Its founder, Nye Bevan, inspired by the collective health provision in his home town of Tredegar, described a free health service as “pure socialism”. And so it is. We all contribute through our taxes so that it’s there for all whenever we need it.
The Tories have pushed the NHs into crisis, he says. And he turns to mental health services.
And there is a mental health crisis too, causing real pain and anguish. A woman named Angela wrote to me recently, and she said: “My mentally ill daughter was told she would have to wait 12 months to get an appointment with an appropriate therapist. As a mother, I am at my wits end to know how to help her any more. I would hate her to become another suicide statistic.”
This has to stop and under Labour it will. We will deliver real parity of esteem for mental health services to protect people like Angela’s daughter.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.52pm BST 12:52
Corbyn says privatisation and outsourcing has become ‘national disaster zone’ Corbyn says privatisation and outsourcing has become “a national disaster zone”.
And the giant privateer Carillion has gone bankrupt, sunk in a sea of reckless greed, leaving hospitals half-built, workers dumped on the dole and pensions in peril, while Carillion directors continued to stuff their pockets with bonuses and dividends, and small businesses in the supply chain took heavy losses or went bust.
And speaking of bankruptcy, the Tories are now extending it into their own backyard. A Conservative Government and Conservative local councillors have combined to push Northamptonshire over the edge, putting vital services and those who rely on them at risk.
Eight years of destructive austerity and obsessive outsourcing have left other councils teetering on the precipice too, and this Government must be held to account for their social vandalism. It is Labour councils and only Labour councils that are taking every step to protect people and services and we must thank them for it.
Privatisation and outsourcing are now a national disaster zone. And Labour is ready to call time on this racket.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.51pm BST 12:51
Corbyn now turns to public services.
Conference, change in our country is long overdue. Every month this Government remains in power, the worse things get. Evidence of the failure of privatisation and outsourcing is piling up day after day. What has long been a scam is now a crisis.
Just look at the last few months: The Birmingham prison run by G4S had to be brought back into public ownership after the Chief Inspector of Prisons described it as the worst he had ever visited. The privatised probation service is on the brink of meltdown. Richard Burgon, the next Secretary of State for Justice, will end this scandal.
On the railways, the East Coast franchise has collapsed for the third time in a decade, bailed out by taxpayers yet again. You get on a train at Kings Cross and you never know who will be running it by the time you get to Edinburgh.
This is the best joke of the speech so far, and it gets a decent reception.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.50pm BST 12:50
This week the Tories “received a letter from the antisemitic and Islamophobic Hungarian government, thanking them for their solidarity, just as the rest of Europe united against it,” Corbyn says.
Our Party will never stay silent in the face of growing Islamophobia, whether from the far right on the streets, or the former Foreign Secretary’s disgraceful dog-whistle jibes at Muslim women.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.49pm BST 12:49
Corbyn says May is personally responsible for ‘nasty, cynical’ immigration policies Expanding on this theme, Corbyn turns to the Windrush scandal. And he criticises Theresa May personally.
We can never become complacent about the scourge of racism. Race hate is a growing threat that has to be confronted. Not just here in Britain, but across Europe and the United States. The far right is on the rise, blaming minorities, Jews, Muslims and migrants, for the failures of a broken economic system.
Its victims include the Windrush generation who helped rebuild Britain after the war and were thrown under the bus by a Government that reckoned there were votes to be had by pandering to prejudice. The ‘hostile environment’ policies – shameful brainchild of the present Prime Minister – led to the scandal of British citizens being deported, detained and left destitute. That is nasty, cynical politics that demeans our country.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.47pm BST 12:47
Corbyn accuses Tories of hypocrisy on racism and antisemitism Corbyn accuses the Tories of hypocrisy on racism and antisemitism.
So conference, we won’t accept it when we’re attacked by Tory hypocrites who accuse us of antisemitism one day, then endorse Viktor Orban’s hard right government the next. Or when they say we are racist, while they work to create a hostile environment for all migrant communities.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.45pm BST 12:45
Corbyn says Labour will ”always be implacable campaigners against antisemitism’ Turning to the antisemitism controversy, Corbyn says this sumer was “tough”. He goes on:
Ours is the Party of equality for all. The Party that has pioneered every progressive initiative to root out racism from our society.
But conference, being anti-racist means we must listen to those communities suffering discrimination and abuse.
I believe we are all stronger from listening and learning from each other.
The Jewish people have suffered a long and terrible history of persecution and genocide. I was humbled to see a memorial to that suffering two years ago, when I visited the former Nazi concentration camp at Terezin.
The row over antisemitism has caused immense hurt and anxiety in the Jewish community and great dismay in the Labour Party. But I hope we can work together to draw a line under it.
I say this to all in the Jewish community:
This party, this movement, will always be implacable campaigners against antisemitism and racism in all its forms.
We are your ally.
And the next Labour government will guarantee whatever support necessary to ensure the security of Jewish community centres and places of worship, as we will for any other community experiencing hateful behaviour and physical attacks.
We will work with Jewish communities to eradicate antisemitism, both from our party and wider society.
And with your help I will fight for that with every breath I possess.
Anti-racism is integral to our very being. It’s part of who you all are, and it’s part of who I am.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.43pm BST 12:43
Corbyn urges Labour to ‘listen a bit more, and shout a lot less’ Corbyn appeals for unity.
Our movement has achieved nothing when divided. The only winners have been the rich and the party of the rich: the Conservatives.
Real unity is based on the freedom to disagree and debate and then come together around democratic decisions, as we have done this week.
So we need to foster a much greater culture of tolerance. An end to abuse, online and in person.
We must learn to listen a bit more, and shout a lot less.
To focus on what unites us.
To accept losing a vote, while maintaining the right to pick up the debate again.
We are on a journey together and can only complete it together.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.41pm BST 12:41
From there he turns to Peterloo.
Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre when 15 peaceful demonstrators were killed and hundreds injured on the streets of Manchester by troops sent in by the Tories to suppress the struggle for democratic rights.
The great English poet Percy Shelley wrote a poem about the massacre. That was the origin of our slogan: “for the many not the few”.
Among those killed at Peterloo was a man named John Ashworth and a woman named Sarah Jones.
In the next Labour government, our very own Jon Ashworth, as Health Secretary, and Sarah Jones, as Housing Minister, will be carrying forward the struggle to protect and extend democratic rights. Hopefully without becoming martyrs in the process.
(Peterloo also led to the formation of the Guardian, but we don’t get a mention.)
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.40pm BST 12:40
Corbyn urges activists to use social media to challenge the mainstream media.
You challenge their propaganda of privilege by using the mass media of the 21st century: social media.
And we’ll do it in traditional ways too. On the doorsteps and in the town centres so that people know there is a Labour Party that will stand up for them and is ready to rebuild and transform Britain.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.39pm BST 12:39
Corbyn says in UK press freedom has too often meant ‘freedom to spread lies’ But he supports the freedom of the press, Corbyn says.
We must, and we will, protect the freedom of the press to challenge unaccountable power.
Journalists from Turkey to Myanmar and Colombia are being imprisoned, harassed or sometimes killed by authoritarian governments and powerful corporate interests just for doing their job.
But here, a free press has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths, and to smear the powerless, not take on the powerful.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.38pm BST 12:38
Corbyn is now having a go at press barons.
You may have noticed that not everyone is entirely happy about all this.
It turns out that the billionaires who own the bulk of the British press don’t like us one little bit.
Now it could be because we’re going to clamp down on tax dodging. Or it may be because we don’t fawn over them at white tie dinners and cocktail parties.
Or it could even be because Tom Watson has been campaigning for the second part of the Leveson media inquiry to be set up – something the last Prime Minister promised, but failed to deliver.
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Labour is going to anchor what it does in communities, he says.
Our mass membership is not just a source of funds of course.
That membership and our millions of affiliated trade union members are the voice of their workplaces and communities, and with our new community organisers we will anchor everything we do in people’s day to day experiences.
That is our strength. And together, we are going to change Britain.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.37pm BST 12:37
Corbyn summarises some gains at the local elections. And he goes on:
We have also been raising more money for our party. But not a penny of our funds came from a dodgy donor or a shady businessmen’s club.
Our money comes from hundreds of thousands of people across our country who believe in what we stand for.
So I don’t have to play tennis with an oligarch to keep our party organisation running. Labour trades in hope for the many, not favours for the few.
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.36pm BST 12:36
Now some local colour.
Since Jennie took over, we have registered significant electoral successes. In May, we saw the only bit of blue in Greater Manchester turn red as Labour won back control of Trafford Council.
And just for balance – as I know the Liverpool-Manchester rivalry can be a bit of a thing – there is not a single Conservative council on Merseyside either, and not a single Tory councillor in the city of Liverpool.
(I am using Quote: s from the text released by the party. Corbyn is making a few very minor changes as he goes along, but – unless they are significant – I will stick with the released text.)
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.34pm BST 12:34
Corbyn talks about Labour’s success.
This year we mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which saw eight million women getting the vote for the first time, along with five and a half million working class men.
We now have more women members of the Labour Party than the entire membership, male and female, of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties put together.
He praises Jennie Formby, the new general secretary, saying “her integrity and her determination are real assets for our party.”
Facebook Twitter Google plus 12.33pm BST 12:33
Corbyn is now starting.
Someone shouts “C’mon Jezza.”
Corbyn says thank you. And he says he will start in the way people would expect – by thanking the workers who have made the conference possible.
And he thanks his family, for their help and advice. There is always a lot of advice being given, he says.
Tu eres mi fuerza y mi apoyo. Gracias Laurita.
It has been a great conference, he says.
A conference of a Labour Party that’s ready to take charge and start the work of rebuilding our divided country.
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