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Labour Conference 2021 – live: Starmer wins vote on controversial reforms amid criticism from Burnham

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Sir Keir Starmer has narrowly won a vote at Labour’s conference in Brighton over controversial reforms over how the party’s future leaders are elected.

Despite having been forced to significantly water down the plans following a backlash from unions and the Labour left, Sir Keir hailed his victory on a set of varying reforms – including the introduction of a fully independent complaints process in response to the EHRC’s report on antisemitism – as “crucial step forward” in the party’s efforts to “face the public and win the next general election”.

The narrowly-avoided defeat would have marked a third embarrassment for the Labour leader in Brighton, with delegates voting in favour of taking energy firms into public ownership – shortly after he ruled out such a move, despite pledging support for nationalisation policies while running for leader.

Meanwhile, speaking after an exclusive poll for The Independent suggested members preferred him as the party’s leader, Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham hit out at the fact that no northern mayors had been invited to address the annual conference and suggested the party wasn't “serious about winning back the North of England”.

Elsewhere, shadow security minister Conor McGinn claimed members who joined the party because they were inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership were “misguided” and had been “misled” by others but were not necessarily “irretrievable”.

Earlier in the day, Angela Rayner defended calling Conservative ministers “scum” during a reception at the conference.

Read More

Labour conference: Piers Corbyn heckles climate crisis event with brother Jeremy Corbyn on panel

Andy Burnham criticises Labour for excluding northern mayors from conference

Labour conference: Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories ‘scum’

Key Points

  • Starmer hails ‘crucial’ victory, claims party has ‘closed the door on a shameful chapter’

  • Labour delegates vote to nationalise energy firms in second big defeat for Starmer

  • Members who joined Labour under Corbyn were ‘misguided’, says shadow minister

  • Angela Rayner defends calling Conservative ministers ‘scum'

  • Labour launches bid to end NHS ‘culture of secrecy’

End Labour focus on internal party battles, Burnham tells Starmer

20:50 , Andy Gregory

Andy Burnham has taken a swipe at Keir Starmer for focusing on internal battles over Labour’s party rulebook rather than taking the fight to the Conservatives at this week’s annual conference in Brighton.

The Greater Manchester mayor said he was “impatient” to hear a “convincing vision” from Labour about how it would improve the lives of people in the north, warning that voters will stop listening if the party fails to put forward clear plans soon.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has this report on the mayor’s interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg:

End Labour focus on internal party battles, Burnham tells Starmer

Labour has ‘respectable’ chance of winning election, says Burnham

20:29 , Andy Gregory

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has been speaking alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar at a fringe event at the party’s conference in Brighton.

He said Labour had a “respectable” chance of winning the next general election – but urged Keir Starmer and his team to come up with clear policies now – including a plan for a national social care service.

Mr Sarwar admitted the Scottish party must do better, saying: “We pretended we had a functioning Labour Party in Scotland to get through an election … I’m not in this to manage the decline of the Scottish Labour Party.”

“Nationalism of any kind is never a force for good,” added Mr Burnham – who claimed the SNP had weakened localism in Scotland in the desire to build a centralised national “brand”.

20:12 , Andy Gregory

Here’s some of the reaction to the conference votes.

Keir Starmer has got the rule changes he wanted – but he has made it look like a defeat

19:59 , Andy Gregory

Our chief political commentator John Rentoul gives his verdict on Sir Keir Starmer’s victory:

Keir Starmer won the rule changes he really wanted, while managing to make it look like a defeat. He was forced to abandon the plan to go back to the three-part electoral college for electing future leaders, which looked like a humiliating retreat, but he secured the change that mattered most to him, which was to lift the threat of deselection hanging over his MPs.

The rule change that matters was buried in some complex clauses setting out how a selection battle in a local party can be triggered.

To simplify, the trigger was one-third of party branches or one-third of affiliated trade union branches, and will now be half of party branches and half of local trade unions. That is a significant change.

You can read his full analysis here:

Starmer has got his rule changes – but he’s made it look like a defeat | John Rentoul

Starmer hails ‘crucial step forward’ and promises ‘ideas on how we win the next election'

19:56 , Andy Gregory

Responding to his victory on a set of reforms on how future leaders are elected and an overhaul of the party’s complaints process, Sir Keir Starmer said:

“I'm delighted that these vital reforms have passed. They represent a major step forward in our efforts to face the public and win the next general election.

“This is a decisive and important day in the history of the Labour Party. I promised to tackle anti-Semitism in our party. We've now closed the door on a shameful chapter in our history. I want to acknowledge the courage of all the people who spoke up against it.

“As I promised when elected as leader, the Labour Party is now relentlessly focused on the concerns of the British people and offering them a credible, ambitious alternative to this government.

“This is a crucial step forward for party I lead and am determined to see in government. And in the coming days you'll hear us set out ideas on how we win the next election.”

Starmer wins vote on leadership reforms

19:31 , Andy Gregory

Sir Keir Starmer’s package of leadership reforms have been approved by Labour members following a tight vote.

They were backed by 53 per cent to 46 per cent.

Labour members also supported other reforms put forward to them, including moves to introduce a fully independent complaints process, following a critical report by the equalities watchdog on the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints.

Safeguarding and discipline measures were approved, while a package linked to policies at conference were backed by 56 per cent.

Andy Burnham criticises Labour for excluding northern mayors from conference

19:22 , Andy Gregory

Labour's northern mayors should not have been left off the agenda at the party's annual conference in Brighton, Andy Burnham has said.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said it was “regrettable” that no mayor except London's Sadiq Khan had been invited to address the party's annual gathering with a speech.

Speaking at a packed event on the fringes of the conference Mr Burnham, who is seen as a potential future leader, said the lack of voices representing the region suggested the party wasn't “serious about winning back the North of England”.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:

Andy Burnham criticises Labour for excluding northern mayors from conference

‘Bring the dirty washing in from the line,’ Labour MPs urge party

19:00 , Andy Gregory

Speaking at a rally by Labour List and Unite the Union, prominent Labour MPs have reportedly urged the party to focus on what unites them.

According to Eleanor Langford of Politics Home, David Lammy suggested it was “time to bring the dirty washing in from the line”, while Ed Miliband joked Labour has a habit of “burying its similarities”.

Opinion: Keir Starmer has done little but divide Labour – but the left is resilient

18:40 , Andy Gregory

Writing for Independent Voices, author and journalist Rachel Shabi argues:

For the Labour left, Keir Starmer’s tenure has been marked by a mix of battle, and departure: fight or flight from the party, with some falling asleep thrown in. Promising to bring unity and stick to left-wing policies, Starmer set about doing neither, but in a stodgily managerial manner.

It was like the leadership had decided not just to repel thousands of members by stripping out Jeremy Corbyn-era policies and people, but to ensure those who remained were bored into a stupor.

But the left was dragged back to battle mode for the party’s annual conference in Brighton.

Read her full analysis here:

Starmer has done little but divide Labour – but the left is resilient | Rachel Shabi

Piers Corbyn ‘heckles’ climate event attended by brother Jeremy

18:20 , Andy Gregory

In case you missed it earlier, Piers Corbyn was reported to have disrupted the World Transformed event on the fringes of the Labour conference – while his brother Jeremy was onstage.

18:03 , Andy Gregory

Delegates are now casting their votes on the proposed changes, as tellers make their way around the room.

And that wraps up the main debate for today.

17:58 , Andy Gregory

Concluding the debate, national campaign coordinator Shabana Mahmood, argued that Sir Keir Starmer’s “strong” reforms “will better connect us with working people”.

She argues that if you are able to persuade 20 per cent of MPs to make you a candidate, “you will struggle to persuade the people of this country to make you their prime minister”.

Andy Burnham speaks out against voting rule changes

17:52 , Andy Gregory

Andy Burnham – who, according to an exclusive poll for The Independent more members prefer as leader than Sir Keir Starmer – has reportedly spoken out against the leader’s proposed reforms.

NEC accused of ‘shocking lack of faith’ in Labour membership

17:50 , Andy Gregory

“I just want to say what a shocking lack of faith the NEC appears to have in the membership of this party,” said Michael Stone of Batteresea CLP.

During a debate on Sir Keir Starmer’s proposals to move away from the “one member, one vote” system, he said: “That is the only possible conclusion that can be drawn by this ridiculous raising of the threshold. This cannot be acceptable.

“The membership of the party is the party. We are the people who are out there campaigning for Labour, we are the people who get the MPs elected.”

Labour will be ‘paler, maler and staler’ if Starmer’s reforms go through, delegate says

17:45 , Andy Gregory

The chamber is currently debating Sir Keir Starmer’s proposed changes to the Labour leadership voting system.

James McAsh, a delegate from Camberwell and Peckham, has argued that Sir Keir’s proposals to raise the threshold for nomination to 20 per cent support from MPs, would mean that Labour’s future debate would be “paler, maler and staler”.

He stated that over the last 40 years, very few candidates received that level of support – meaning neither John Prescott, Margaret Beckett, Ed Balls, Dianne Abbott or Andy Burnham would have made it into the contest.

And in 2020, voters would have been faced with a choice – “Keir Starmer, or Keir Starmer”.

Meanwhile, just one female candidate and zero black candidates have received that level of support, he said.

Hilary Benn urges Starmer to fight next election with promise to clear up Brexit ‘mess'

17:34 , Andy Gregory

“People’s Vote” supporter Hilary Benn has reportedly urged Sir Keir Starmer to fight the next election by promising to clear up the “mess” of Brexit and arguing for “a new relationship with the EU”.

“The truth is, bit by bit, the British people can see what is happening in front of their eyes - the queues, the shortages ... the threat to peace and security that a Labour government achieved after many years with the Northern Ireland [peace agreement],” the Labour MP was quoted as saying by the BBC.

He added: “For our future, we have to start the process of building a new closer economic relationship. That is what we have to do. bit by bit, step by step.

“It makes enormous sense to say we need to build a new relationship with those friends and partners across the Channel and that should be the message we take to the people at the next election.”

Labour conference debates reforms in wake of post-EHRC antisemitism report

17:17 , Andy Gregory

Racists who joined the Labour Party and tried to “break” Jewish members have failed, the party’s conference has been told during a debate on reforms proposed in the wake of the EHRC report.

Former MP Ruth Smeeth, from the Jewish Labour Movement, said she felt “sick” being in Brighton as she feared receiving more abuse, but struck a defiant tone as she insisted the party is “turning the page on the blight of antisemitism that has infected” the party, adding to the abusers: “You failed. We’re still here.”

Opening the debate, National Executive Committee member Mark Ferguson said: “I want to start, from this chair, on behalf of the whole party to say sorry to our Jewish members ... Rest assured it will not happen again.”

Reforms under discussion at the party’s conference include a fully independent complaints process to tackle antisemitism. ITV’s political editor has more details here:

17:08 , Andy Gregory

Here are the proposed changes to the Labour leadership rules, courtesy of our policy correspondent Jon Stone.

He also notes that the conference’s fringe listings are accompanied by a “tobacco-style warning”.

Miliband wouldn’t call Tories ‘scum’

16:47 , Andy Gregory

Ed Miliband has said he wouldn’t “have used those words” after deputy leader Angela Rayner described senior Tories as “scum”.

But the former Labour leader told Times Radio that it’s “for her to say what she wants about them”.

Lisa Nandy, shadow foreign secretary, told the BBC earlier she would not describe Tories as scum, saying: “Angela feels very strongly about what this government is doing, I do as well but that’s not the way that I would choose to articulate my anger.”

John McDonnell hits out at Unison after union ‘backs Starmer’s voting rule changes'

16:45 , Andy Gregory

John McDonnell has hit out at Unison after reports suggested the union had backed Sir Keir Starmer’s proposed changes to the one member, one vote system used in Labour leadership elections.

Take back housing stock from the establishment, Labour member says

16:31 , Andy Gregory

One Labour member told conference: “We need to take back housing stock from the establishment."

Laura Hallsworth, of Bristol East Labour Party, said housing benefits being paid to private landlords was a “shocking scandal”, and called for a radical change to housing policy.

She said: "We literally pay the landlords mortgages. This is obscene. It doesn't make any sense. Housing is not a commodity. It is not the way of the privileged people consolidating their wealth and getting richer.”

Ms Hallsworth added: “There is a myth that there is not enough housing for our needs. The whole system has been skewed by the super rich. We need to be radical. We need to take back what is ours. It doesn't make any sense tinkering around the edges.”

Too many white men putting hands up to speak, Labour delegates told

16:05 , Chiara Giordano

White men have been urged not to “dominate” speaking slots at Labour Party conference.

During a debate on housing and transport, the chairman of the session noted the people putting their hands up to contribute did “not reflect the diversity” of those in the hall.

Mark Ferguson, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, told delegates in Brighton: “I am afraid, and I am not speaking from a position of particular strength here, there are too many white men putting their hands up.”

To laughter, he added: “I am not anti-white men, some of my favourite people are - my dad’s a white man.

“But I do not want white men to exclusively dominate this or any other debate at this conference and following on from my comrade in the chair this morning, I do wish to see the diversity of the hall reflected.

Labour delegates vote to nationalise energy firms in another big defeat for Keir Starmer

15:53 , Chiara Giordano

Sir Keir Starmer has faced a furious backlash from the Labour left after he ruled out nationalising Britain’s biggest energy companies in a departure from the leadership position under Jeremy Corbyn.

Defying Starmer’s leadership, Labour delegates voted in favour of energy firms being taken into public ownership at the party conference in Brighton on Sunday.

My colleague Adam Forrest has the full story:

Labour delegates vote to nationalise energy firms in defeat for Keir Starmer

Labour is ‘party of homeowners and tenants’, says shadow housing secretary

15:31 , Chiara Giordano

Shadow housing secretary Lucy Powell said Labour is "the party of home-owners and tenants" while the Conservatives are "the party of speculators and developers".

Opening a conference debate on housing and transport, Ms Powell said a Labour government would "fix the housing crisis with a new settlement" for housing, adding: "The Conservatives see housing as a commodity, to be traded, profited from, part of an investment portfolio, a pension pot, not as the bedrock of stable lives and life chances."

She said Labour would create "a Building Works Agency" to "assess, fix and fund and then certify all tall buildings" to prevent another Grenfell disaster.

Ms Powell also said Labour "can't continue" with Right to Buy, adding: "I see no contradiction in us also promoting home-ownership - not for more landlords or second homes, but for ordinary working people.

"Central to this is bold action on restoring the link between wages and housing costs, and tackling the thorny issues of quality, affordability and security in private rentals, ending rough sleeping and no-fault evictions."

Exclusion of delegates ‘like Stalin’, says John McDonnell

14:51 , Chiara Giordano

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell has accused Keir Starmer of behaving like Stalin, after a number of delegates arriving at the Labour conference in Brighton were turned away at the door and told they had been expelled.

Mr McDonnell, a close ally of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, was scathing about the vision for Labour set out by Starmer in a pamphlet this week, describing it as “banality after banality”.

More on this from our political editor Andrew Woodcock:

McDonnell says Starmer acting like Stalin over Labour conference exclusions

We will make happiness for all Britons a priority, says shadow culture secretary

14:17 , Chiara Giordano

Happiness for Britons should be a priority under a future Labour government, according to the shadow culture secretary.

Jo Stevens said this is “just as important as economic growth” as she reiterated the party’s desire to ensure every decision in power would have to improve wellbeing.

Ms Stevens also confirmed Labour’s plans to take social media firms to task for scams hosted on their platforms and also place a “proper, effective legal duty of care” on the companies about what they host on their sites.

Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, Ms Stevens thanked NHS workers for helping her get through a “very frightening experience” when she was admitted to hospital with Covid.

Members who joined Labour under Corbyn were ‘misguided’, Starmer shadow minister says

14:06 , Chiara Giordano

Labour members who joined the party because they were inspired by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership were "misguided", one of Keir Starmer's shadow ministers has said.

Speaking at the party's conference in Brighton shadow security minister Conor McGinn said members who supported the former leader were not necessarily "irretrievable" but had been "misled" by others.

Read more on this from our policy correspondent Jon Stone:

Members who joined Labour under Corbyn were ‘misguided’, Starmer shadow minister says

We won’t nationalise energy, says Keir Starmer

13:41 , Chiara Giordano

Labour will not nationalise the big six energy companies, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The leader of the Opposition also vowed he would not rule out increases to income tax under a Labour government, saying only that he would aim to ensure those with the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details:

Labour won’t nationalise energy, says Starmer

Vote on rule changes expected to be ‘incredibly tight'

13:29 , Chiara Giordano

This evening’s vote on Sir Keir Starmer’s proposed changes to party rules is expected to be ‘incredibly’ tight, The Guardian’s chief political correspondent Jessica Elgot is reporting.

Opinion: Angela Rayner knows using the word ‘scum’ still doesn’t compare to some of Boris Johnson’s remarks

13:09 , Andy Gregory

In a piece for Independent Voices, our associate editor Sean O’Grady argues that in her comments last night Angela Rayner is “treading a very thin line between loyalty and pursuing her own interests, and doing it skilfully”. He writes:

Post-watershed as the words were, and uttered to get “fire in the belly” of demoralised Labour activists as she stated, and as much as they sound like a string of consciousness, they were carefully chosen. The “s-word” was in fact used twice, as reported by The Mirror.

She was doing a couple of things there, consciously or not. First, she was having a bit of mischief because she and her audience remembered how she’d been told off for directing the unparliamentary word “scum” at some Tory backbencher in the Commons - but here she was among friends.

Second, she said what an awful lot of voters, and not just Labour voters, think, or at least the banana republic bit. Indeed, I’d not be surprised if Ken Clark and Amber Rudd hadn’t long ago reached the same conclusion about Boris and his gang.

You can find the rest of his analysis here:

Rayner is fighting fire with fire in calling Tory ministers ‘scum’ | Sean O’Grady

Starmer urged not to abandon Corbyn-era nationalisation policies

12:51 , Andy Gregory

Sir Keir Starmer has faced union demands not to abandon Jeremy Corbyn-era policies to nationalise key industries – which he stood on during his leadership campaign.

As the Labour leader ruled out nationalising the “big six” energy firms, a motion moved at the party’s conference urged him not make “timid tweaks” to the system and instead aim for “deep and transformative change”.

The Communication Workers Union and Unite proposal also insisted there was a clear case for “extending public ownership” post-Covid, arguing the next Labour government should commit to bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership, in addition to the “broadband-relevant parts” of BT.

Unite's Tom Murphy said problems in the country will “not be solved with belief in the market alone”, adding: “It's vital that as we face the recovery and the long-term transition of a green future that this party does not turn its back on the democratic public ownership.

“Recent polling confirmed once again that the majority of the public back common ownership rather than face once again a chaotic cycle of deregulation, collapse and bailout.”

12:46 , Andy Gregory

Here’s some of the most recent media reaction to Angela Rayner’s description of Tory ministers as “scum” at a fringe conference last night, which she doubled down on this morning in an interview with Sky News – saying that letting children go hungry is “a scummy thing to do”.

The Financial Times’s Whitehall editor suggested it could pit Labour against voters it needs to win back, while Guardian columnist Dr Frances Ryan suggested the outrage was an example of “civility politics”.

Meanwhile, LBC’s James O’Brien took aim at so-called free speech defenders, while his colleague Iain Dale pointed to another contentious remark from the opposite benches.

‘Nuclear is vital to our low-carbon future’: GMB proposes ‘Green New Deal’ with nuclear and gas

12:28 , Andy Gregory

The powerful GMB union is proposing a less radical Green New Deal motion, which backs both nuclear and “green gas”.

“Energy is complex and we are going to need gas for years to come as we chart our way to the hydrogen future,” said general secretary, Gary Smith. “We need gas for heating and power but we need it for the NHS and for our food supply too.

“And I absolutely salute the gas workers who keep us warm and safe and who struggle against fire and rehire in British Gas.

“The Tories have no plan for energy, they have no plan at all. But I have to say our response as a party has been weak, and if we are going to build a radical and credible plan for energy, we need to start listening to workers and trade unions.

“I will say this to you: nuclear is vital to our low-carbon future. And to the King Canutes who will come to this platform: new nuclear is happening. It is supporting tens of thousands of jobs.”

According to legend, King Canute sought to hold back the tide – either out of arrogance or piety.

GMB general secretary proposes less radical Green New Deal backing nuclear and ‘green gas'

12:15 , Chiara Giordano

GMB general secretary Gary Smith is proposing a less radical Green New Deal motion, which backs nuclear and "green gas".

He said: "Energy is complex and we are going to need gas for years to come as we chart our way to the hydrogen future. We need gas for heating and power but we need it for the NHS and for our food supply too.

"And I absolutely salute the gas workers who keep us warm and safe and who struggle against fire and rehire in British Gas.

"The Tories have no plan for energy, they have no plan at all. But I have to say our response as a party has been weak, and if we are going to build a radical and credible plan for energy, we need to start listening to workers and trade unions.

"I will say this to you: nuclear is vital to our low-carbon future. And to the King Canutes who will come to this platform: new nuclear is happening. It is supporting tens of thousands of jobs."

FBU general secretary calls for socialist Green New Deal

12:00 , Chiara Giordano

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), called for a socialist Green New Deal, arguing the climate emergency is already an "industrial issue".

He told delegates in Brighton: "Conference, we see the climate catastrophe unfolding in front of our eyes every single day. Floods in Belgium and Germany that cost hundreds of lives. Wildfires across most of Europe. We see the climate catastrophe exposing the inequalities in society across the world.

"Workers killed in flash floods in unlawful basement flat apartments in New York City - one of the richest cities in the world.

"For us, in our union, this is already an industrial issue. Our members are out there tackling the impact of the climate catastrophe, here and now, and it has been growing over the past 20 years. I will give one example, which I used before but I don't apologise: every year, colleagues of ours in the United States are killed doing their job."

Wrong to say that only women have a cervix, says Keir Starmer

11:42 , Chiara Giordano

Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour MP Rosie Duffield was wrong to say that only women have a cervix.

Ms Duffield has stayed away from Labour’s annual conference this week after receiving threats online from transgender rights campaigners who regard her comment as discriminatory.

Today Labour leader Sir Keir called for the the debate to be conducted in a “respectful” way, while deputy leader Angela Rayner said she was “concerned” about the level of abuse directed at female MPs.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more on this:

Wrong to say that only women have a cervix, says Keir Starmer

Ed Miliband says he wants Labour to become the party of ‘green and red together'

11:11 , Chiara Giordano

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said he wanted Labour to become the party of "green and red together".

Mr Miliband told the Labour conference he had "come back" to the front benches to fight for "climate and economic justice together", and told party members there had to be a fair transition towards a green economy.

He said: "About workers in oil and gas, let me say to those people, including in this hall: I get your worries. I grew up in the 1980s. I am an MP in Doncaster - a former mining constituency.

"We remember what the Tories did. I know our responsibility - this climate transition must leave no worker, no family, no community behind.

"Let's lay to rest the idea that these Tories can somehow manage a just or fair green transition. A couple of months back Boris Johnson was challenged on Tory credentials on climate change.

"He joked that Mrs Thatcher closed the pits and gave us a head start. This guy laughing about people losing their jobs, communities losing their lifeblood, generations losing hope. How dare he?"

Labour private schools policy will see more money pumped into state system, says Starmer

11:00 , Chiara Giordano

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour’s policy of ending the charitable status of England’s private schools would allow more money to be pumped into the state system.

“This is a political choice to take that money and switch it to our state schools so that children and young people in our state schools have the best chance they can have to come out of schools ready for life, ready for work,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Labour government would require every business to reveal carbon footprint, says Miliband

10:57 , Chiara Giordano

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said a Labour government “would require every business to tell us their carbon footprint and how it’s consistent with net zero”.

Ed Miliband says Labour would ‘end Tory offshoring of jobs in offshore wind'

10:49 , Chiara Giordano

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband has said a Labour government would “end Tory offshoring of jobs in offshore wind”.

He told the Labour party conference: “People say, including in this hall, that under the Tories the low carbon jobs hasn’t been delivered.

“They’re right and we’d change it. That’s why we’d increase the investment in our ports and it’s time our world-leading status in offshore wind generation finally led to jobs for workers in the UK.

“So we will raise the requirement for domestic content so we can buy, make and sell British and end the Tory offshoring of jobs in offshore wind. That’s what we mean about delivery climate justice and economic justice together.”

Ed Miliband announces £3bn plan to ‘save’ steel industry

10:44 , Chiara Giordano

Announcing a £3bn plan to “save” the steel industry, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband told the Labour party conference: “We are making an unprecedented 10-year commitment for the steel industry to go green, investing £3bn in collaboration with business over the coming decade.

“We will make the steel industry not simply a proud industry of our past and our present but a proud industry of our future.”

“The Tories are losing the global race for electric car manufacturing - that’s why a Labour government would help fund the investment in the gigafactories we need, not just subsidy, public equity stakes taken by government to ensure a people’s dividend from the green transition,” he said.

“That’s what the British people have a right to expect.”

He added: “The green industrial revolution is about now worker being left behind.”

Starmer happy with package of party reforms put to conference

10:40 , Chiara Giordano

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was happy with the package of party reforms being put to the conference, despite being forced to water down efforts to change the way leadership elections are decided.

"I have got a package of rule changes that does what I wanted them to do, which is to ensure that the Labour Party can focus on the country, and some of those rules were holding us back," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"So I'm very happy with the situation we find ourselves in. It's a strong package, it went through the executive committee yesterday, it's going to the floor of conference today."

The rules will make it easier for sitting MPs to be reselected to stand in their seats.

Keir Starmer does not rule out raising income tax as prime minister

10:25 , Chiara Giordano

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer did not rule out raising income tax if he became prime minister.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “We are looking at tax - nothing is off the table, but we don’t know what the state of the national finances will be as we go to the election.

“What Rachel Reeves (shadow chancellor) said is she’s not currently considering income tax and that is fine, but what I’m saying is as we go into the election we will apply the principles we have set out to the situation as it arises.

“What we don’t want to do - whether it’s income tax or any other sort of tax, national insurance - is unfairly to hit working families, which is what this government is doing.”

He did not say whether he is looking at a wealth tax, but added: “Look at the choice the government is making - under their provision, under their tax they announced the other week, those with many properties as landlords don’t pay a penny more, their working tenants do.”

Keir Starmer refuses to say Angela Rayner should apologise for ‘scum’ comments

10:10 , Chiara Giordano

Sir Keir Starmer has refused to say Angela Rayner should apologise for calling Tory ministers “scum” during a reception at the party’s conference in Brighton.

The Labour leader told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Angela and I take different approaches and that’s not language that I would use.”

Asked if she should apologise, he said: “That’s a matter for Angela... but I would not have used those words.

“I will talk to Angela about it later on.”

Ashworth sets out Labour’s prescription for the health of the nation

10:01 , Chiara Giordano

Labour’s shadow health secretary has warned the government’s levelling-up agenda will be meaningless without a sustained focus on and investment in improving the nation’s health.

In an interview with The Independent ahead of his speech at the party’s annual conference on Tuesday, Jonathan Ashworth said a new vision for the NHS, and for wider public health, was needed if the country was to tackle inequalities that had been made worse by the pandemic.

Read the full interview with our health correspondent Shaun Lintern:

Ashworth sets out Labour’s prescription for the health of the nation

Full story: Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories ‘scum’

09:45 , Chiara Giordano

Angela Rayner has defended calling Boris Johnson and Conservative ministers “scum” during a Labour conference event, insisting she will only apologise when the prime minister retracts past “homophobic” and “racist” remarks.

Doubling down on her comments made during the first day of Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, Labour’s deputy leader said “leaving children hungry” in the midst of a pandemic was “pretty scummy”.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full story:

Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories ‘scum’

Angela Rayner should apologise for ‘appalling’ scum comment, says Grant Shapps

09:30 , Chiara Giordano

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said Angela Rayner should offer a full apology after calling Tory ministers “scum” during a reception at the Labour party conference in Brighton.

He told Sky News: “It is absolutely appalling. There is no place in public life for that sort of language, that sort of behaviour.”

He added: “It would be befitting if she just apologised rather than talking around the subject.”

Blow for Starmer as poll shows Labour supporters prefer Andy Burnham as leader

09:10 , Chiara Giordano

In a fresh setback for Keir Starmer as Labour’s annual conference gets under way in Brighton, a poll for The Independent has found that Andy Burnham is the preferred choice as leader, not only of voters in general but also among the party’s own supporters.

The exclusive Savanta ComRes poll for The Independent found despondency among Labour supporters about the chances of election victory under Starmer’s leadership and uncertainty among voters about who he is as a person and what direction he wants to take the country.

Our political editor Andrew Woocock has more on this:

Blow for Starmer as poll shows Labour supporters prefer Andy Burnham as leader

Angela Rayner defends calling Conservative ministers ‘scum'

08:55 , Chiara Giordano

Angela Rayner has defended calling Conservative ministers “scum” during an event at Labour’s party conference in Brighton yesterday.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn, has the deputy Labour leader’s comments below:

“That was post-watershed — what I was trying to get across… the anger and frustration when you have a prime minister who has said things that are racist, homophobic… at a time when they are cutting universal credit… we can’t sit on the sidelines here,” she said.

She added: “If the PM wants to remove himself from those comments - the racist, misogynistic, homophobic comments - then I will apologise to him personally for calling him scum.”

Emergency visas for 5,000 foreign lorry drivers will run out on Christmas Eve

08:45 , Chiara Giordano

Emergency visas for foreign lorry drivers to tackle the fuel crisis will run out at Christmas, it has emerged, as businesses dismissed the move as no more than “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire.”

As expected, 5,000 HGV drivers – together with 5,500 poultry workers – will be offered the right to work in the UK, a move repeatedly rejected by ministers despite warnings of a supply chain crunch.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the full story:

Emergency visas for 5,000 foreign lorry drivers will run out on Christmas Eve

Exclusive: Labour launches bid to end NHS ‘culture of secrecy'

08:38 , Chiara Giordano

Labour is to push for key changes to the government’s NHS reforms, with new laws on transparency in the NHS and a demand for safe staffing levels on hospital wards, following a series of scandals relating to failures in patient care.

Amendments to the government’s Health and Care Bill will also include plans for the investigation of stillbirths by medical examiners, and for limits on the power of the health secretary to interfere in investigations.

Our health correspondent Shaun Lintern has this exclusive report:

Labour launches bid to end NHS secrecy and improve safety following care scandals

Leadership election rules row mars day one in Brighton

08:10 , Chiara Giordano

A badly bruised Keir Starmer will ask the Labour conference to back a watered-down shake-up of leadership rules, after an embarrassing defeat in his bid to scrap the voting system that elected Jeremy Corbyn.

The five-day event got off to the worst possible start for the Labour leader, who was forced into a U-turn that dented his authority and created a rift with his own deputy, Angela Rayner.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the full story:

Keir Starmer bruised by defeat over leadership rules as Labour conference starts

Starmer calls for tax on private schools

08:04 , Chiara Giordano

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will look to raise £1.7 billion for state education by increasing the tax burden on private schools if elected prime minister.

The opposition leader told the Sunday Mirror he wanted to see a "rethink" on education and said the pandemic has increased the gap between children of wealthy and poor families.

The party is hosting its conference in Brighton, with Sir Keir's keynote speech due on Wednesday in which he will talk about overhauling the curriculum in England, with a focus on digital skills, practical work and life skills, and sport and the arts.

This would ensure pupils are "equipped for life", he said.

The Mirror said Labour will look to raise the money by ending the charity status of private schools, with the party saying this will bring in £1.6 billion after the removal of VAT exemption and £104 million in business rates.

08:03 , Chiara Giordano

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the annual Labour party conference being held in Brighton. We’ll be bringing you the latest news and updates throughout the day.

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