Starmer laments passing of era as he plans to open conference with Queen tribute

·2-min read
Labour leader Keir Starmer at the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Labour leader Keir Starmer at the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Sir Keir Starmer has said the Queen’s funeral marked “the passing of an era” as he planned to open Labour’s conference with a tribute to the late monarch and the national anthem.

The Labour leader was among the 2,000 mourners gathered in Westminster Abbey for the service on Monday.

He wrote on Twitter: “Today marks the passing of an era.

“The dignity, courage, spirit, selflessness and good humour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showed throughout her reign will always be with us.

“We are lucky to call ourselves Elizabethans.”

In politics recently we have spent so much of our time on the divisive, the divisions, and actually ... when the nation gets the chance it comes together

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir is set to open his party’s four-day conference in Liverpool on September 25 with a tribute to the long-reigning monarch.

Party delegates will also sing the national anthem at the start of the gathering, for the first time in recent history.

However, a Labour source dismissed reports that drinks receptions will be toned down at this year’s conference in a sign of respect to the late Queen.

The Liberal Democrats cancelled their conference because it fell within the period of national mourning, but the Conservatives are going ahead with theirs in Birmingham from October 2.

Speaking ahead of the funeral at Westminster Abbey, Sir Keir said the day would be “about reflection and deep respect”.

He also said he believed the events of the past 10 days helped bring people together, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “The public have been incredible – to see those queues, to see people everywhere across London.

“It showed the United Kingdom for what it really is, this fantastic country able to convene and bring people together.”

He added: “In politics recently we have spent so much of our time on the divisive, the divisions, and actually, you know what, when the nation gets the chance, it comes together. In the last 10 days that has been incredible.”