Labour offers Britain “the leadership it needs at this time of national crisis”, Angela Rayner declared tonight as she kicked off the party’s stripped-back annual conference.
Keir Starmer’s deputy said Labour would act in the “best interests of the British people and in our shared mission to defeat this terrible virus” as the country is braced for a second wave of Covid-19.
The party will “call this failing Conservative Government out for its serial incompetence that is holding Britain back”, she vowed.
Labour Connected, a four-day online event replacing the traditional autumn get-together, will be the first major party bash – albeit virtual – since December’s disastrous election defeat, its worst since 1935.
Ms Rayner, who clashed with Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions this week while Mr Starmer was in coronavirus self-isolation awaiting his wife’s test results, said: “Over the next four days, the Labour Party will show what we can achieve with a new leadership for our party and for our country.
“At this time of national crisis, we are offering the country the leadership it needs.
“We will act in the best interests of the British people, and in our shared mission to defeat this terrible virus – and we will call this failing Conservative Government out for its serial incompetence that is holding Britain back.
“We know that we have a mountain to climb to win the next election, but we are determined to climb it.
“We must, and we will, restore the British people’s trust in Labour as a party of government.”
The “conference” is the first with Mr Starmer and Ms Rayner at the helm after the pair seized the leadership in April following Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation in the wake of the general election humiliation.