Rob Wilson – 2016 Speech on Young People


Below is the text of the speech made by Rob Wilson, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Civil Society, in Milton Keynes on 8 November 2016.

I’m delighted to be here today, and to see so many familiar faces in the room. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a good number of you before, and to see for myself how your work supports and inspires young people to make the most of opportunities and go as far as their talents can take them.

The best thing about my job in government is the chance it gives me to meet young people and witness first hand their talent and creativity. It also allows me to see the fantastic work many of you do with those young people.

This government is committed to creating a Britain that works for everyone and that, most of all for me, means young people. I want all young people, regardless of their background or circumstances, to lead independent, fulfilling lives and to reach their true potential.

We all know how a lack of confidence, of not feeling good enough, of just not getting a chance, can hold people back and stop them reaching their true potential.

I don’t want that to happen to young people today and neither do you. Together we can make sure young people have their say on matters that concern them, act on their interest or passion and develop the skills they need to succeed.

All of us in this room share a huge responsibility. Everyone here is tasked with making a positive difference to the lives of our young people. To equip them for challenges, some of which may be familiar to us and others much more novel. A world so connected provides young people with huge opportunity but also many challenges and some danger.

I want us to build a society where young people feel appreciated and want to give back to their communities, because they understand just how much their communities value them. Where they have high aspirations for their own life and feel their views and opinions matter.

We know that’s not true for everyone and I’m passionately committed to changing that.

It’s why I’ve recently announced £80million of new investment in youth projects. This joint funding between Government and the Big Lottery Fund will drive our twin ambitions for young people going forward.

First to support young people, especially those in the most challenging circumstances to grow in confidence and ambition.

Secondly, to encourage all young people to find ways of contributing to society and make their views heard in their communities as well as across Government.

So let me talk first about how government and civil society can support those young people who need our help the most and the ones we need to reach out to first.

The Youth Investment Fund targets disadvantaged communities and will support place based youth activity in local areas. Funding is available up to 2020 to deliver open access services and help organisations invest and plan for the future. We have had to make choices about where to prioritise this initial investment but I believe we’ve made the right ones.

I hope and intend this to be only the first wave of the fund, and it will attract even more investment from local organisations, businesses and philanthropists.

A further £40million will go towards the second part of our vision, to support young people’s personal growth through positive engagement in our communities. The #iwill Fund, which is part of our on-going support of Step Up To Serve’s ‘#iwill’ campaign, will encourage volunteering in young people and instil it as a habit for life.

By helping others, by tackling other people’s problems, our young people feel empowered to take charge of their own lives and can see that their actions have an impact.

In giving, they receive so much back.

The Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund is a good recent example. With a little help from government investment, Youth United have successfully created over 27,000 new uniformed places, including in the Fire Cadets and St John Ambulance.

90% of the units created two years ago are still running, with no additional grant funding required. They are also engaging more people from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities, young offenders and those who have English as their second language.

Let me say again, it’s the people who need our help the most that we must reach out to first. And we should provide the opportunity for all young people to give back and speak out.

But there is one programme we want to be a single, unifying rite of passage for young people across the whole country – because it so embodies what we’ve set out to do – and that is National Citizen Service.

Over 275,000 young people have taken part since the NCS programme began, and independent evaluation shows that it has given them a great head start in life. It teaches them resilience and leadership skills and better prepares them for the future.

In my view, the best thing about NCS is that it draws in young people from every background and brings them together, to live and work as a united team. It’s what government wants for this country – social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement.

Let me tell you about Carlton Bolling School in Bradford. A school that has over half the pupils eligible for free school meals. A school where the majority of the pupil’s parents don’t speak English at home.

This summer, 85 Year 11 & 12 students enrolled onto NCS; the highest figure in Yorkshire and one of the highest in the country. In the words of the Head Teacher Adrian Kneeshaw, not only do our children return more confident, resilient and eager to learn but they are often much more eager to volunteer and help out in their local community.”

Evidence like this that motivates me every day and it’s why I am so pleased to have recently introduced the NCS Bill to Parliament. It should bring NCS to the notice of even more young people and encourage them to get involved. It will also ensure the NCS Trust works efficiently, effectively and transparently.

What has really struck me through the course of this bill is the support NCS commands across all political parties and interests. We have to spread the news of NCS to all those disadvantaged young people who would stand to gain from it the most.

I am delighted that Ambition and others here today have signed up to the NCS Trust’s Pathfinders programme. This means we can draw on your experience, reach, creativity and commitment to test innovative and more flexible ways of getting the best from NCS. It is a much-needed step forward and I thank you for your support.

But our eagerness to work hand in hand with the youth sector doesn’t extend only to NCS. Everything we want to do we can do much more effectively with your help and support. Your knowledge, your expertise can help make so much difference.

One of the highlights of my year is taking part in the UK Youth Parliament, when young people debate issues they care about and tell me all the things I’m doing wrong.

It is inspiring to see the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence of the speakers. Reassuring too – not only that our future is in such good hands, but that our policy of supporting and encouraging young people to be the best they can be really works. Give them the opportunity and young people shine.

This year they are set to debate; education reform, racial and religious discrimination, public transport, votes at 16 and the future of the health service. Now whatever your politics you can’t help but be impressed by that agenda.

The future we build today is theirs to inherit tomorrow therefore it is right that they should have a say on how it is shaped. That’s why I’m pleased we are talking regularly to the Department for Exiting the European Union to make sure young people do not go unheard.

It’s also why we’re arranging a Ministerial roundtable with organisations working in youth voice. This will help us to plan a process through which young people’s views are represented and they can tell DExEU what their priorities are.

Of course this time of change isn’t only unnerving for the young, I know many of you in the youth sector will be feeling a little unsettled. But it is in times of change that we get to show our real strengths – in how we adapt and embrace opportunity.

If we work together, if we are innovative, if we keep a relentless focus on the needs of young people we will be successful and make good progress.

I was pleased to see Ambition promote this forward-thinking in its recent ‘Count Me In’ paper, recognising that effective and collaborative services can really make a difference to young people, even in challenging times.

I’m thinking, for example, of the Wayz Youth Club in Bracknell. When their funding came under threat they formed cross-sector partnerships with housing associations, corporates and others to support a long-term strategy for young people in the local area. It is exactly this sort of innovative leadership and readiness to adapt and change that we all could learn from.

We all know there is less public money to go around, and what we have needs to be spent in a way we know makes the most difference.

That means a focus on reaching those who need it most and, crucially, helping the organisations you represent to broaden and diversify funding.

This means looking at a wider range of options for funding. For example, using philanthropy, trusts and charitable funds, social investment, direct fundraising and private sector support to build a more sustainable funding environment.

We know plenty of private organisations out there share your belief in the potential of young people. By demonstrating your capability, by showing them the real impact your work has, you can tap into this vital funding and transform even more young lives.

Of course we in Government will support you. I hope everyone here has benefited from the work of the Centre for Youth Impact. If not, get in touch. By understanding the impact of your services we can continually improve their performance.

There is so much to look forward to in this sector. Indeed, I’m delighted to announce that over the coming months we’ll be developing a new youth policy statement. This statement will bring together a clear narrative and vision for how we best help our young people.

It will highlight the opportunities that come with our move to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – how we can use our new position to give young people a greater engagement with our sporting and cultural heritage.

We want to benefit from your insights and wisdom. This new statement should draw on your experiences and celebrate the innovative work that is already happening.

I’m keen for it to act as a road map until at least 2020 and to show where this Government is heading with youth policy, so you can see where to work with us along the way.

More than anything I want the statement to be a commitment to every young person. That we will help them pursue their passions, lead happy, independent lives and feel an active, engaged and valued part of their communities.

Theresa May – 2016 Speech at Conservative Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at the party conference in Birmingham on 5 October 2016.

When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions were hanging in the air.

Do we have a plan for Brexit? We do.

Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through? We are.

Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days? Just about.

But I know there’s another big question people want me to answer.

What’s my vision for Britain? My philosophy? My approach?

Today I want to answer that question very directly.

I want to set out my vision for Britain after Brexit.

I want to lay out my approach – the things I believe.

I want to explain what a country that works for everyone means.

I want to set our party and our country on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics…

built on the values of fairness and opportunity…
where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person – regardless of their background, or that of their parents – is given the chance to be all they want to be.

And as I do so, I want to be clear about something else: that a vision is nothing without the determination to see it through.

No vision ever built a business by itself. No vision ever clothed a family or fed a hungry child. No vision ever changed a country on its own.

You need to put the hours in and the effort too.

But if you do, great things can happen. Great changes can occur.

And be in no doubt, that’s what Britain needs today.

Because in June people voted for change. And a change is going to come.


Change has got to come because as we leave the European Union and take control of our own destiny, the task of tackling some of Britain’s long-standing challenges – like how to train enough people to do the jobs of the future – becomes ever more urgent.

But change has got to come too because of the quiet revolution that took place in our country just three months ago – a revolution in which millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said they were not prepared to be ignored anymore.

Because this is a turning point for our country.

A once-in-a-generation chance to change the direction of our nation for good.

To step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.

Let’s be clear: we have come a long way over the past six years.

We’ve brought the deficit down.

Got more people into work than ever before.

Taken the lowest paid out of income tax.

Established a new National Living Wage.

Helped nearly a million new business to set up and grow.

Got almost one and a half million more children into good or outstanding schools.

Put record investment into the NHS.

Created nearly 3 million new apprenticeships.

And brought crime down by more than a quarter to its lowest ever level.

That’s a record of which we should all be proud.

And this morning it’s right that we pause to say thank you to the man who made that possible. A man who challenged us to change and told us that if we did then we would win again.

And he was right. We did change. We did win. The first majority Conservative Government in almost 25 years.

A great leader of our party – a great servant to our country.

David Cameron, thank you.

But now we need to change again. For the referendum was not just a vote to withdraw from the EU. It was about something broader – something that the European Union had come to represent.

It was about a sense – deep, profound and let’s face it often justified – that many people have today that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.

It was a vote not just to change Britain’s relationship with the European Union, but to call for a change in the way our country works – and the people for whom it works – forever.

Knock on almost any door in almost any part of the country, and you will find the roots of the revolution laid bare.

Our society should work for everyone, but if you can’t afford to get onto the property ladder, or your child is stuck in a bad school, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.

Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.

Our democracy should work for everyone, but if you’ve been trying to say things need to change for years and your complaints fall on deaf ears, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.

And the roots of the revolution run deep. Because it wasn’t the wealthy who made the biggest sacrifices after the financial crash, but ordinary, working class families.

And if you’re one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or – and I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this – someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.
It feels like your dreams have been sacrificed in the service of others.

So change has got to come.

Because if we don’t respond – if we don’t take this opportunity to deliver the change people want – resentments will grow. Divisions will become entrenched.

And that would be a disaster for Britain.

Because the lesson of Britain is that we are a country built on the bonds of family, community, citizenship.

Of strong institutions and a strong society.

The country of my parents who instilled in me a sense of public service and of public servants everywhere who want to give something back.

The parent who works hard all week but takes time out to coach the kids football team at the weekend.

The local family business in my constituency that’s been serving the community for more than 50 years.

The servicemen and women I met last week who wear their uniform proudly at home and serve our nation with honour abroad.

A country of decency, fairness and quiet resolve.

And a successful country – small in size but large in stature – that with less than 1% of the world’s population boasts more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States… with three more added again just yesterday – two of whom worked here in this great city.

A country that boasts three of the top ten universities in the world.

The world’s leading financial capital. And institutions like the NHS and BBC whose reputations echo in some of the farthest corners of the globe.

All possible because we are one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and I will always fight to preserve our proud, historic Union and will never let divisive nationalists drive us apart.

Yet within our society today, we see division and unfairness all around. Between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation. Between the wealth of London and the rest of the country.

But perhaps most of all, between the rich, the successful and the powerful – and their fellow citizens.

Now don’t get me wrong. We applaud success. We want people to get on.

But we also value something else: the spirit of citizenship.

That spirit that means you respect the bonds and obligations that make our society work. That means a commitment to the men and women who live around you, who work for you, who buy the goods and services you sell.

That spirit that means recognising the social contract that says you train up local young people before you take on cheap labour from overseas.

That spirit that means you do as others do, and pay your fair share of tax.

But today, too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street.

But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.

So if you’re a boss who earns a fortune but doesn’t look after your staff…

An international company that treats tax laws as an optional extra…

A household name that refuses to work with the authorities even to fight terrorism…

A director who takes out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust…

I’m putting you on warning. This can’t go on anymore.

A change has got to come. And this party – the Conservative Party – is going to make that change.


So today, I want to set out my plan for a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules and every person has the opportunity to be all they want to be.

It’s a plan to tackle the unfairness and injustice that divides us, so that we may build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.

A plan that will mean government stepping up. Righting wrongs.

Challenging vested interests. Taking big decisions. Doing what we believe to be right. Getting the job done.

Because that’s the good that government can do. And it’s what I’m in this for. To stand up for the weak and stand up to the strong.

And to put the power of government squarely at the service of ordinary working-class people.

Because too often that isn’t how it works today.

Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.

They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to your job security inconvenient.

They find the fact that more than seventeen million voters decided to leave the European Union simply bewildering.

Because if you’re well off and comfortable, Britain is a different country and these concerns are not your concerns. It’s easy to dismiss them – easy to say that all you want from government is for it to get out of the way.

But a change has got to come. It’s time to remember the good that government can do.

Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good;

that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot;
and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people.

Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and to embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of us all.

Providing security from crime, but from ill health and unemployment too.

Supporting free markets, but stepping in to repair them when they aren’t working as they should.

Encouraging business and supporting free trade, but not accepting one set of rules for some and another for everyone else.

And if we do – if we act to correct unfairness and injustice and put government at the service of ordinary working people – we can build that new united Britain in which everyone plays by the same rules, and in which the powerful and the privileged no longer ignore the interests of the people.

Only we can do it. Because the main lesson I take from their conference last week is that the Labour Party is not just divided, but divisive.

Determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that simply pulls people further apart.

That’s what Labour stands for today. Fighting among themselves.

Abusing their own MPs. Threatening to end their careers. Tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate.

You know what some people call them?

The nasty party.

And with Labour divided, divisive and out-of-touch, we have a responsibility to step up, represent and govern for the whole nation.

So where Labour build barriers, we will build bridges.

That means tackling unfairness and injustice, and shifting the balance of Britain decisively in favour of ordinary working class people.

Giving them access to the opportunities that are too often the preserve of the privileged few.

Putting fairness at the heart of our agenda and creating a country in which hard work is rewarded and talent is welcome.

A nation where contribution matters more than entitlement. Merit matters more than wealth.

A confident global Britain that doesn’t turn its back on globalisation but ensures the benefits are shared by all.

A country that is prosperous and secure, so every person may share in the wealth of the nation and live their life free from fear.

That’s what I mean by a country that works for everyone.


And if we believe in the good that government can do, it’s important for people to trust us to deliver the change they need.

We can start – as I said on Sunday – by doing something obvious. And that is to stop quibbling, respect what the people told us on the 23rd of June – and take Britain out of the European Union.

Because it took that typically British quiet resolve for people to go out and vote as they did: to defy the establishment, to ignore the threats, to make their voice heard.

So let us have that same resolve now.

And let’s be clear about what is going to happen.

Article Fifty – triggered no later than the end of March.

A Great Repeal Bill to get rid of the European Communities Act – introduced in the next Parliamentary session.

Our laws made not in Brussels but in Westminster.

Our judges sitting not in Luxembourg but in courts across the land.

The authority of EU law in this country ended forever.

The people told us they wanted these things – and this Conservative Government is going to deliver them.

It is, of course, too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU. It’s going to be a tough negotiation, it will require some give and take. And while there will always be pressure to give a running commentary, it will not be in our national interest to do so.

But let me be clear about the agreement we seek.

I want it to reflect the strong and mature relationships we enjoy with our European friends.

I want it to include cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism work.

I want it to involve free trade, in goods and services.

I want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within the Single Market – and let European businesses do the same here.

But let’s state one thing loud and clear: we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration all over again.

And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. That’s not going to happen.

We are leaving to become, once more, a fully sovereign and independent country – and the deal is going to have to work for Britain.

And that Britain – the Britain we build after Brexit – is going to be a Global Britain.

Because while we are leaving the European Union, we will not leave the continent of Europe. We will not abandon our friends and allies abroad. And we will not retreat from the world.

In fact, now is the time to forge a bold, new, confident role for ourselves on the world stage.

Keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world.

Providing humanitarian support for refugees in need.

Taking the lead on cracking down on modern slavery wherever it is found.

Ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Always acting as the strongest and most passionate advocate for free trade right across the globe.

And always committed to a strong national defence and supporting the finest Armed Forces known to man.

And this week, our excellent Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, proved not only that we will support them with our hearts and souls.

Not only will we remain committed to spending two per cent of our national income on defence.

But we will never again – in any future conflict – let those activist, left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave – the men and women of Britain’s Armed Forces.


It’s about restoring fairness – something that must be at the heart of everything we do. Supporting those who do the right thing, who make a contribution.

Helping those who give something back.

And that’s at the heart of my plan for our economy too.

An economy that’s fair and where everyone plays by the same rules.
That means acting to tackle some of the economy’s structural problems that hold people back.

Things like the shortage of affordable homes. The need to make big decisions on – and invest in – our infrastructure. The need to rebalance the economy across sectors and areas in order to spread wealth and prosperity around the country.

Politicians have talked about this for years. But the trouble is that this kind of change will never just happen by itself. If that’s what we want, we need the vision and determination to see it through.

That’s why Philip Hammond and Greg Clark are working on a new industrial strategy to address those long-term structural challenges and get Britain firing on all cylinders again.

It’s not about picking winners, propping up failing industries, or bringing old companies back from the dead.

It’s about identifying the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and supporting and promoting them through policies on trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development.

It’s about doing what every other major and growing economy in the world does.

Not just sitting back and seeing what happens – but putting in place a plan and getting on with the job.

So we will identify the sectors of the economy – financial services, yes, but life sciences, tech, aerospace, car manufacturing, the creative industries and many others – that are of strategic importance to our economy, and do everything we can to encourage, develop and support them.

And we will identify the places that have the potential to contribute to economic growth and become the homes to millions of new jobs.
That means inspiring an economic and cultural revival of all of our great regional cities.

We have made a start.

Thanks to George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse, over the past year, foreign direct investment in the North has increased at double the rate of the rest of the country.

Here in Birmingham, thanks to the incredible Jaguar Land Rover, the West Midlands is the only part of the country to run a trade surplus with China.

And across the region, the Midlands Engine is on track to deliver 300,000 more jobs by 2020.

Now it’s time to build on that success – in Birmingham and Manchester and in other cities across the country.

And as we are here in Birmingham this week, let us show our support for the Conservative Party’s candidate for next year’s mayoral election.

A success in business running John Lewis. An action man in Birmingham, playing his part in transforming this city. A man to get things done, the future Mayor of the West Midlands – Andy Street.


An economy that works for everyone is an economy where everyone plays by the same rules.

I understand the frustration people feel when they see the rich and the powerful getting away with things that they themselves wouldn’t dream of doing. And they wouldn’t get away with if they tried.

I understand that because I feel it too.

There’s always an excuse – a reason why something can’t be done – but when that is used as a basis for inaction, faith in capitalism and free markets falls.

The Conservative Party will always believe in free markets. And that’s precisely why it’s this party that should act to defend them.

From Edmund Burke onwards, Conservatives have always understood that if you want to preserve something important, you need to be prepared to reform it. We must apply that same approach today.

That’s why where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene.

Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right.

It’s just not right, for example, that half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses, can’t get a decent broadband connection.

It’s just not right that two thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs.

And it’s just not right that the housing market continues to fail working people either.

Ask almost any question about social fairness or problems with our economy, and the answer so often comes back to housing.

High housing costs – and the growing gap between those on the property ladder and those who are not – lie at the heart of falling social mobility, falling savings and low productivity.

We will do everything we can to help people financially so they can buy their own home. That’s why Help to Buy and Right to Buy are the right things to do.

But as Sajid said in his bold speech on Monday, there is an honest truth we need to address. We simply need to build more homes.

This means using the power of government to step in and repair the dysfunctional housing market.

It means using public sector land for more and faster house building.

It means encouraging new technologies that will help us to get more houses built faster. And putting in more government investment too.

It means stepping up and doing what’s right for Britain.

Making the market work for working people.

Because that’s what government can do.

And something else we need to do: take big, sometimes even controversial, decisions about our country’s infrastructure.

Because we need to get Britain firing in all areas again.

It is why we will press ahead with plans for High Speed 2, linking London and Birmingham and, eventually, towns and cities in the North.

Why we will shortly announce a decision on expanding Britain’s airport capacity.

And why – having reviewed the evidence and added important new national security safeguards – we signed up to Hinkley Point.

We will take the big decisions when they’re the right decisions for Britain.

Because that’s what government can do.

And we can make these big decisions because our economy is strong and because of the fiscal discipline we have shown over the last six years.

And we must continue to aim for a balanced budget.

But to build an economy that works for everyone, we must also invest in the things that matter, the things with a long-term return.

That is how we will address the weaknesses in our economy, improve our productivity, increase economic growth and ensure everyone gets a fair share.

And that’s not the only reason.

Because while monetary policy – with super-low interest rates and quantitative easing – provided the necessary emergency medicine after the financial crash, we have to acknowledge there have been some bad side effects.

People with assets have got richer. People without them have suffered. People with mortgages have found their debts cheaper. People with savings have found themselves poorer.

A change has got to come. And we are going to deliver it.

Because that’s what a Conservative Government can do.


This party will always be the party of businesses large and small.

But we must acknowledge that the way a small number of businesses behave fuels the frustration people feel.

It’s not the norm. I know that most businesses and the people who run them are hardworking, entrepreneurial and public spirited at heart.

But the actions of a few tar the reputations of the many.

So the party that believes in business is going to change things to help support it.

Too often the people who are supposed to hold big business accountable are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team.

And too often the scrutiny they provide is not good enough.

A change has got to come.

So later this year we will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.

Because we are the party of workers. Of those who put in the effort.

Those who contribute and give of their best.

That’s why we announced on Saturday that we’re going to review our laws to make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.

That’s right.

Workers’ rights – not under threat from a Conservative government.

Workers’ rights – protected and enhanced by a Conservative government.

And let me say something about tax.

We’re all Conservatives here. We all believe in a low-tax economy.

But we also know that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society.

Nobody, no individual tycoon and no single business, however rich, has succeeded on their own.

Their goods are transported by road, their workers are educated in schools, their customers are part of sophisticated networks taking in the private sector, the public sector and charities.

We’ve all played a part in that success.

So it doesn’t matter to me who you are.

If you’re a tax-dodger, we’re coming after you.

If you’re an accountant, a financial adviser or a middleman who helps people to avoid what they owe to society, we’re coming after you too.

An economy that works for everyone is one where everyone plays by the same rules.

So whoever you are you – however rich or powerful – you have a duty to pay your tax.

And we’re going to make sure you do.


This is a big agenda for change. But it is necessary and essential.

It is a programme for government to act to create an economy that works for everyone – an economy that’s on the side of ordinary working class people.

And an economy that can support the vital public services and institutions upon which we all rely – to invest in the things we hold dear.

Like the NHS – one of the finest health care systems anywhere in the world, and a vital national institution.

An institution that reflects our values, our belief in fairness, and in which we all take enormous pride.

And I mean all.

Because there is complete cross-party support for the NHS.

For its status as a provider of free-at-the-point-of-use health care.

For the thousands of doctors and nurses that work around the clock to care for their patients.

We all have a story about the nurse who cared for a loved one, or a surgeon who saved the life of a friend.

So let us take this opportunity to say to those doctors and nurses – thank you.

The NHS should unite us. But year after year, election after election, Labour try to use it to divide us.

At every election since it was established, Labour have said the

Tories would cut the NHS – and every time we have spent more on it.

Every election, they say we want to privatise the NHS – and every time we have protected it.

In fact, the party that expanded the use of the private sector in the NHS the fastest was not this party, but the Labour Party.

The only party to ever cut spending on the NHS is not this party, but the Labour Party – that’s what they did in Wales.

And at the last election, it wasn’t the Labour Party that pledged to give the NHS the money it asked for to meet its five-year plan – it was this party, the Conservative Party…

investing an extra £10 billion in the NHS – more than its leaders asked for…

and this year more patients are being treated, and more operations

are being carried out, by more doctors and more nurses than ever before.

That’s a tribute to everyone who works in the NHS.

But also to one man – Jeremy Hunt – who is one of the most passionate advocates for patients and for the doctors, nurses and others who work in our health service that I have ever known.

So let’s have no more of Labour’s absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion.

Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority.

Let’s make clear that they have given up the right to call themselves the party of the NHS, the party of the workers, the party of public servants.

They gave up that right when they adopted the politics of division.

When their extreme ideological fixations led them to simply stop listening to the country.

When they abandoned the centre ground.

And let us take this opportunity to show that we, the Conservative Party, truly are the party of the workers… the party of public servants… the party of the NHS.

Because we believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.

We believe in the good that government can do.

Government cannot stand aside when it sees social injustice and unfairness. If we want to make sure Britain is a country that works for everyone, government has to act to make sure opportunity is fairly shared.

And I want us to be a country where it doesn’t matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what god you worship, whether you’re a man or a woman, gay or straight, or black or white.

All that should matter is the talent you have and how hard you’re prepared to work.

But if we’re honest we’ll admit that’s simply not the case for everyone today.

Advancement in today’s Britain is still too often determined by wealth or circumstance.

By an accident of birth rather than talent.

By privilege not merit.

Rebalancing our economy is a start, but if we’re serious about overturning some of the longstanding injustices and barriers that stop working people from getting on, we need that economic reform to be allied with genuine and deep social reform too.

Because a society that works for everyone is a society based on fairness. And only genuine social reform can deliver it.

Genuine social reform means helping more people onto the housing ladder. It means making sure every child has access to a good school place.

It means never writing off people who can work and consigning them to a life on benefits, but giving them the chance to go out and earn a living and to enjoy the dignity that comes with a job well done.

But for those who can’t work, we must offer our full support – which is why it was so important that Damian Green announced on Saturday that we will end the mandatory retesting of those with chronic health conditions that only induces stress but does nothing at all to help.

And genuine social reform means addressing historic injustices that hold too many people back.

Some of my proudest moments as Home Secretary came when we began to tackle deep-seated and long-standing problems that few had dared to tackle before.

I introduced the first ever Modern Slavery Act, bringing in tough new penalties to put slave masters behind bars, with life sentences for the worst offenders.

I cut the police’s use of stop and search by almost two thirds and reduced the disproportionate targeting of young, black men.

And I know our impressive new Home Secretary Amber Rudd is committed to carrying on that work.

But injustices remain.

If you are from a black Caribbean background, you are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than other children.

If you are a black woman, you are seven times more likely to be detained under mental health legislation than a white woman.

People in ethnic minority households are almost twice as likely to live in relative poverty as white people.

But it is not just those from minority backgrounds who are affected.

White working class boys are less likely to go to university than any other group in society.

We cannot let this stand – not if a country that works for everyone is the principle that binds us all together.

That’s why I have launched an unprecedented audit of public services to shine a light on these racial disparities and let us do something about them.

Because they are all burning injustices, and I want this government – this Conservative Government – to fight every single one of them.

A society that works for everyone is one of fairness and opportunity.

A society in which everyone has the chance to go as far as their talents will take them.

That’s why in one of the first speeches I gave as Prime Minister I set out my plans to transform Britain into a Great Meritocracy.

And that starts in our schools.

I want Britain to be a country in which every child has access to a good school place that’s right for that individual child.

Because Britain after Brexit will need to make use of all of the talent we have in this country.

We have come a long way.

Thanks to the free schools and academies programme and the efforts of teachers, heads and governors, there are now 1.4 million more children in good and outstanding schools compared with 2010.

But we need to go further. Because there are still one and a quarter million children in schools that are just not good enough.

And if you live in the Midlands or the North, you have less chance of attending a good school than children in the South.

This simply cannot go on.

That’s why Justine Greening and I have set out a new package of reforms, building on Michael Gove’s success, to increase the number of good school places across the country… so there’s not just a school place for every child, but a good school place for every child.

A school place that suits the skills, interests and abilities of every single pupil.

That is why we want more of our great universities to set up or sponsor schools in the state sector – just as the University of Birmingham has done, a few miles from here.

It’s why we are saying to the great private schools that – in return for their charitable tax status – we want them to do more to take on children without the means to pay, or set up and sponsor good state schools.

It is why we want more good faith schools for parents and pupils who want them.

And it is why we have said – where there is demand from parents, where they will definitely take pupils from all backgrounds, where they will play a part in improving the quality of all schools in their area – we will lift the ban on establishing new grammar schools too.

And here we see the challenge.

Because for too long politicians have said to people and communities who are crying out for change that they can’t have what they want.

They’ve said we don’t think you should have it, even though we might enjoy those very same things for ourselves.

And you end up in the absurd situation where you stop these good, popular, life-changing schools from opening – by law.

Imagine. Think of what that says.

If you’re rich or well off, you can have a selective education for your child. You can send them to a selective private school. You can move to a better catchment area or afford to send them long distances to get the education you want.

But if you’re not, you can’t.

I can think of no better illustration of the problem – why ordinary working class people think it’s one rule for them, and another for everyone else.

Because the message we are sending them is this: we will not allow their children to have the same opportunities that wealthier children enjoy.

That is a scandal and we – the Conservative Party – must bring it to an end.


So my vision is for Britain to be a Great Meritocracy.

That’s what I’ve always believed in. The cause that everything I have ever done in politics has been designed to serve.

Because a country based on merit not privilege, is a country that’s fair. And when we overcome unfairness and injustice, we can build that new united Britain that we need.

And united, we can do great things.

We saw that in the summer in Rio. We saw how individual success was powered by collective effort. How the dedication and talent of one was supported by a united team.

And how a government’s determination – John Major’s Conservative Government’s determination – to step up and back Britain’s sporting success contributed to such a remarkable result.

We were honoured to welcome four members of the team – Helen Richardson-Walsh, Dame Sarah Storey, Vicky Thornley and Andrew Triggs-Hodge – to our conference on Monday.

And to them – and to every athlete and every member of Team and Paralympics GB – we say, thank you. You did your country proud.

It was a memorable summer for British sport, but one moment stood out for me above all other.

It was not from Rio. It happened later. Just a couple of weeks ago on the sun-drenched streets of Cozumel in Mexico.

There, our celebrated triathlon champion Jonny Brownlee was heading for glory, the finishing line in sight, when he faltered. Stopped. And was falling exhausted to the ground.

And just behind him, his brother Alistair – a tough competitor who typically yields to no one – had the chance to run on and steal the prize.

But seeing his brother’s struggle, he didn’t pass on by. As other competitors ran past, he stopped. Reached out his hand. And gently carried him home.

And there in that moment, we saw revealed an essential truth. That we succeed or fail together. We achieve together or fall short together.

And when one among us falters, our most basic human instinct is to put our own self-interest aside, to reach out our hand and help them over the line.

That’s why the central tenet of my belief is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.

We form families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations.

We have a responsibility to one another.

And I firmly believe that government has a responsibility too.

It is to act to encourage and nurture those relationships, networks and institutions – and to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness where it can – because these are the things that can drive us apart.

That’s why I say today – as I have always said – that my mission – and the mission of this party – is to build a country that truly works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

It’s why when I stood on the steps of Number 10 for the first time as Prime Minister 84 days ago, I said that the Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the rich and powerful, but by the interests of ordinary, working class people.

And this week, we have shown the country that we mean business.

Not just protecting, but enhancing workers’ rights.

Building an economy that’s fair, where everyone plays by the same rules.

Getting more houses built. More doctors in the NHS.

Investing in things that will make our economy grow.

Hundreds of great new schools. Universities and fee-paying schools helping state schools to improve.

And yes, where parents want them and where they’ll improve standards for children of whatever background – the first new grammar schools to open in England for fifty years.


This is a bold plan to bring Britain together. To build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.

An agenda for a new modern Conservatism. That understands the good government can do. That will never hesitate to face down the powerful when they abuse their positions of privilege.

That will always act in the interests of ordinary, working class people.

That’s what government’s about: action. It’s about doing something, not being someone.

About identifying injustices, finding solutions, driving change.

Taking, not shirking, the big decisions. Having the courage to see things through.

It’s not always glamorous or exciting, but at its best it’s a noble calling.

And where many just see government as the problem, I want to show it can be part of the solution too.

And I know this to be true.

For as I leave the door of my office at Number 10, I pass that famous staircase – the portraits of prime ministers past lined up along the wall.

Men – and of course one woman – of consequence, who have steered this country through difficult times – and changed it for the better too.

There’s Disraeli, who saw division and worked to heal it. Churchill, who confronted evil and had the strength to overcome. Attlee, with the vision to build a great national institution. And Lady Thatcher who taught us we could dream great dreams again.

Those portraits remind me of the good that government can do.

That nothing good comes easy.

But with courage and vision and determination you can always see things through.

And as I pass them every day, I remember that our nation has been shaped by those who stepped up to be counted when the big moments came.

Such opportunities are rare, but we face such a moment today.

A moment that calls us to respond and to reshape our nation once again.

Not every generation is given this opportunity.

Not every generation called to step up in such a way.

But this is our generation’s moment.

To write a new future upon the page.

To bring power home and make decisions… here in Britain.

To take back control and shape our future… here in Britain.

To build an outward looking, confident, trading nation… here in Britain.

To build a stronger, fairer, brighter future… here in Britain.

That is the opportunity we have been given.

And the responsibility to grasp it falls upon us all.

So to everyone here this morning – and the millions beyond whether leavers or remain – I say:

Come with me and we’ll write that brighter future.

Come with me and we’ll make that change.

Come with me as we rise to meet this moment.

Come with me and together let’s seize the day.

Matt Hancock – 2016 Speech at Royal Television Society Conference

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, on 27 September 2016.

It is a pleasure to speak at this Royal Television Society conference – and to take up the post as Minister responsible for our most vital, cherished and thriving sector.

I’ve always thought that there is a risk that because people so enjoy what you make, they might take for granted the craft – the sheer industry – behind it. When you entertain, when people are laughing, or crying cathartic tears, or cheering on a favourite contestant, they don’t always care to be reminded that for some people – for you – this is work. Complex, demanding work.

I do not take your work for granted. And in Government we know that you’re exceptionally good at what you do.

Throughout its history, TV has been one of the UK’s greatest success stories. In recent years it has grown at twice the rate of the rest of our economy, and annually generates over £13 billion in revenue. Of that, the growing independent production sector now contributes £3 billion a year.

More than just the economic statistics, your work really matters. You are one of the UK’s best shop windows, introducing the world to our culture, telling them who we are as a nation. That we are hugely creative, inquisitive, innovative, silly when we want to be, daring. The export market for finished programmes, international commissions and format sales has more than doubled in size over the past decade to over a billion today.

You and your programmes are among our most powerful cultural ambassadors. Kids in South Korea queue to meet Peter Capaldi. Crowds in New York scream for Benedict Cumberbatch. And all over the world people make their arms into an X and tell Simon Cowell “No one wants this more than me.” That is soft power in action. And it is great for the UK.

But of course this is also a time of great change. Digital technology is revolutionising viewing habits. And it is primarily these challenges – and these opportunities – I want to talk about today.

Traditional TV viewing, in front of the set, now accounts for only around two thirds of the nation’s viewing time. It’s perhaps ironic that as we watch the families on Gogglebox face a traditional screen many of us will do so on phones, laptops or tablets.

And what we watch is changing. 72% of us now regularly watch short-form videos, on YouTube and elsewhere. James Corden’s car-pool karaoke, that Calvin Harris video featuring Rihanna, Hillary Clinton’s latest spot ad, even back-copies of PMQs – everyone’s taste is catered for, mine included.

And if we want more conventional length programmes we won’t necessarily turn to the conventional channels. Netflix now reaches 4.4 million households in the UK, and Amazon Prime over a million.

These figures may sound unsettling – disruptive to the way you’ve always worked.

But let’s bear in mind too that some of our greatest, most creative TV shows were made when the medium was relatively young. Series like Monty Python or the plays of Dennis Potter were able to experiment so freely, so successfully, because no one was yet clear what the rules were. Some of those brilliant, innovative shows, like Doctor Who and Coronation Street, are still with us today so it’s easy to forget just how radical they once were.

The exciting thing about now is: the toys are new again. The rules are being rewritten. This can and should be another Golden Age of creativity.

And the Government will support you in making it so.

I’ve set out three core priorities for all the creative industries, and they are no less important in TV than the others.

The first is backing success.

In all we do, we want to back success where we find it; to build on and strengthen Britain’s creativity.

So we have introduced new TV tax breaks. And they are working. In the first full year of the TV tax credit, nearly £400 million was invested in high-end television programmes, a further £52 million in animation, and £35 million in video games.

Amid this constant change, Public Service Broadcasting remains hugely valued in most viewers’ lives. In a typical week, figures show 84% of us will watch Public Service television. And the vast majority – 73% of viewers, according to a recent poll – believe it is doing a fine job.

Following one of the largest ever consultation exercises in the UK, the new draft BBC Charter establishes the Corporation’s funding, its governance, its mission and purpose, its scale and its scope for the next 11 years, beyond the life of this Parliament and the next.

The new draft Charter secures the BBC’s independence by taking the next Charter review out of the electoral cycle and by creating a BBC Board that has fair and transparent appointments and the majority of whose members are appointed by the BBC itself.

And by enhancing its distinctiveness, accountability, transparency and efficiency it will make sure the BBC continues to thrive. New powers for Ofcom and the NAO, new requirements on competitive tendering, partnership and market impact, and new transparency duties on pay and genre spend are all important elements of the draft Charter reform package. And of course the BBC will enjoy an inflation-linked increase to the licence fee for the next 5 years.

The Charter also firmly embeds the BBC’s historic duty to be impartial. For liberal democracy to flourish, serious debate needs to be anchored in fact. And with a proliferation of media voices the role for our trusted Public Service Broadcasters here is ever more critical.

Of course public service broadcasting is only part of the mix. The UK has a vibrant multichannel sector delivering over 500 channels via free and pay platforms.

Over half of spend on content is now from these alternative sources. And, counting investment in Film and Sport, the UK multichannel sector spent over £3 billion on content in 2015. On original UK content multichannels are investing £800 million.

These channels – and their location in the UK – bring significant benefits to our economy, including over 12,000 jobs and around £4bn of annual gross value added.

The prestige of the UK as the number one broadcasting hub in Europe is something that I’m enormously proud of and which brings very significant benefits to the UK creative sector. I know many of you worry about the impact of Brexit.

The EU referendum highlighted the need to bring this country together, and that can only be achieved by reaching out to – by directly addressing – all its constituent parts. You and your industry have that power.

And your role in defining how we see ourselves as a nation – and how we are seen around the world – is more important than perhaps any other sector’s. Throughout her history Britain has succeeded best when we’ve been open, positive, engaged, and looking outwards, towards the whole world. You can help define Britain’s place in the world today, and bring the people of Britain along with us.

On the specifics, we absolutely get the importance of: the Country of Origin principle; continuation of UK content’s designation as European work; access to skilled labour; to funding and to the central importance of the broadcasting industry.

And we are working on those things as we prepare to negotiate Britain’s exit.

We want to celebrate and strengthen our pre-eminent role in broadcasting as we move forward. UK success is here to stay. You can take it from me that UK success is here to stay.

That brings me to my second principle: expanding access.

It is a central objective of this Government that everyone, from every background, should have equal chance to succeed, equal chance to access arts and culture. In TV, you are already bringing culture – high-brow, middle-brow, resolutely low-brow, it really doesn’t matter – into homes up and down the land.

And you do it every day of the year.

But just as your audience is wide and diverse, so should your industry be. While there is already a push for greater diversity on-screen, and we will continue to support that, it must be matched by a similar drive behind the scenes.

Among writers, directors, commissioners – executives. Ideally, this room would echo to a range of accents, from all parts of the country, from every ethnicity, from every class and gender. Does it yet? I challenge you. The BBC move to Salford has been a triumph, and it is one that I would like to see other broadcasters follow in terms of spreading people, production and investment beyond London.

On diversity and social media there is already much good practice.

I was delighted to launch Diamond in August and sure it will go from strength to strength

The BBC is on track to meet their 2017 goal of over 14 per cent BAME representation on and off screen.

ITV have achieved 14 per cent on-screen BAME representation across all channels.

85 per cent of Channel 4’s commissions now meet their guidelines on diversity.

And Sky has achieved its aim of 20 per cent on screen and writing talent from BAME backgrounds

New technology and distribution is making it easier to break through. But does commissioning reflect the diversity of our modern nation? On gender, disability, sexual identity, and ethnicity, yes, you are beginning to make strides. But what of social and geographic diversity?

I ask you, and I hold you to a higher standard, because a popular, demotic industry like yours, with such a wide and diverse audience, should be leading the way.

So reflect the country you serve. Thrive on Britain’s diversity. Look to opportunities beyond the nearest horizon.

Show by example that people from any walk of life can get ahead if they’ve got talent.

My third priority is to drive the opportunities of digital syntheses.

There is a very good reason I’m the Minister for Digital and Culture. The synergy between art and technology has never been more important. This link: between our creative and cultural assets, and the digital platforms and technology that deliver it, is, in my profound belief, how Britain will pay her way in the twenty first century

This sector is perhaps the best example of what I’m talking about: the pipes and wires of digital delivery meet the beauty and creative genius of the TV sector. Convergence has delivered exciting, disruptive new business models and programme formats like the challenge of multi platform media.

I’m very clear on our job.

If a Wikipedia page is slightly slow to load, it probably won’t greatly try the patience. If a programme we’re engrossed in begins to buffer it can feel like the end of the world. And all the tension you’ve carefully crafted – the gags you’ve expertly timed – are ruined.

So I’m absolutely determined the UK’s digital infrastructure must-be world-leading. We have substantially invested in our digital communications infrastructure – both for mobile and fixed connectivity – with three quarters of a billion pounds from central government. We are rolling out superfast broadband across as many homes and businesses as possible. We have already achieved 90% coverage. We are on track to reach 95% by the end of next year, and we are pushing fibre too.

It will get easier and quicker, year on year, for people to access the brilliant shows you make.

And digital needs content. That nexus between technology and culture is our future economy’s sweet spot, and it is at that nexus that your industry has always lived, and where it must continue to thrive.

Yes there are challenges but there are huge opportunities to reach more people, to open more minds, embrace new technology to educate, excite and entertain like never before. That is a passion we share and in doing so I will be at your side.

Andrew Jones – 2016 Speech on Road Safety


Below is the text of the speech made by Andrew Jones, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, at the National Safer Roads Partnership on 27 September 2016.


Good morning everyone and thank you Adam for that introduction.

It’s a real pleasure to be here and to be part of an event that brings together so many distinguished experts and professionals.

Everyone is dedicated to a common cause of making Britain’s roads safer and it’s a job you do incredibly well. We focus so much on the number of fatalities and injuries on the road network, none of us will ever know precisely how many lives are saved each year through prevention.

Through police enforcement, dedicated road safety specialists within local authorities and your efforts, we can be sure that it’s a very significant number.

That’s why we in government so value what you do and why we want to help you do your jobs as effectively as possible.

Indeed, we have a manifesto commitment to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads every year and 9 months ago, we published our Road safety statement, setting out the government’s priorities for improving safety over this parliament.

It included:

– adopting the safe systems approach to reduce the severity of collisions so more people survive

– protecting vulnerable road users, from pedestrians and cyclists to horse riders, motorcyclists and younger drivers

– taking tough action against those who speed, exceed the drink-drive limit, take drugs or use their mobile phone while on the road
promoting connected and autonomous vehicle technologies in a way that maximises safety

– preparing new motorists for the road through better driver testing and training

– enabling the police to use modern enforcement technologies, while protecting the privacy of law-abiding people

We also pledged to work more closely with stakeholders like the insurance industry and employers and to support further devolution of road safety policy.

Altogether the Road Safety Statement detailed 47 actions which we are delivering with you and the broader road safety sector.

How much progress has been made?

We’ve already provided £1 million for police forces in England and Wales to support drug-driving enforcement. This has been backed up in March by the launch of the THINK! drug driving campaign which sends a clear message to the public.

We’re not just going after the utterly irresponsible minority who drive after taking drugs but also warning those who might consider it in the future that the consequences will be very serious indeed.

This was groundbreaking work.

Today I’d like to thank police forces around the country for making it such a success. Elsewhere, we’ve helped local authorities introduce safer traffic signalling and signage and we’ve recently announced new arrangements for our RAIDS collision research programme.

Specialist teams attend the scene of road incidents minutes after they’ve occurred to gather vital evidence.

Phase 1 saw over 1200 collisions investigated and the findings have already proved vital. We’ve also launched several consultations to ensure that road safety keeps pace with changing technology. These include:

– mobile phone penalties

– changes to the driving test

– connected and autonomous vehicles

– Using electronic devices while driving

The use of a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel increases the likelihood of a collision 4-fold and It’s a growing problem.

In January, we launched a consultation proposing increased fixed penalties for phone use while driving and we talked about increases from £100 and 3 penalty points to £150 and 4 penalty points and 6 for lorry drivers.

However, such is the threat posed by mobiles that we now plan to go further with much tougher penalties for motorists using their devices while driving whether calling, texting, or using an app.

We are also developing a THINK! campaign to drive home the message.

You might not be the sort of driver to speed, or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol but the simple act of glancing down at your mobile phone to send a text at the wheel can be just as dangerous.

We expect to introduce new sanctions in the first half of 2017.

Younger drivers

We also want to improve safety of younger and novice drivers.

In fact, around 1 in 5 new drivers are involved in a crash within 6 months of passing their test and following a trial, the DVSA has run a consultation on making sure the driving test reflects today’s driving conditions.

As a result, the proposed new driving test will include a longer period of independent driving and more realistic manoeuvres and a requirement for the driver to follow directions from a sat nav, and answer questions at the wheel.

Connected and automated vehicles

Another consultation came from the Centre for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CCAV).This new technology promises to profoundly change the way we travel – making road transport not just smoother and smarter, but safer too. After all, 90% of collisions involving some form of human error.

With automated vehicles in their infancy, we need to avoid regulating too soon or too far so the consultation set out proposals for reforming regulation to support the introduction of these technologies.

We will publish the outcomes shortly. And there will be more to come.

Accuracy and relevance of evidence

Like much road safety work, progress depends on the accuracy and relevance of evidence.

Highway authorities, police forces, educators and campaigners spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on road safety in Britain.

And everyone in this room will recognise the critical importance of evidence in getting these decisions right.

This is why we as a government put so much value on police-recorded collision data and we know how much time and work goes into collecting and validating it.

One of our concerns in recent years is whether it’s sufficiently accurate or timely and that’s why £7 million has been invested to create CRASH. This is a common platform for police forces to collect and process collision data and we already we are seeing the benefits.

The average delay between a collision occurring and data arriving at the Department for Transport (DfT) has dropped from around 80 to 30 days. This means highway authorities can respond to problems more quickly.

The use of mapping as part of the data entry can also reduce the number of incorrectly plotted collisions meaning that authorities are less likely to waste valuable funds.

New information about the type of injuries victims are suffering will help improve road safety policy.

CRASH is not yet perfect but we will continue to work with you to understand how it could be made better and to improve the quality of data.

Management capacity review

Finally, to join all this together, we hope soon to start our ‘management capacity review’ which we will look across the road safety industry to identify areas for improvement.

It’s crucial that the sector has the capability to strengthen the evidence-base, and ensure that road safety interventions really deliver and bring down the number of road deaths and injuries.

That’s what the review will accomplish.


So the road safety landscape is changing, technology is changing and techniques are changing.

We have to change if we want Britain to retain its reputation for road safety excellence.

Pushing to improve everything we do.

Focusing our attention on all the areas covered by the ‘safe systems’ approach, from safer roads and vehicles to gathering better evidence.

I’m absolutely confident that we have the right strategy. I’m absolutely confident that we have the most professional and dedicated road safety industry in the world and I’m absolutely confident that together, we can continue reducing the number of road collision victims in this country.

Thank you.

Richard Burgon – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary, at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool on 27 September 2016.

Conference, I am honoured to open this debate on Justice and Home Affairs.

And I am proud to speak to you as Shadow Justice Secretary.

But Conference, I have a confession to make: before entering Parliament, I was a lawyer.

A trade union lawyer – representing people injured at work because bosses cut corners.

Representing people sacked because of their gender or the colour of their skin.

Representing people not paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Conference, 10 years of that taught me an important lesson.

That justice and the rule of law are essential ingredients to create a fairer society.

The type of society that the Labour movement has always fought for.

The legal profession in our country is much derided.

But who is it that defends the rights of striking workers in the courts?

Who is it that represents victims of domestic violence?

Who is it that prosecutes criminals who terrorise working-class communities?

Who is that provides legal assistance to the heroic grassroots campaigns for justice for Orgreave? Justice for the Shrewsbury 24? And justice for the families of those killed at Hillsborough? I pay tribute to those families and I pay tribute to our Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham for backing them all the way.

Justice goes to heart of what we are as a movement. And the values we hold dear. It is the justice system that protects our freedoms, our rights, and helps hold our society together.

But Conference, I am sure you are all aware that our legal system is creaking under the strain of this Conservative Government’s brutal onslaught of austerity and ideological dogma.

Privatising our prisons and probation service and making the working conditions of our dedicated prison and probation officers tougher and tougher.

Cutting legal aid to the poorest and imposing unaffordable employment tribunal fees.

Slashing the Ministry of Justice budget by a whopping and reckless 34%.

And what of the flag bearer of these failing policies?

Let me turn to my Conservative opponent, Liz Truss.

Believe it or not – she’s best known for railing against – ranting against even – imports of foreign cheese.

It’s fair to say her appointment as Justice Secretary was not universally welcomed.

Many said that, as another non-lawyer in the role, she didn’t fulfil the legislative requirement for a person “qualified by experience”.

Her colleague, Lord Faulks, even resigned from the frontbench because of it.

Others criticised her for being loyal to her Party leader. Nothing wrong with that.

But what I will criticise Liz for is her voting for legal aid cuts.

For privatising our probation service.

And for closing down the courts we need to deliver justice in our country.

Conference, we need a change of direction.

Justice policy will be at the core of Jeremy’s drive for a fairer society.

And I must thank Willy Bach for the review he is conducting into how best to deliver the improved access to justice we need in our country. A major review requested by our Labour Party Leader.

Conference, one of the most reprehensible policies of the Conservative Government has been the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees.

It means that those who have faced discrimination in the workplace – often people struggling to make ends meet – are expected to fork out even more to achieve justice.

It will come as no surprise to delegates in this hall that the number of cases brought to Employment Tribunals has plummeted, as many just give up hope they will ever achieve justice.

But under Labour, people will not only be able to hope – people will be able to take action – because we will abolish these cruel Employment Tribunal Fees once and for all and give wronged workers the access to justice they deserve.

It was once said that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons”.

And what is the state of our prisons today? Overcrowded. Understaffed. Awash with drugs.

This must change – and under Labour it will.

No longer will profit and privatisation drive policy.

We will do all we can to ensure that when prisoners are released they turn their backs on a life of crime.

And there is no-one better to spearhead this agenda than our Shadow Prisons Minister, Jo Stevens.

Conference, we will achieve our goals by working with – and most importantly treating with respect – those who work in our justice system and the trade unions that represent them.

Human rights have always been at the top of Labour’s agenda. Indeed, it was our Labour Government that introduced the Human Rights Act that protects so many of the freedoms we cherish.

An Act introduced and upheld by three great Labour Justice Secretaries – Derry Irvine, Charlie Falconer and Jack Straw.

I want to assure them – and assure you all – that in the aftermath of Brexit, Labour will fight to ensure that none of these hard won rights and freedoms are diluted or diminished by this Conservative Government.

The next Labour Government will have much to do. Ending austerity. Rebuilding public services. And delivering a fairer society. At the heart of this approach will be strengthening our justice system.

Conference, we will turn our backs on the failed approach of the Conservative Government so that once again our rights and freedoms will be protected and enhanced.

And in this way we will build – together – a fairer society that we can be proud of.

A Labour justice system in a Labour Britain.

Conference. There’s work to do. Together – let’s get on and do it.

Cat Smith – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Cat Smith, the Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, at Labour Party conference on 28 September 2016.

Conference it’s a pleasure to speak in today’s debate.

This is an important debate for us to have. The policies being pursued by this Tory Government, will, if unchallenged, cause lasting harm to our communities.

Cuts to local authorities have resulted in youth service spending being cut by £387 million since 2010. That’s 3,600 youth worker jobs lost, 603 youth centres closed, and 138,000 places for young people cut.

These cuts have had a disproportionate effect on some groups. Many LGBT specific youth services have been forced to close. And because of structural racism and failures in our education system, young black people have been disadvantaged more than their peers.

This is a false economy. Rather than supporting young people now, the government is storing up problems. These problems will grow, become more complicated and cost more to address in future years.

Figures for poverty, material deprivation and unemployment, all show young people suffering the most. It is clear young people and future generations have been disproportionately hit by failing Tory austerity.

The challenge for us, conference, is how do we respond?

We need to expose the Tories for what they are – the party of the past..

The legacy of David Cameron’s Government, is a nation divided. Theresa May was at its heart and will not unite the country. She cannot give Britain the change we need. It is our responsibility, as Labour, to heal these divisions.

It would be wrong to allow an artificial divide to be created between our young people and older generations. We need to stand together. Young people, want to know there will be a state pension not only to look after their parents and grandparents, but one that will be there for them too. Our parents and grandparents want to see the next generation well-educated, engaged and healthy.

Age is not the only divide the Tories have sought to create. The failing austerity agenda says there is not enough to look after refugees, not enough to support women’s refuges, not enough to ensure proper care and support for disabled people. But conference, make no mistake austerity is a choice, a choice made by the Tories, not an inevitability.

Their failed policies are taking the country backwards. Theresa May wants to return us to an education system that most of the country moved on from forty years ago.

I am proud that as a Labour Party we are engaging with young people and investing in our future. Restoring the Educational Maintenance Allowance and student grants will give all young people the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Labour will ensure that education is not just a commodity for those who can afford it, but is financially accessible to everyone.

We want a society that will support future generations, in education, in training and in the workplace.

We have a historic opportunity. Young people are more politicised than they have been for generations. Around ¾ of a million young people registered to vote in the month prior to the EU referendum. Then we saw a 20 per cent jump from the General Election in young people using their vote.

The Tories have ignored this. They are too busy disenfranchising two million people in their rush to gerrymander constituency boundaries.

Labour in contrast have listened to our young people. We heard the demand for votes at 16. We did all we could to secure 16 and 17 year olds a vote in the referendum. A referendum that impacts their lives more than anyone, given the Tories have no answer to what Brexit means.

Austerity, grammar schools and Brexit chaos. The Tories are looking to the past. It is Labour that is the party of the future.

We lead the polls amongst young people. Tens of thousands of young people have joined the Labour Party since the referendum. I am proud we have the largest political youth wing in Britain. In fact we have more members aged under 27 than UKIP has in total.

I attended Young Labour events at this conference and I have heard the ideas our young members have. They have so much to offer our Party. We must value them, they must be more than just activists to deliver leaflets. They should be our elected representatives, our policy makers and our political leaders. For too long we have called our young members ‘the future of the Labour Party’. They are not. They are the Labour Party.

We are all the Labour party. Our future, our country’s future depends on us being united. When life is becoming harder for the majority of people, we cannot let the ‘divide and rule’ politics of the Tory party distract from our mission. We have a moral, political, and historic obligation to work together, on behalf of working people. We are one party, one family, one Labour.

Yvette Cooper – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Yvette Cooper at the Labour Party conference held in Liverpool on 28 September 2016.

Think on two children.

Aged ten and nine. Primary school children by the side of a busy road.

A ten year old who’s father was killed when extremists took hold of their village.

Whose mother paid smugglers to take the boys away.

They live on their own in a muddy tent.

And each night they run along the side of a motorway – waiting for a lorry going slow enough to climb aboard.

They are scared.

And they should be.

Two weeks ago a fourteen year-old fell off the lorry he clung to and was hit by a car.

Killed, trying to reach his brother in Britain.

He had a legal right to be here, yet he lived for months in danger and squalor.

And he died by the side of a road. How have we let this happen?

Sometimes people say to me this is not our problem. Just walk by on the other side of the road.

But these are children whose lives are at stake, someone’s young son, someone’s teenage daughter.

Our children.

Our common humanity.

Conference on suffering children, this country and this party must never turn our backs.

And I want to pay tribute to those who are working so hard to help.

To all the community groups and organisations we have worked with in the Refugee Taskforce, to Save the Children, Citizens UK, Help Refugees, UNICEF, the Churches, the Synagogues and Mosques, Care4Calais groups in towns and Cities across the UK.

To thank Jeremy and Tom, Andy Burnham and Kate Osamor for the support they have given and continue to give to the Refugee Taskforce’s work. To Stella Creasy and Thangam Debbonaire who’ve played such important roles.

To thank the councils across the country encouraged by Nick Forbes who have stepped forward and said yes we will help,

And the campaigners from all parties who worked with us to change the law

A promise to do our bit, just as our country did when we rescued 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis in Europe.

Alf Dubs was one of those children, six years old, put on a train in Prague bound for England to escape the war. Three quarters of a century on.

Alf, lifelong campaigner for social justice, Labour councillor, Labour MP then Labour Lord, each time leading the way with his amendment so that Britain does its bit again to help a new generation of child refugees.

Giving them the new future our country gave him.

For them, and for all of us,

Lord Alf Dubs – We pay tribute to you today.

This is a global crisis we face. Across the world 65 million people driven from their homes by conflict or persecution. You will hear the Government talk of the pull factor. What of the push factor? See the pictures from Aleppo.

Bombs launched by the Syrian regime that rip through reinforced concrete, creating craters twenty metres wide. So there is no bunker, no cellar in which families can hide

No wonder they run.

Most incredible of all are those who stay – the doctors who stay to treat the wounded. The white helmets who stay to rescue those left alive. On Saturday, our Conference remembered the humanitarian work Jo Cox fought for throughout her life.

And today I also want to pay tribute to Jo’s family, who through their support of the White Helmets keep Jo’s work alive now. No country can solve this alone, but every country needs to play its part:

No one says it is easy.

People are worried about security, worried that the system can be abused or will be out of control.

And we should be clear.

Helping refugees doesn’t mean open borders.

We need strong border checks to stop smuggler gangs, criminals and extremists exploiting the crisis.

We need fast and robust asylum procedures so that refugees get swift help and illegal migrants have to return so that everyone can have faith in the system

We need proper integration plans for refugees and their families.

But conference, immigration and asylum are different – too often the Government treats them as the same.

Many people I have spoken to who want more controls on the number of people who come here to work, also think we should our bit to help those fleeing persecution who have no safe home to which they can return.

Refugees are less than 5 percent of those who come to our country.

So we should never let fear of the difficult politics of immigration paralyse us from helping refugees.

But nor must we be paralysed from debating immigration reform either – or our tin ear to the concerns of the country will stop others listening to our case for helping refugees.

Just as people want to know the asylum system is fair, managed and controlled

They want to know that the immigration system is too.

And it isn’t racist to talk about how best every country manages migration or to say that whilst immigration is important, low skilled migration should come down.

And saying this should not spark a row it should open up the debate.

In the referendum people voted against free movement. But there is no consensus over what people voted for.

Between cities and towns,

Between Scotland and England,

Young and old,

And we should be part of a serious, thoughtful debate on what fair rules should be,

We cannot do that if we dig in from the start. But here’s what we must never do.

We won’t use fear on immigration as reason not to help those most in need,

We won’t call people “swarms” or “hoards” – they are mothers, fathers and children.

And we will never ever do what Nigel Farage did in the referendum campaign and use a poster of desperate people to stoke fear and hatred.

That man should be ashamed.

So conference, our country rightly leads the way with international aid.

I am glad the Conservative Government has maintained that commitment

And proud that it was Labour campaigners many years ago who set the aid target, and the last Labour Government who brought it in.

But on sanctuary our country isn’t doing enough.

Just 3,000 of the promised 20,000 Syrian refugees have come. After the Dubs amendment, so far no children from Greece or Italy have been helped.

And Calais should be a scar on the conscience of both France and Britain.

Ten thousand people. One thousand children alone.

Scabies rife. Violence and sectarianism in camp. Lorry drivers facing intimidation and serious safety threats.

No one assessing asylum cases, no one protecting the children.

This is a shameful failure by the French authorities in the basic duty to keep children safe. But Britain has a responsibility too. Hundreds of those children have family in Britain, but they are still stuck waiting months.The foot dragging, the bureaucracy, the delays are a disgrace.

So Conference, we should support the contemporary resolution today. And Parliament should back Alf Dubs new amendment – drafted by Stella Creasy – to bring in safeguarding for child refugees.

France plans to dismantle the camp moving people to accommodation centres across the country. But there are no places being provided for lone children.

Last time the authorities cleared part of the camp, over a hundred children just disappeared.

So let each country now agree to take half the lone children straight away.

Let’s get all of these children into safety fast while their assessments are done, so there is no child left alone in the Calais mud and cold by the time Christmas comes.

Because this stalemate over children is dangerous.

France says its Britain’s problem

Britain says it’s up to the French

I am sick of this standoff. Children’s lives and safety are at risk.

Both Governments need to get a grip and act.

Conference, I’ve heard from child and teenage refugees who want to be engineers, scientists, doctors, footballers.

But the one who surprised me was a teenager helped by Citizens UK and our political campaign, who said he wants to get involved in politics.

He said politics destroyed his country, but politics also saved his life.

Now he wants to help, to give something back, just as Alf has done so many years on.

Because politics matters. So if ever you despair at the state of our politics even the divisions you think there are in our party.

If ever you think of walking away,

If ever you want to know why so many of us carry on,

Think of him and the children we can help,

Think of him and the lives Labour Governments have saved,

Think of him, of Alf, the Kindertransport,

of future doctors, poets, nobel laureates,

husbands, sisters, mothers, children.

Of the amazing things we can do together, the people we can help, the amazing things that Labour can do.

Conference – that’s what our politics is all about.

Jeremy Corbyn – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, to the party’s conference being held in Birmingham on 28 September 2016.

Thank you for that introduction. And how brilliant it is to see the hall here in Liverpool, absolutely packed for the Labour conference, well I say it’s packed but Virgin Trains assure me there are 800 empty seats.

Either way Conference, it’s a huge pleasure to be holding our party’s annual gathering here in this fantastic city that has shaped our country, our economy, our culture and our music.

Liverpool and its people have always been central to the Labour party and our movement. And I know some people say campaigns and protests don’t change things. But the Hillsborough families have shown just how wrong that is.

It’s taken twenty-seven years but those families have, with great courage and dignity, finally got some truth and justice for the ninety-six who died. And I want to pay tribute to all the families and campaigners, for their solidarity, their commitment and their love.

We must learn from them so we promise those campaigning for Orgreave, for Shrewsbury, for the thousands of workers blacklisted for being trade unionists that we will support your battles for truth and justice and when we return to government we will make sure that you have both.

Because winning justice for all and changing society for the benefit of all is at the heart of what Labour is about.

So yes, our party is about campaigning and it’s about protest too.

But most of all it’s about winning power in local and national government, to deliver the real change our country so desperately needs.

That’s why the central task of the whole Labour party, must be to rebuild trust and support to win the next general election and form the next government. That is the government I am determined to lead, to win power to change Britain for the benefit of working people.

But every one of us in this hall today knows that we will only get there if we work together. And I think it’s fair to say after what we’ve been through these past few months that hasn’t always been exactly the case.

Those months have been a testing time for the whole party, first the horrific murder of Jo Cox, followed by the shock of the referendum result and then the tipping over of divisions in parliament, into the leadership contest that ended last Saturday.

Jo’s killing was a hate-filled attack on democracy itself that shocked the whole country. Jo Cox didn’t just believe in loving her neighbor, she believed in loving her neighbour’s neighbor, that every life counted the same.

And as Jo said in her maiden speech as an MP “we have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”. Let that essential truth guide us as we come together again to challenge this Tory Government and its shaky grip on power.

We have also lost good MPs like Michael Meacher and Harry Harpham. They were Labour through and through, passionate campaigners for a better world.

And let me pay particular tribute to those parliamentary colleagues who stepped forward in the summer to fill the gaps in the shadow cabinet and ensure that Labour could function as an effective opposition in parliament.

They didn’t seek office, but they stepped up when their party and in fact the country needed them to serve. They all deserve the respect and gratitude of our party and movement. And this conference should thank them today, they are our future.

We’ve just had our second leadership election within a year. It had its fraught moments of course, not only for Owen Smith and me , and I hope we don’t make a habit of it.

But there have also been upsides. Over 150,000 new members joined our party. Young rising stars have shone on the front bench and we found that the party is more united on policy than we would ever have guessed.

I am honoured to have been re-elected by our party a second time with an even larger mandate. But we all have lessons to learn and a responsibility to do things better and work together more effectively. I will lead in learning those lessons and I’d like to thank Owen, for the campaign and his work as shadow work and pensions secretary.

And all the Labour Party Staff and my own team for their brilliant work.

One lesson is, that there is a responsibility on all of us to take care with our rhetoric, respect democratic decisions, respect our differences and respect each other. We know that robust debate has at times spilled over into abuse and hate around our party, including misogyny and anti-Semitism, especially on social media.

That is utterly unacceptable. Our party must be a safe and welcoming space for everybody and we will continue to take firm action against abuse and intimidation.

And let me be absolutely clear, anti-Semitism is an evil, it led to the worst crimes of the 20th century, every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that it is never allowed to fester in our society again. This party always has and always will fight against prejudice and hatred of Jewish people with every breath in its body.

We meet this year as the largest political party in western Europe with over half a million members campaigning in every community in Britain.

More people have joined our party in the last twenty months than in the previous twenty years. We have more of our fellow citizens in our party than all the others put together.

Some may see that as a threat. But I see it as a vast democratic resource. Our hugely increased membership is part of a movement that can take Labour’s message into every community, to win support for the election of a Labour government. Each and every one of these new members is welcome in our party.

And after a ten year absence, we welcome back the Fire Brigades Union to our party and to conference. We are reuniting the Labour family.

And over the past year, we’ve shown what Labour can do when the party stands together.

At conference a year ago, I launched our campaign against cuts to tax credits and we succeeded in knocking this government back.

This year, three million families are over £1,000 better off because Labour stood together.

In the Budget, the government tried to take away billions from disabled people but we defeated them …

We have won all four by-elections we’ve contested. In the May elections, we overtook the Tories to become the largest party nationally. We won back London with a massive win for Sadiq Khan the first Muslim mayor of a western capital city.

And we won the Bristol mayor for the first time, Marvin Rees, the first black mayor in any European city. And of course we also won the mayoralty in Salford and here in Liverpool.

That’s the road of advance we have to return to if we’re going to challenge the Tories for power and turn the huge growth in the Labour party into the electoral support we need across Britain.

There’s no doubt my election as Labour leader a year ago. And re-election this month grew out of a thirst for a new kind of politics, and a conviction that the old way of running the economy and the country, isn’t delivering for more and more people.

It’s not about me of course, or unique to Britain but across Europe, North America and elsewhere, people are fed up with a so-called free market system, that has produced grotesque inequality stagnating living standards for the many calamitous foreign wars without end and a political stitch-up which leaves the vast majority of people shut out of power.

Since the crash of 2008, the demand for an alternative and an end to counter-productive austerity has led to the rise of new movements and parties in one country after another.

In Britain it’s happened in the heart of traditional politics, in the Labour party which is something we should be extremely proud of. It’s exactly what Labour was founded for to be the voice of the many of social justice and progressive change from the bottom up.

But it also means it’s no good harking back to the tired old economic and political fixes of twenty years ago because they won’t work anymore. The old model is broken. We’re in a new era that demands a politics and economics that meets the needs of our own time.

Even Theresa May gets it, that people want change. That’s why she stood on the steps of Downing Street and talked about the inequalities and burning injustices in today’s Britain.

She promised a country: “that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us”.

But even if she manages to talk the talk, she can’t walk the walk.

This isn’t a new government, it’s David Cameron’s government repackaged with progressive slogans but with a new harsh rightwing edge, taking the country backwards and dithering before the historic challenges of Brexit.

Who seriously believes that the Tories could ever stand up to the privileged few? They are the party of the privileged few, funded by the privileged few, for the benefit of the privileged few.

This is a party, after all that now wants to force through an undemocratic Boundary Review based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing.

They’ve dressed up as a bid to cut the cost of politics by abolishing fifty MPs, but the £12million savings are dwarfed by the expense of the 260 peers David Cameron appointed at a cost of £34million a year. It’s nothing but a cynical attempt to gerrymander the next election.

And this is a prime minister who was elevated to her job without a single vote being cast after a pantomime farce which saw one leading Tory after another falling on their swords.

When I meet Theresa May across the dispatch box, I know that only one of us has been elected to the office they hold, by the votes of a third of a million people.

In any case, the Tories are simply incapable of responding to the breakdown of the old economic model. Because that failed model is in their political DNA.

It’s what they deliver every time they’re in government. Tory governments deregulate, they outsource and privatise they stand by as inequality grows.

They’ve cut taxes for the privileged few sold off our national assets to them, always on the cheap and turned a blind eye to their chronic tax avoidance.

They’re so committed to the interests of the very richest they recruited Sir Phillip Green into government as something called an efficiency tsar.

Well, government might be a bit more efficient if the super-rich like Sir Phillip actually paid their taxes.

When government steps back there are consequences for every one of us.

Look what’s happened to housing under the Tories:

housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s;

home ownership is falling as more people are priced out of the market;

evictions and homelessness go up every year;

council homes are sold off without being replaced.

And another consequence is that we’re paying over £9 billion a year to private landlords in housing benefit.

Instead of spending public money on building council housing, we’re subsidising private landlords. That’s wasteful, inefficient, and poor government.

So Labour will, as Teresa Pearce said, build over a million new homes at least half of them council houses and we will control private rents, so we can give every British family that basic human right – a decent home.

It’s the same in the jobs market. Without proper employment regulation, there’s been an explosion of temporary, insecure jobs nearly one million people on zero hour contracts.

There are now six million working people earning less than the living wage and poverty among those in work is at record levels.

That didn’t happen by accident, the Tories have torn up employment rights and deliberately tried to weaken the organisations that get people justice at work the trade unions.

Of course trade unions are not taking this lying down. Look at the great campaign Unite has waged at Sports Direct, to get justice for exploited workers and hold Mike Ashley to account. That is why Labour will repeal the Trade Union Act and set unions free to do their job.

And we will raise the minimum wage to a real living wage that brings working people out of poverty and we’ll ban zero hours contracts as John McDonnell and Ian Lavery have set out at this conference.

And then there’s the scandal of the privatised railways more public subsidy than under the days of British Rail all going to private firms and more delays more cancellations. And the highest fares in Europe.

That is why the great majority of the British people back Labour’s plan, set out by Andy MacDonald, to take the railways back into public ownership.

But if you want the most spectacular example of what happens, when government steps back, the global banking crash is an object lesson a deregulated industry of out of control greed and speculation that crashed economies across the globe and required the biggest ever government intervention and public bailout in history.

Millions of ordinary families paid the price for that failure. I pledge that Labour will never let a few reckless bankers wreck our economy again.

So Labour is offering solutions. During this summer’s leadership campaign, I set out ten pledges which I believe can be the platform for our party’s programme at the next election.

They have now been put to you and endorsed by this conference.

They lay out the scope of the change we need to see for full employment, a homes guarantee, security at work, a strong public NHS and social care, a National Education Service for all, action on climate change, public ownership and control of our services, a cut in inequality of income and wealth action to secure an equal society and peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy.

Don’t worry, they’re not the Ten Commandments. They will now go to the National Policy Forum and the whole party needs to build on them, refine them and above all take them out to the people of this country.

But those ten pledges the core of the platform on which I was re-elected leader will now form the framework for what Labour will campaign for and for what a Labour government will do.

Together they show the direction of change we are determined to take – and the outline of a programme to rebuild and transform Britain.

They are rooted in traditional Labour values and objectives shaped to meet the challenges of the 21st century. They are values Labour is united on. They reflect the views and aspirations of the majority of our people. And they are values our country can and will support as soon as they are given the chance.

And these pledges are not just words. Already, across the country, Labour councils are putting Labour values into action, in a way that makes a real difference to millions of people, despite cynical government funding cuts that have hit Labour councils five times as hard as Tory-run areas.

Like Nottingham City Council setting up the not-for-profit Robin Hood Energy company to provide affordable energy;

Or Cardiff Bus Company taking 100,000 passengers every day, publicly owned with a passenger panel to hold its directors to account;

Or Preston Council working to favour local procurement, and keep money in the town;

Or Newcastle Council providing free wi-fi in 69 public buildings across the city;

Or Croydon Council which has set up a company to build 1,000 new homes, as Cllr Alison Butler said: “We can no longer afford to sit back and let the market take its course”.

Or Glasgow that has established high quality and flexible workspaces for start-up, high growth companies in dynamic new sectors.

Or here in Liverpool, set to be at the global forefront of a new wave of technology and home to Sensor City, a £15million business hub that aims to create 300 start-up businesses and 1,000 jobs over the next decade.

It is a proud Labour record each and every Labour councilor deserves our heartfelt thanks for the work they do.

But I want to go further because we want local government to go further and put public enterprise back into the heart of our economy and services to meet the needs of local communities, municipal socialism for the 21st century, as an engine of local growth and development.

So today I’m announcing that Labour will remove the artificial local borrowing cap and allow councils to borrow against their housing stock.

That single measure alone would allow them to build an extra 12,000 council homes a year.

Labour councils increasingly have a policy of in-house as the preferred provider and many councils have brought bin collections, cleaners, and IT services back in-house, insourcing privatized contracts to save money for council tax payers and to ensure good terms and conditions for staff.

I have said that Labour will put security at work and employment and union rights from day one centre stage.

But one in six workers now in Britain are now self-employed. They’re right to value their independence but for too many it comes with insecurity and a woeful lack of rights.

So we will review arrangements for self-employed people including social security that self-employed people pay for in their taxes, yet aren’t fully covered by.

And we will ensure that successful innovators have access to the finance necessary to take their ideas to the next level grow their businesses and generate employment.

So as part of our Workplace 2020 review, we will make sure that and our tax and social security arrangements are fit for the 21st century, consulting with self-employed workers and the Federation of Small Businesses.

If the Tories are the party of cuts and short-termism. Labour is the Party of investing for the future.

With the same level of investment as other major economies, we could be so much more unlock so much skill, ingenuity and wealth.

That’s why we’ll establish a National Investment Bank at the heart of our plan to rebuild and transform Britain.

And we will borrow to invest at historically low interest rates, to generate far greater returns. It would be foolish not to, because that investment is expanding the economy and the income it generates for us all in the process.

Even this government, after years of austerity and savage cuts to investment is starting to change its tune.

I am not content with accepting second-class broadband, not content with creaking railways, not content with seeing the US and Germany investing in cutting edge and green technologies, while Britain lags behind.

Last year, for example the Prime Minister promised a universal service obligation for ten megabyte broadband.

But since then the government has done nothing letting down entrepreneurs, businesses and families, especially in rural areas.

That’s why we’ve set out proposals for a National Investment Bank with £500 billion of investment to bring our broadband, our railways, our housing and our energy infrastructure up to scratch.

A country that doesn’t invest is a country that has given up. That has taken the path of managed decline. A Labour government will never accept second best for Britain.

Our country’s history is based on individual ingenuity and collective endeavor.

We are the country of Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and Tim Berners-Lee, the land of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sarah Guppy of George Stephenson and Eric Laithwaite.

The Tories have turned their back on this proud British tradition. They have put privatisation and cutting spending first.

Britain now spends less on research as a share of national income than France, Germany, the US and China. A Labour Government will bring research and development up to three percent of GDP.

Yesterday, Rebecca Long Bailey set out the terms of our Industrial Strategy Review. We need an economy that works for every part of this country so that no community is left behind.

And today I’m asking everyone, businesses, academics, workers, trade unions and anyone who cares about our future prosperity to have your say in that review.

We are a wealthy country – and not just in terms of money.

We are rich in talent, rich in potential.

That’s why we’ve proposed a comprehensive National Education Service at the heart of our programme for government to deliver high quality education for all throughout our lives.

Education has always been a core Labour value from the time of Ellen Wilkinson and before.

And a National Education Service will be an essential part of the 21st century welfare state.

In a rapidly changing economy people need to re-train or upgrade their skills without falling into debt.

Britain already lags behind other in productivity.

Partly that’s about investing in technology and infrastructure.

And partly it’s about investing in people and their skills.

How can we build and expand the sectors of the future without a skilled workforce?

But this Conservative government has slashed adult education budgets taking away opportunities for people to develop their skills and leaving businesses struggling to find the skilled workforce they need to succeed.

So today I am offering business a new settlement. A new deal for Rebuilding Britain.

Under Labour we will provide the investment to rebuild Britain’s infrastructure.

We will fund that investment because it will lead to a more productive economy providing the basis on which our economy and our businesses can thrive, helping to provide over a million good jobs and opportunities for businesses.

But investment in capital must include investment in human capital, the skilled workers needed to make our economy a success.

So this is the deal Labour will offer to business.

To help pay for a National Education Service, we will ask you pay a little more in tax.

We’ve already started to set out some of this, pledging to raise corporation tax by less than 1.5 percent to give an Education Maintenance Allowance to college students and grants to university students so that every young learner can afford to support themselves as they develop skills and get qualifications.

Business shares in economic success and it must contribute to it too.

And I recognise that good businesses deserve a level playing field.

So I also pledge to good businesses that we will clamp down those that dodge their taxes you should not be undercut by those that don’t play by the rules.

There is nothing more unpatriotic than not paying your taxes it is an act of vandalism, damaging our NHS, damaging older people’s social care, damaging younger people’s education. So a Labour government will make shabby tax avoidance a thing of the past.

Labour’s National Education Service is going to be every bit as vital as our National Health Service has become.

And we recognise that education isn’t simply about preparing for the workplace. It’s also about the exploration of knowledge and unlocking the creativity in every human being.

So all school pupils should have the chance to learn an instrument take part in drama and dance and have regular access to a theatre, gallery or museum in their local area.

That’s why we will introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England and Wales and consult on the design and national roll-out to extend this pupil premium to all secondary schools.

This will be a £160million boost for schools to invest in projects that will support cultural activities for schools over the longer-term.

It could hardly be more different to the Tory approach to education. Their only plan is the return of grammar schools, segregation and second class schooling for the majority and what a great job Angela Rayner is doing in opposing them.

So this Saturday 1 October, I want you to take the message into your community that Labour is standing up for education for all.

Grammar Schools are not the only way, the Tories are bringing division back into our society. They are also using the tried-and-tested tricks of demonising and scapegoating to distract from their failures.

Whether it be single mothers, unemployed people, disabled people or migrants, Tory failure is always someone else’s fault.

And those smears have consequences, from children being bullied in school, to attacks in the street – such as the rise of disability hate crime.

I am so proud of this party. In the last year, we stood up to the government on cuts to disabled people’s benefits and cuts to working families tax credits.

And on Monday, our shadow work & pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams announced we would be scrapping the punitive sanctions regime and the degrading Work Capability Assessment.

As politicians, as political activists, as citizens, we must have zero tolerance towards those who whip up hate and division, stand together against racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and defend those being demonised.

It has been shaming to our multicultural society that assaults on migrants have increased sharply since the referendum campaign a campaign that peddled myths and whipped up division.

It isn’t migrants that drive down wages, it’s exploitative employers and the politicians who deregulate the labour market and rip up trade union rights.

It isn’t migrants who put a strain on our NHS, it only keeps going because of the migrant nurses and doctors who come here filling the gaps left by politicians who have failed to invest in training.

It isn’t migrants that have caused a housing crisis; it’s a Tory government that has failed to build homes.

Immigration can certainly put extra pressure on services and that’s why, under Gordon Brown, Labour setup the Migrant Impact Fund to provide extra funding to communities that have the largest rises in population.

What did the Tories do? They abolished it and then they demonise migrants for putting pressure on services.

A Labour government will not offer false promises on immigration as the Tories have done. We will not sow division by fanning the flames of fear. We will tackle the real issues of immigration instead whatever the eventual outcome of the Brexit negotiations and make the changes that are needed.

We will act decisively to end the undercutting of workers’ pay and conditions through the exploitation of migrant labour and agency working which would reduce the number of migrant workers in the process.

And we will ease the pressure on hard pressed public services – services that are struggling to absorb Tory austerity cuts, in communities absorbing new populations.

Labour will reinstate the migrant impact fund, and give extra support to areas of high migration using the visa levy for its intended purpose. And we will add a citizenship application fee levy to boost the fund.

That is the Labour way to tackle social tension investment and assistance, not racism and division.

This party campaigned hard to remain in the European Union. I spoke at rallies from Cornwall to Aberdeenshire for our Labour campaign to remain and reform.

But although most Labour voters backed us we did not convince millions of natural Labour voters especially in those parts of the country left behind.

Left behind by years of neglect under-investment and de-industrialisation.

Now we have to face the future together we are not helped by patronising or lecturing those in our communities who voted to leave. We have to hear their concerns about jobs, about public services, about wages, about immigration, about a future for their children. And we have to respect their votes, and the decision of the British people.

Of course that doesn’t mean giving a blank cheque to Theresa May and her three-legged team of fractious Brexiteers as they try to work up a negotiating plan and squabble about whose turn it is to have the Chevening country retreat each weekend.

We have made it clear that we will resist a Brexit at the expense of workers’ rights and social justice we have set out our red lines on employment, environmental and social protection and on access to the European market.

But we will also be pressing our own Brexit agenda including the freedom to intervene in our own industries without the obligation to liberalise or privatise our public services and building a new relationship with Europe based on cooperation and internationalism.

And as Europe faces the impact of a refugee crisis fuelled by wars across the Middle East we have to face the role that repeated military interventions by British governments have played in that crisis.

The Chilcot report made absolutely clear, the lessons to be learned from the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, just as this month’s Foreign Affair Select Committee report into the war in Libya demonstrated those lessons had still not been learned a decade later.

The consequences of those wars have been the spread of terrorism, sectarianism and violence across an arc of conflict that has displaced millions of people forcing them from their countries.

That is why it was right to apologise on behalf of the party for the Iraq war right to say that we have learned the lessons and right to say that such a catastrophe must never be allowed to happen again.

We need a foreign policy based on peace, justice and human rights and what great news to hear the peace treaty in Colombia after fifty years of war and we need to honour our international treaty obligations on nuclear disarmament and encourage others to do the same.

We are a long way from that humanitarian vision. Britain continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, a country that the United Nations says is committing repeated violations of international humanitarian law war crimes in Yemen just as we have seen taking place in Syria.

So today I make it clear that under a Labour government when there are credible reports of human rights abuses or war crimes being committed British arms sales will be suspended, starting with Saudi Arabia.

Last year, the votes we needed to win power went many different ways in all parts of our country while millions of our potential voters stayed at home.

Many didn’t believe we offered the alternative they wanted.

It’s true there’s an electoral mountain to climb.

But if we focus everything on the needs and aspirations of middle and lower income voters, of ordinary families, if we demonstrate we’ve got a viable alternative to the government’s failed economic policies. I’m convinced we can build the electoral support that can beat the Tories.

That means being the voice of women, of young people and pensioners middle and lower income workers, the unemployed and the self-employed, minority communities and those struggling with the impact of migration at work and everyone struggling to get on, and secure a better life for themselves, their families and communities.

Running like a golden thread through Labour’s vision for today as throughout our history is the struggle for equality.

Rampant inequality has become the great scandal of our time, sapping the potential of our society, and tearing at its fabric.

Labour’s goal isn’t just greater equality of wealth and income but also of power.

Our aim could not be more ambitious. We want a new settlement for the 21st century, in politics, business, our communities with the environment, and in our relations with the rest of the world.

Every one of us in the Labour party is motivated by the gap between what our country is and what it could be.

We know that in the sixth largest economy in the world the foodbanks, stunted life chances and growing poverty alongside wealth on an undreamed of scale are a mark of shameful and unnecessary failure.

We know how great this country could be, for all its people, with a new political and economic settlement.

With new forms of democratic public ownership, driven by investment in the technology and industries of the future, with decent jobs, education and housing for all with local services run by and for people not outsourced to faceless corporations.

That’s not backward-looking, it’s the very opposite.

It’s the socialism of the 21st century.

Our job is now to win over the unconvinced to our vision. Only that way can we secure the Labour government we need.

And let’s be frank, no one will be convinced of a vision, promoted by a divided party. We all agree on that.

So I ask each and every one of you, accept the decision of the members end the trench warfare and work together to take on the Tories.

Anything else is a luxury that the millions of people who depend on Labour cannot afford.

We know there will be local elections next May. In Scotland, where we have won three council by-elections this summer, in Wales and in counties across England.
And there’ll be metro mayor elections too, including here on Merseyside, where my good friend Steve Rotherham will standing as Labour’s candidate, Steve, best of luck, I will miss your comradeship and support.

But we could also face a general election next year.

Whatever the Prime Minister says about snap elections, there is every chance that Theresa May, will cut and run, for an early election.

So I put our party on notice today, Labour is preparing for a general election in 2017, we expect all our members to support our campaign and we will be ready for the challenge whenever it comes.

Let us do it, in the spirit of the great Scots-born Liverpool football manager Bill Shankly who said:

“The socialism I believe in, is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life.”

We are not all Bill Shanklys. Each of us comes to our socialism from our own experiences.

Mine was shaped by my mum and dad, a teacher and an engineer. Both committed socialists and peace campaigners, my mum’s inspiration was to encourage girls to believe they could achieve anything in their lives.

And by working as a teacher in Jamaica when I was a young man, that taught me so much about the strength of communities living in adversity, as well as fighting for the low paid as a trade union organiser here in Britain.

As the great American poet Langston Hughes put it: “I see that my own hands can make the world that’s in my mind”.

Everyone here and every one of our hundreds of thousands of members has something to contribute to our cause.

That way we will unite, build on our policies. Take our vision out to a country crying out for change.

We are half a million of us, and there will be more, working together to make our country the place it could be.

Conference, united we can shape the future and build a fairer Britain in a peaceful world.

Thank you.

Clive Lewis – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Clive Lewis, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, on 26 September 2016.

Conference, as a lifelong party activist it’s a great honour not just to address you for the first time, but to do so as Shadow Defence Secretary.

I speak today not just as a politician, but as someone who has seen first-hand the consequences when political failure leads us to war.

I’ve found there are some who are surprised to find an Army veteran serving as a Labour MP, as if it was somehow against the values we collectively believe in.

But I see no contradiction between my service and my socialism.

I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary men and women of our armed forces, who work so hard to keep us safe every single day.

They have continued to do so at a time of unprecedented challenges. From operations against Da’esh in the Middle East, to peacekeeping missions in Somalia, South Sudan and elsewhere, our armed forces have been exceptionally busy and dedicated.

Conference, when I look at our key military alliance – NATO – I see an organisation that springs directly from our values: collectivism, internationalism and the strong defending the weak. Its founding charter – a progressive charter – includes standing up for democracy and defending human rights. These are values that I believe go to the core of our political identity.

So, of course, a Labour government would fulfil our international commitments, including those under Article 5. But let’s be clear: that means both our military and our diplomatic obligations. We cannot have one without the other, and nor should we.

Every Labour government since Attlee’s has met NATO’s spending target of at least 2 per cent of GDP, every single year. And I confirm today that the next Labour government will do the same, including our UN and peacekeeping obligations.

Of course, what really matters isn’t so much what you spend as how you spend it.

And when I look at the Tories’ record on defence, I do not see a proper recognition of the value of our people

What I do see is a government that has cut the size of the armed forces by a fifth, imposed an effective pay cut year-on-year, and it’s an insult to their dedication that they are not adequately housed.

But Conference, let’s be honest. There are defence issues on which we are not united. This should not surprise us though. The security of our country – the first duty of any government – demands nothing less than the most rigorous of examination and debate.

Friends, we know that nuclear weapons are one of those issues.

As you know, I am sceptical about Trident renewal, as are many here.

But I am clear that our Party has a policy for Trident renewal.

But I also want to be clear that our Party’s policy is also that we all share the ambition of a nuclear-free world.

So we will take steps to make that ambition a reality.

So we will make our long-standing multilateralism reality, not rhetoric. We will be working with international organisations, including the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, within the spirit and the letter of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

That will stand in stark contrast to the Tories’ lip service on nuclear disarmament; they have not brought forward a single proposal as to how they intend to achieve it.

Because Conference, we know how Theresa May uses Trident. Not as a military weapon aimed at deterring enemies overseas – but as a political weapon aimed at her party’s opposition at home. Us.

The best possible chance for a better, safer world is a Labour government.

Conference, only we in the Labour Party have the ideological foundation on which a defence policy fit for the 21st Century can be built. We have to rethink what real security means.

Increasingly, what threatens us are complex, interlinked systemic forces: the collapse of states, asymmetric warfare, resource depletion and catastrophic climate change.

Each of these will make the lives of hundreds of millions unimaginably hard, starting with the poorest.

Every day we see through our media the pitiful pictures of ordinary men, women and children forced from their homes, families desperately seeking sanctuary from war and social collapse.

And this is just the beginning. If we want it to stop we must look beyond the symptoms and tackle the root causes. The Tories can never do this because their right-wing dogma is the cause.

Economic policies that foster rampant inequality, the shoring up of oppressive regimes, conniving in proxy wars, ruthless over-exploitation of natural resources, complacent denialism on climate change.

No Conference, it will be our values that solve these problems. Our internationalism, our passion for social justice, for economic justice and for environmental justice.

Our Labour Party recognises that a world without justice is a world that will never be at peace. By addressing injustice, we can help to deliver real security.

And if the Tories’ philosophy leaves them incapable of dealing with the challenges of the future, their practical choices are no better.

When I look at the Tories’ record on defence I can see that, as with so many of our public services, they simply don’t recognise the value of the most important asset we have in this country – our people.

The men and women – who have this Party’s deepest respect – that are the backbone of our nation’s defence. They are our sons, our daughters, cousins, nieces, nephews. They are all of us.

This government has systematically undermined and demoralised far too many of them.

And yet this government has systematically undermined and demoralised far too many of them.

They have systematically undermined our industrial communities, ripping up Labour’s Defence Industrial Strategy and spent billions overseas, instead of investing in British jobs and British steel.

I want the money we spend on defence equipment to go not to the cheapest bidder but to those who pay fair taxes and fair wages, who provide decent jobs and support communities.

John McDonnell – 2016 Speech at Labour Party Conference

John McDonnell GB Labour MP Hayes and Harlington

Below is the text of the speech made by John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Liverpool on 26 September 2016.

Now the leadership election is over, I tell you, we have to become a government in waiting. An election could come at any time. Theresa May has said that she will not be calling an early election, but when could anyone trust a Tory leader?

We have to prepare ourselves not just for fighting an election but for moving into Government. To do that successfully we have to have the policies and the plans for their detailed implementation on the shelf, in place for when we enter government whenever that election comes.

Everybody in the Party, at every level and in every role, needs to appreciate the sense of urgency about this task, the mess we will inherit. So in this speech I want to address some of the key issues we will face and how we will face them.

First though, we need to appreciate the mess that the Tories are leaving behind for when we go into Government. Six years on from when they promised to eliminate the Government’s deficit in five years, they are nowhere near that goal. The national debt burden was supposed to be falling by last year, and it is still rising. In money terms, it now stands at £1.6 trillion. Our productivity has fallen far behind. Each hour worked in the US, Germany or France is one-third more productive than each hour worked here. Our economy is failing on productivity because the Tories are failing to deliver the investment it needs, and government investment is still planned to fall in every remaining year of this Parliament.

In the real world economy that our people live in wages are still lower than they were before the global financial crisis in 2008. There are now 800,000 people on zero hours contracts, unable to plan from one week to the next, and the number continues to rise. Nearly half a million in bogus self-employment, 86 per cent of austerity cuts fall on women, nearly 4 million of our children are living in poverty.

As the fifth richest economy in the world, it shoudn’t be like this.

So let’s talk about the immediate issues facing us. On Brexit, we campaigned to remain but we have to respect the decision of the referendum. That doesn’t mean we have to accept what the Tories serve up for our future relationship with Europe.

Since the Brexit vote, the Tories have come up with no plan whatsoever. They have no clue. Half of them want a hard Brexit, to walk away from 30 years of investment in our relationship with Europe. Some are just paralysed by the scale of the mess they created. Working with our socialist and social democratic colleagues across Europe, our aim is to create a new Europe which builds upon the benefits of the EU but tackles the perceived disbenefits.

I set out Labour’s red lines on the Brexit negotiations a few days after the vote. Let’s get it straight, we have to protect jobs here. So we will seek to preserve access to the Single Market for goods and services. Today, access to the Single Market requires freedom of movement of labour. But we will address the concerns that people have raised in the undercutting of wages and conditions, and the pressure on local public services.

We will not let the Tories to bargain away our workers’ rights. We will defend the rights of EU nationals that live and work here and UK citizens currently living and working in Europe. We were all appalled at the attacks that took place on the Polish community in our country following the Brexit vote. Let’s be clear that, as a Party, we will always stand up against racism and xenophobia in any form.

In the negotiations we also want Britain to keep its stake in the European Investment Bank. At the centre of negotiations is Britain’s financial services industry.Our financial services have been placed under threat as a result of the vote to leave. Labour has said we will support access to European markets for financial services. But our financial services must understand that 2008 must never happen again. We will not tolerate a return to the casino economy that contributed to that crash.

We will support financial services where they deliver a clear benefit to the whole community – not just enriching a lucky few. We’ll work with the finance sector to develop this new deal with finance for the British people.

We will fight for the best possible Brexit deal for the British people.

There will be no more support for TTIP or any other trade deal that promotes deregulation and privatisation, here or across Europe. And we’ll make sure any future government has the power to intervene in our economy in the interests of the whole country.

For Britain to prosper in that new Europe and on the world stage, our next major challenge is to call a halt to this government’s austerity programme.

The Conservative Party built upon the disaster of the 2008 financial crisis by introducing an austerity programme that has made the impact of the economic crisis more prolonged, protected the corporations and the rich, and made the rest of society pay for the mistakes and greed of the speculators that caused the crash.

Last year this Conference determined that this party would oppose austerity and that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have had some major successes. We’ve forced the reversal of tax credit cuts.We also fought and won to have the Personal Independence Payment cuts scrapped.

Sometimes we don’t thank people enough in our movement. So I want to thank Owen Smith for the work he’s done working with Jeremy to defeat the Tories on this.

These are tangible victories that are making a real difference to people’s lives. This is what we can achieve when we are united.

So when we go into government united, be clear, we will end this government’s austerity programme that has damaged the lives of so many of our communities. The first step is opposing austerity; the second step is creating the alternative.

Exactly as our economic advisor, Nobel Prize winner, Joe Stiglitz, says: “we have to rewrite the rules of our economy”.

We will rewrite the rules to the benefit of working people on taxes, investment, and how our economic institutions work. So on tax, we know we can’t run the best public services in the world on a flagging economy with a tax system that does not tax fairly or effectively.

I’ll congratulate the Christians on the Left for their campaign promoting the hashtag “patriots pay their taxes”. It’s a great slogan. Patriots should pay their taxes. Labour are already setting the pace on tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion.

We launched our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme to force the Government into action. I’d like to thank Rebecca Long-Bailey for leading the Labour charge in Parliament to hold the tax dodgers to account.

The publication of the Panama papers threw just some light on the scale of tax evasion and avoidance. Some of the largest firms in the City of London are up to their necks in it. HSBC alone accounted for more than 2,300 shell companies established to help the super-rich duck their taxes.

In government we will end the social scourge of tax avoidance. We will create a new Tax Enforcement Unit at HMRC, doubling the number of staff investigating wealthy tax avoiders. We will ban tax-dodging companies from winning public sector contracts. And we will ensure that all British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories introduce a full, public register of company owners and beneficiaries.

Our review of HMRC has also exposed the corporate capture of the tax system, and how staff cutbacks are undermining our ability to collect the taxes we need. I want to thank PCS, Professor Prem Sikka, John Christiansen and their team for the expertise they have provided us in drawing up this review.

The next stage of our work will be to develop the legislation and international agreements needed to close tax havens and end tax abuse. I’ll give you this assurance that when we go back into government, we’ll make sure HMRC has the staffing, the resources, and the legal powers to close down the tax avoidance industry that has grown up in this country.

But we have to do more than stop tax avoidance. The burden of taxation as a whole now falls too heavily on those least able to pay. So let me make it clear: in this coming period we will be developing the policies that will shift the tax burden more fairly, away from those who earn wages and salaries and onto those who hold wealth.

Turning to investment, as I’ve said before, Labour as a party of government needs to think not just how we spend money but how we earn it. I’ve announced a £250billion investment programme that will ensure no community is left behind. This is the scale of investment that independent experts say will start to bring Britain’s infrastructure into the 21st century.

It means putting the investment in place that will transform our energy system, providing cheap, low-carbon electricity. It means ensuring every part of the country has access to superfast broadband, matching the best in the world. It means delivering the transport improvements, including HS3 in the north of England, that will unlock the potential of our whole country.

For too long major decisions about what and where to invest have been taken by Whitehall and the City. The result has been underinvestment and decline across the country. It’s time for our regions and localities to take back control. So we will create new institutions, not run by the old elite circles.

Our £250billion National Investment Bank will supply the long-term, patient finance needed to sustain a new, more productive economy. It will be backed up by a network of regional development banks, with a clear public mandate to supply finance to regional and local economies.

It’s a disgrace that our small businesses can’t get the finance they need to grow. Our financial system is letting them down badly. The new regional development banks will have a mandate to provide the patient, long-term investment they need.

But we’ll go further than this. We’ll shake up how our major corporations work and change how our economy is owned and managed. We’ll clamp down on the abuses of power at the very top. There’ll be no more Philip Greens under Labour and we will legislate to rewrite company law to prevent them.

We’ll introduce legislation to ban companies taking on excessive debt to pay out dividends to shareholders. And we’ll rewrite the Takeover Code to make sure every takeover proposal has a clear plan in place to pay workers and pensioners.

But we can do more to transform our economy for working people. Theresa May has spoken about worker representation on boards. It’s good to see her following our lead. We know that when workers own and manage their companies, those businesses last longer and are more productive.

If we want patient, long-term investment, and high-quality firms, what better way to do it than give employees themselves a clear stake in both? Co-operation and collaboration is how the emerging economy of the future functions. We’ll look to at least double our co-operative sector so that it matches those in Germany and the US.

We’ll build on the good example of Labour Councils like Preston, here in the north-west, using public procurement to support co-operatives where they can. We’ll help create 200 local energy companies and 1,000 energy co-operatives, giving power back to local communities and breaking up the monopoly of the Big Six producers. And we’ll introduce a “Right to Own”, giving workers first refusal on a proposal for worker ownership when their company faces a change of ownership or closure.

So the next Labour government will promote a renaissance in co-operative and worker ownership. The new regional development banks will be tasked with supplying the capital a new generation of business owners will need to succeed.

We’ll support business hubs across the country. I visited Make Liverpool yesterday, where an abandoned warehouse is being turned into a shared workshop space for small businesses and the self-employed. The next Labour government will provide support to establish business hubs in every town and city.

We know the economy is changing, with more people self-employed than ever before. We need to think creatively about how to respond and so we’ll be taking a serious look at how to make the welfare system better support the self-employed.

And I am also interested in the potential of a Universal Basic Income – to learn from its potential from the experiments currently taking place across Europe.

But until working people have proper protections at work, the labour market will always work against them. To achieve fair wages, the next Labour government will look to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Employment Relations.

We’ll reintroduce sectoral collective bargaining across the economy, ending the race to the bottom on wages. And let me give you this commitment: in the first hundred days of our Labour government, we’ll repeal the Trade Union Act.

And what happens when trade unions are weakened? Over 200,000 workers in the UK are receiving less than the minimum wage set down in law. This is totally unacceptable.

Under Labour, we will properly resource HMRC and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to make sure there are no more national scandals like Mike Ashley of Sports Direct. And our vision for a high-wage economy, with everyone receiving their fair dues, does not end there.

I have spoken before about building on the great achievements of previous Labour governments. One of the greatest achievements of the government elected in 1997 was the establishment of a national minimum wage, lifting millions out of poverty. The Tories opposed it, claiming it would cost millions of jobs, but – united in purpose – we won the argument.

Under the next Labour government, everyone will earn enough to live on. When we win the next election we will write a real Living Wage into law. We’ll charge a new Living Wage Review Body with the task of setting it at the level needed for a decent life. Independent forecasts suggest that this will be over £10 per hour. This will be a fundamental part of our new bargain in the workplace.

But we know that small businesses need to be a part of the bargain. That’s why we will also be publishing proposals to help businesses implement the Living Wage, particularly small and medium-sized companies. We will be examining a number of ideas, including the expansion and reform of Employment Allowance, to make sure that this historic step forward in improving the living standards of the poorest paid does not impact on hours or employment.

Backed up by our commitment to investment, we will end the scourge of poverty pay. Decent pay is not just fundamentally right, it’s good for business, it’s good for employees, and it’s good for Britain. We need a new deal across our whole economy.Because whatever we do in Britain, the old rules of the global economy are being rewritten for us.

The winds of globalisation are blowing in a different direction.They are blowing against the belief in the free market and in favour of intervention. Look at the steel crisis. With the world market flooded by cheap steel, major governments moved to protect their domestic steel industries. Ours did not, until we pushed them to. They are so blinkered by their ideology that they can’t see how the world is changing.

Good business doesn’t need no government. Good business needs good government. And the best governments today, right across the world, recognise that they need to support their economies because the way the world works is changing.

For decades, manufacturing jobs disappeared as producers looked for the cheapest labour they could find. Today, one in six manufacturers in the UK are bringing jobs back to Britain. That’s because production today is about locating close to markets and drawing on highly-skilled labour and high-quality investment.

Digital technology means production can be smaller-scale, in smaller, faster firms dependent on co-operation and collaboration, not dog-eat-dog competition. The economies that are making best use of this shift are those with governments that understand it is taking place, and support their new industries and small businesses. We could be a part of that change here.

There is a huge potential in this country, and in every part of this country. We have an immense heritage of scientific research, and engineering expertise. Today, our science system is a world-leader. We have natural resources that could make us world-leaders in renewables. We have talent and ambition in every part of the country.

Yet at every single stage we have a government that fails to reach that potential. It has cut scientific research spending, it has slashed subsidies to renewables, threatening tens of thousands of jobs, and it plans to cut essential public investment in transport, energy, and housing across the whole country.

Be certain, the next Labour government will be an interventionist government. We will not stand by like this one has and see our key industries flounder and our future prosperity put at risk. Like Rebecca Long-Bailey has said, when we return to government we will implement a comprehensive industrial strategy.

After Brexit, we want to see a renaissance in British manufacturing and as we’ve committed ourselves, our government will create an entrepreneurial state that works with the wealth creators, the workers and the entrepreneurs to create the products and the markets that will secure our long term prosperity.

Let me just say this in conclusion, on a personal note. I’m so pleased that this conference is being held in Liverpool. I was born in the city, not far from here. My dad was a Liverpool docker and my mum was a cleaner who then served behind the counter at British Homes Stores for 30 years. I was part of the 1960’s generation. We lived in what sociological studies have described as some of the worst housing conditions that exist within this country. We just called it home.

As a result of Labour government policies, I remember the day we celebrated moving into our council house. My brother and I had our own bedrooms for the first time. We had a garden front and rear, both of us were born in NHS hospitals, and both of us had a great free education. There was an atmosphere of eternal optimism.

Our generation always thought that from here on there would always be a steady improvement in people’s living standards. We expected the lives of each generation would improve upon the last. Successive Tory governments put an end to that.

Under Jeremy’s leadership, I believe that we can restore that optimism, people’s faith in the future. In the birthplace of John Lennon, it falls to us to inspire people to imagine.

Imagine the society that we can create. It’s a society that’s radically transformed, radically fairer, more equal and more democratic. Yes, based upon a prosperous economy but an economy that’s economically and environmentally sustainable and where that prosperity is shared by all.

That’s our vision to rebuild and transform Britain.

In this party you no longer have to whisper it, it’s called Socialism.