What time is Keir Starmer’s speech today? When the Labour leader will speak at Labour Party Conference 2021

In the most important speech of his political career, Sir Keir is expected to lay out a vision for the future and attack Boris Johnson’s government

Keir Starmer will give his first full conference speech as Labour leader today in Brighton.

Starmer took over the leadership in April 2020 but is yet to address a full conference crowd, as last year’s event took place virtually due to Covid.

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So far the party conference has not been without incident, as rows over comments by deputy leader Angela Rayner and a shadow cabinet resignation have largely overshadowed policy  announcements.

Starmer will no doubt hope that the speech will shift focus away from factional battles within the party and finish the conference on a positive note.

However, there are strong rumours that some Labour members are planning to hold a protest in favour of a £15 minimum wage to coincide with Starmer’s speech, after Andy McDonald resigned from the shadow cabinet over a dispute with the leadership on the policy.

What time is Keir Starmer’s speech today?

The leader’s speech at Labour conference typically takes place around midday on the last main day of the conference.

Keir Starmer will address the conference main hall at 12pm today (29 September) in Brighton.

Generally, the speech is seen as the highlight of the event, with party leaders looking to set a tone which will carry throughout the rest of the year.

For Starmer the speech will be particularly important, as he is considered by many to be struggling in his role as party leader.

Although there has been an improvement in some recent polls, Labour under Starmer has failed to make serious progress against the Conservatives over the last year.

Some have also criticised Starmer for failing to talk at the conference about the ongoing fuel supply and HGV driver shortage.

The Labour leader will also be concerned that his speech will not receive the coverage it usually would, given the severity of the crisis.

Will the speech be on TV?

Although this year’s Labour conference has not been as widely televised as in previous years, Starmer’s speech will be covered live by most news outlets.

You can watch the speech live on the Labour Party’s YouTube channel, on Sky News’ YouTube channel, or on BBC iPlayer.

What will he say?

In what many are describing as a crucial juncture for Starmer, reports suggest he will seek to deliver a personal speech with details about his life, which also addresses the ‘big questions’ society faces.

He will say: "The questions we face in Britain today are big ones: how we emerge from the biggest pandemic in a century, how we make our living in a competitive world, the climate crisis, our relationship with Europe, the future of our union.

"These are big issues, but our politics is so small. So our politics needs to grow to meet the scale of the challenge."

He will also seek to lay out a clearer idea of his vision for the country, and launch an attack on Boris Johnson’s government.

Starmer is expected to announce plans to train ‘thousands’ more teachers and cut waiting times for mental health services.

In an attempt to convince voters that Labour is a credible government-in-waiting, Sir Keir will say: “Too often in the history of this party our dream of the good society falls foul of the belief that we will not run a strong economy.

“But you don’t get one without the other.

“And under my leadership we are committed to both.

“I can promise you that under my leadership Labour will be back in business.”

The speech will likely build on themes laid out in a lengthy essay published by Starmer earlier this month.

In the 11,500 word pamphlet, published by the Fabian Society think tank, Starmer described his view that society should reward “people who work hard and play by the rules”.