Monday at the Labour conference: the highs and lows – The Guardian


Against a backdrop of the falling pound, the opposition sets out an alternative vision
“It will fall to us to fix the damage the Tories have done. We have done it before, we will do it again” – Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, making her speech to conference on the day the pound hit a record low against the dollar.
I'm on just after Jonathan but I got ready like a normal person this morning without photographers #LabourConference22 https://t.co/eFu3c2JesO
The economy, stupid. With the pound falling to a record low against the dollar before most delegates had even started their breakfasts, the ripples from Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget-that-was-not-a-budget were always going to dominate. The debate was thus less within Labour than how it would confront the government, and by good fortune Reeves was scheduled to speak on Monday lunchtime. She set out an alternative vision, including the return of the top rate of income tax, with the money put into NHS recruitment.
What better to do the day before your big speech than visit a clean energy centre?
In keeping with the publicly harmonious mood of this year’s event, this was a fairly behind-the-scenes row, but a row nonetheless. Momentum, the left-leaning grassroots Labour organisation, accused the party of “rigging the system” to avoid debates on the nationalisation of energy and water.
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The conference did debate nationalisation for rail and Royal Mail, but Momentum said its delegates were not told about a meeting to agree to the motion, meaning its elements were ruled out.
Keir Starmer’s speech. Usually held on the final day of Labour conference, the leader’s address has been switched to the 2pm Tuesday spot, a sign of its importance this year. Labour insiders argue that Starmer has largely clinched the argument for being a credible opposition. Now, they say, he must set out a compelling vision for government with an election looming. No pressure, then.

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