Protestor arrested after disrupting Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour conference speech

A protestor has been arrested on suspicion of assault after Sir Keir Starmer was covered in glitter during his Labour conference speech.

As Sir Keir began to address the gathering in Liverpool the heckler began shouting “true democracy is citizen led” and threw glitter at Sir Keir, but was swiftly removed.

Sir Keir, who has repeatedly highlighted how he has shifted the party since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, said “protest or power, this is why we changed our party”.

After removing his jacket he said “If he thinks that bothers me, he doesn’t know me”, before beginning his speech with glitter on the shoulders of his white shirt.

A 28-year-old man from Surrey has been arrested on suspicion of assault, breach of the peace and causing public nuisance, Merseyside Police have said.

Sir Keir used his speech to praise the spirit of the British people despite the “Tory project to kick the hope out of this country”.

He set his sights on a “decade of national renewal” under Labour, suggesting he wants at least two terms in power.

In a nod to New Labour, Sir Keir said the country had “13 years of ‘things can only get better’ versus 13 years of ‘things have only got worse’”.

“This is what we have to fight: the Tory project to kick the hope out of this country. Drain the reservoirs of our belief.”

He told activists: “I have to warn you: our way back from this will be hard, but know this: what is broken can be repaired. What is ruined can be rebuilt. Wounds do heal. And ultimately that project – their project – will crash against the spirit of working people in this country. They are the source of my hope.”

He said “the fire of change still burns in Britain” and it “lives on inside Labour”.

Sir Keir set out the importance of helping people with the cost-of-living squeeze, claiming that Rishi Sunak and the Tory Party could not understand the way people were suffering.

He said the squeeze on living standards “intrudes on the little things we love, whittles away at our joy”.

“Days out, meals out, holidays the first things people cut back on. Picking up a treat in the supermarket just to put it back on the shelf.”

He added: “Conference, we have to be a government that takes care of the big decisions so working people have the freedom to enjoy what they love. More time, more energy, more possibility, more life.”

But for “people like Rishi Sunak” they “cannot see the country before them, the walls of Westminster are so high”.

Setting out the scale of the challenge likely to face Labour if it wins the general election expected next year, he said: “If you think our job in 1997 was to rebuild a crumbling public realm, that in 1964 it was to modernise an economy left behind by the pace of technology, in 1945 to build a new Britain out of the trauma of collective sacrifice, then in 2024 it will have to be all three.”