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Keir Starmer Attacks ‘Trivial’ Boris Johnson In Conference Speech

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Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer attacks ‘trivial’ Boris Johnson in conference speech

Keir Starmer condemned Boris Johnson as “trivial” and a “showman” as he brushed off hecklers to deliver a highly personal conference speech aimed at convincing voters Labour is ready for government.

The Labour leader received a string of standing ovations as he delivered his 90-minute speech to a packed hall in Brighton, closing a five-day conference in which his party’s divisions had been on stark display.

He repeatedly pressed home the message that Labour’s priority was now to win the next general election – and was applauded as he listed the achievements of the Blair and Brown governments.

Labour strategists believe the botched exit from Afghanistan and the chaos of this week’s fuel crisis have sparked fresh doubt in voters’ minds about Johnson’s competence.

Starmer accused the government of “ignoring the problem, blaming someone else, then coming up with a half-baked solution”. He ridiculed Johnson’s “levelling up” slogan, saying: “Level up? You can’t even fill up!”

“We have a fuel crisis, a pay crisis, a goods crisis and a cost of living crisis – all at the same time,” Starmer said, urging the prime minister to “either get a grip or get out of the way and let us clear up this mess”.

Starmer was introduced by Lady Lawrence, the mother of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. He was joined in the audience by the parents of Jane Clough, who was killed by her former partner, and contrasted his legal career campaigning against injustice in situations such as theirs to Johnson’s past as a columnist and occasional TV guest.

In stark contrast to Angela Rayner’s controversial branding of Johnson as “scum”, Starmer sought to dismiss the prime minister as “a showman with nothing left to show” and “a trickster who has performed his one trick”.

“It’s easy to comfort yourself that your opponents are bad people. But I don’t think Boris Johnson is a bad man. I think he is a trivial man,” he said.

Starmer was repeatedly heckled by a small number of individuals, some of whom shouted “£15!” in reference to calls for a £15-an-hour minimum wage. He tackled them with a series of prepared putdowns, prompting applause from the majority of the audience in the hall.

Labour divisions were exposed afresh in Brighton after Starmer pushed through changes to the way the party elects its leaders and reselects sitting MPs at the weekend.

Grassroots members also passed a series of radical policy motions, including a demand for a “socialist green new deal” and a £15 minimum wage, which Starmer has said he would not support.

He did use the phrase “green new deal” in his speech, however, as part of a lengthy passage with echoes of Harold Wilson’s “white heat of technology” speech in which he highlighted the potential for transformative new technologies.

Starmer announced what he called a “national mission” to ensure every home in the country was better insulated and cheaper to heat within a decade. Labour calculates the £6bn-a-year plan would enable it to fund grants and low-cost loans to enable 19m homes to be insulated, helping consumers to cut their bills.

The speech was peppered with personal anecdotes about what Starmer called his “two rocks” – family and work – and he embraced high and low culture, from walking onstage to a track by the Brighton DJ Fatboy Slim – with whom Starmer had music lessons as a child – to quoting the poet WH Auden.

“You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-object look,” Starmer said, adding that he had seen that look in his toolmaker father.

He repeatedly portrayed Labour as on the side of working people, underlining the values of “work, care, equality and security”.

Starmer’s team believe the fluidity of public opinion means they have a chance of winning the next general election, though they acknowledge they face an uphill struggle against the Tories’ 80-seat majority.

With Labour keen to make gains in Scotland, where it was all but wiped out in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum and has struggled to recover, Starmer attacked Nicola Sturgeon’s record in office and promised Labour would offer a robust defence of the union. “We are more progressive together. We are more secure together. We are a bigger presence in the world together. We are greater as Britain than we would be apart.”

Without naming his predecessor, Starmer firmly distanced himself from the era of Jeremy Corbyn, promising never again to go to the electorate with “a manifesto that is not a serious plan for government” – prompting a heckler to shout: “It was your Brexit policy.”

Some of Starmer’s former shadow cabinet colleagues, including Jon Trickett and Diane Abbott, subsequently pointed out that Starmer had signed off on the manifesto for the 2019 general election, in which the party plunged to its worst defeat since 1935. Asked about this afterwards, Starmer’s spokesperson said: “There is a principle of collective responsibility.”

In a further striking contrast with the Corbyn years, Starmer stressed Labour’s patriotism and led the crowd in a standing ovation for Britain’s armed forces – though not all of those present joined in.

“Here in this conference hall we are patriots,” he said. “When we discuss the fine young men and women who represent all our nations we don’t boo. We get to our feet and cheer.”

Starmer’s team believe the perception that Labour was unpatriotic, or sympathetic to anti-western forces, was an important factor in the loss of scores of former heartlands seats in the last general election.

The Conservatives will gather for their own conference in Manchester this weekend, against the backdrop of petrol shortages, soaring energy bills and fears about the supply of key goods in the run-up to Christmas.

The longest speech? How Starmer compared
Starmer’s conference speech was the longest in recent memory, clocking in at about 90 minutes. His word count was just short of Ed Miliband’s 2014 speech: 8000 words compared with Starmer’s 7,300. A Labour spokesperson claimed Wednesday’s speech took longer to deliver because they had not anticipated the amount of clapping. Here are some of the other longest political speeches:

Ed Miliband, 2014

The former Labour leader gave one of the most memorable party conference speeches as he talked for over an hour without notes. He did miss out a long passage about the economy, for which he was heavily criticised.

Hugh Gaitskell, 1962

The then leader of the opposition gave a very long speech about his aversion to joining the common market. It had more than 10,000 words, but was delivered more quickly, in 83 minutes.

Fidel Castro, 1960

One of the longest ever speeches on the international stage was the Cuban leader’s speech to the United Nations on imperialism and colonialism. It ran to four hours and 29 minutes.

Henry Brougham, 1828

The prize for the longest continuous speech in UK parliament goes to this Whig MP, who spoke for more than six hours on law reform.

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned, Channels Television learned on Monday.

Sources told Channels Television that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Information also has it that arrangements are ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to reports, a formal announcement will be made shortly.

Until his resignation, reports had it that Justice Muhammad was seriously ill.

Last week, 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written him a letter to lament the decrepit state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

Meanwhile, Justice Tanko Muhammed did not attend the opening of the training for Judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution organized by the National Judicial Institute, amidst reports of resignation.

Although no Supreme Court Justice is present at the event.

Training of Judges by the Institute is usually declared open by the CJN or any of his representatives. however, the Administrator of the Institute, Justice Garba has opened the session.

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Sunday said he is still searching for his running mate.

He stated this in Abuja while delivering his keynote address at the 60th birthday celebration of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The ex-Lagos Governor also heaped praises on the Speaker for his contributions to his political ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President and democracy, while extolling the virtues of his Deputy, Hon Idris Wase, for being a dependable ally.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari described Gbajabiamila as a team player and a skillful parliamentarian.

A file photo of APC preisdential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, said the Speaker is one who looks beyond differences for the benefit of all.

“For him what matters is not so much the party differences but what unites Nigerians and that is why he is a passionate advocate for a peaceful democracy and unity of Nigeria. And no amount of parliamentary maneuvers or differences between parties would deviate him from this,” he said.

“He introduced the term legislative diplomacy. When there were issues between Nigerian and Ghanaian traders, he went to Accra and met with his colleagues and tried to resolve the issue.

“Mr President is very proud of the fact that he did not need to interfere in how the National Assembly runs because he had trust in the capacity in the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and therefore he feels that with capable hands in both chambers of the NASS there is no need to interfere.

“It is also a fact that under the Speaker and leader of the Senate, there is no automatic opposition and antagonism to the executive. The role of the legislature is not to be antagonistic as a matter of routine, but to be partners for good governance for the people of Nigeria. They are working together to make Nigeria better.”

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

Farouk Aliyu has told those doubting the credentials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to seek redress in court

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives made the comment on Sunday amid claims that Tinubu falsified his academic qualifications.

“We have gone through this a very long time ago. Asiwaju Tinubu was governor in Lagos, a two-time governor. These issues have come up. What haven’t they said about Tinubu? What hasn’t he proved to the people? And look, that is the beauty of democracy,” he said during an interview on Channels Television Sunday Politics. 

“If anybody feels strongly that our candidate has no qualification to be president, he is entitled to go to court and challenge that.”

Search For Running Mate

In this file photo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Adamu Aliyu, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on May 10, 2021.

Aliyu, who also spoke about the search for a running mate to the former Lagos State governor, said the decision lies with Tinubu. He stated that the APC is still consulting and reiterated that competence, not religion, will be the major determinant.

“So, if our party comes out with a Muslim candidate, so be it. We are going to make sure we win the election,” he maintained.

“And if in the wisdom of our candidate, he brings a Christian candidate, we are also going to make sure we win the election because, as I said before, it is not about the religion or where you come from. It is about competence.”

His remarks came hours after Tinubu said he is still in search of a running mate ahead of the general elections.

He spoke on Sunday during his keynote address at a book launch to mark the 60th birthday of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said at the event held in Abuja.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

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