SIR Keir Starmer was embroiled in a fresh tax row yesterday — after attempts to show party unity through a tribute to the Queen.
The Labour leader was dragged into a bitter clash with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham over their economic plans for No10.
It came as party bosses demanded discipline from thousands of delegates at the annual conference in Liverpool when they were ordered to sing the national anthem on the opening day of the gathering.
A minute’s silence was also held as part of the opening to honour Queen Elizabeth, six days after her funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Sir Keir insisted he would bring back the 45p top rate of income tax after a cut which will hand thousands of top earners an average of £10,000.
However, he promised to keep the planned penny off the basic income tax rate, from 20p to 19p, which would help lower earners from next April.
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Mr Burnham last night told his party leader to get on the “front foot” over last week’s tax giveaway in the mini budget by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
Speaking to delegates at a fringe event in Liverpool, he said: “We need to get a bit more on the front foot and say we are going to fight this. Where is the fight?”
He had earlier told Sky’s Sophy Ridge yesterday: “I don’t think it was a time for tax cuts. This is a time to support people through a crisis.”
He blasted the Conservative tax-slashes as “radical and deeply wrong, and I would go so far as to say immoral”.
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Instead, Mr Burnham would like to see the extra cash go on boosting nurses wages.
He also opened up another split, throwing his weight behind a campaign to rip up and replace the electoral system.
Mr Burnham said first past the post ended up “handing inordinate power over our lives to a tiny elite who often don’t reflect the rest of the country”.
The party conference will debate support for proportional representation after delegates backed the motion – but the Labour chief has insisted he would not back it.
And Mr Burnham fired a further warning shot at Sir Keir – saying he was still mulling whether to run for the top job again, despite losing twice in the past in 2010 and 2015.
He said: “I wouldn’t rule out one day going back, I’m just going to be honest about that and I probably am a better politician.”
The row overshadowed the first day of the conference, which runs until Wednesday.
Labour are planning for an election to be held in the next 12 months, as deputy leader Angela Rayner said the country was ready for a Labour government[/caption]
Sir Keir also hit out at the Tories’ so-called “trickle down” economic theory — blasting it as a “p*** take”.
Meanwhile, The Sun can reveal Labour are internally planning for an election to be held in the next 12 months.
Letters being sent out by regional party chiefs have ordered all internal elections to be suspended in case of a snap poll by new PM Liz Truss.
Top brass have already put the entire party on a war footing, and are expecting all MPs to be ready to fight another election.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner said the country was now ready for a Labour government — just like when Tony Blair swept to power in the 1990s.
Speaking to delegates, she said: “Just as our country was desperate for change in 1997, we need change now. Because Britain is at a crossroads.
“A moment of decision. About what future we want, about what we can collectively achieve, about who we can be.”
And party election coordinator Shabana Mahmood yesterday told delegates: “My hope is one year from now I will stand here and report to you how we won a General Election.”
Mr Burnham told Sir Keir to get on the ‘front foot’ over last week’s tax giveaway in the mini budget by Kwasi Kwarteng[/caption]
Letters being sent out by regional party chiefs have ordered all internal elections to be suspended in case of a snap poll by new PM Liz Truss[/caption]
Last night a fresh poll from Savanta ComRes predicted Labour would be on course for a 56-seat majority if another election was held tomorrow.
The MRP model puts them ahead with a 12-point lead on 45 per cent, with the Conservatives behind on 33 per cent.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves will today outline plans to set up a state-owned investment fund that would plough more cash into new infrastructure projects to help create a profitable return for taxpayers.
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She insists the party will “build British industry” establishing eight new battery factories and six clean steel plants.
It would be funded by a National Wealth Fund similar to institutions in Norway and Singapore and start with an initial pot of £8billion.