It was wonderful to be back at Labour Conference in Brighton, seeing familiar faces in-person, many for the first time since 2019. Here’s a roundup from me.
Crisis and IPPR event on homelessness
Firstly, it was a pleasure to speak at the Institute for Public Policy Research and Crisis panel event about homelessness amongst non-UK nationals.
I made the point that the cause of homelessness is a direct result of the hostile environment policies introduced by this Conservative government, which continues to criminalise people and slash vital local authority budgets. There was broad agreement that the hostile environment has been a big cause of homelessness for non-UK nationals among the panel.
Refugee Action panel event on refugees
With Refugee Action, I chaired a fantastic panel at conference on defending the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. Speakers included Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, and it was great to hear widespread concerns about the Nationality and Borders Bill.
Refugees deserve compassion. The Government’s proposals, as they are currently written, do the opposite.
Meeting young ambassadors from Send My Friend
I was also grilled by the incredibly articulate and insightful young ambassadors from Send My Friend. Questions focused on the climate crisis, education and the impact of policies on young people across the UK. Our future is definitely in safe hands!
Labour policy announcements
We also heard from colleagues during conference about what a Labour government would look like, including a superb speech from Keir Starmer highlighting the need for a good society and strong economy. The Labour values of work, care, equality and security will underpin our policies as we go into the election.
Here’s a look at some of the policies announced this week.
The way we approach mental health in this country needs to change. Labour will transform mental health services with 8,500 new mental health staff, open access mental health hubs, specialist support in every secondary school and new funding to improve mental health outcomes.
It was also great to see the climate investment pledge made by Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves of £28 billion each year until 2030 on green infrastructure and jobs. By acting, Labour will avoid spiralling costs in the future as the Tories continue to kick the climate can down the road.
On education, I was proud to see the policies announced at conference. The Labour Party is committed to investing in children’s futures, enabling them to develop the skills that will set them up for life. This includes making work experience compulsory, boosting arts and digital funding, offering better careers guidance to children, ensuring all children are offered the chance to play a musical instrument or sport, and teaching students about pensions, mortgages and contracts from a young age.
These policies will change lives and will be funded by removing the charitable status from private schools.