Theresa May says Conservative Party ‘must be for everyone’, takes aim at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
The British prime minister announced new borrowing powers for councils to build more houses, and said the days of austerity were over.
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said the Conservative Party must be the “party for everyone” and that the days of austerity were over, BBC reported. May, who addressed the party’s conference in Birmingham, said that a decade after the 2008 financial crisis “better days are ahead”.
The prime minister danced on stage at the conference to a song by Abba before beginning her speech. “There must be no return to the uncontrolled borrowing of the past,” she said in a veiled attack on the Labour Party, The Guardian reported. “No undoing all the progress of the last eight years. No taking Britain back to square one.”
May alluded to an increase in public spending, announcing new borrowing powers for councils to build more houses. She added that a limit on the amount councils can borrow “does not make sense”. The prime minister said her government would “make markets work in the interest of ordinary people again”. May also unveiled a new “cancer strategy” aimed at improving rates of early detection of the disease.
The prime minister called her trade agreement with the European Union a “free trade deal that provides for friction-less trade in goods”. She warned delegates, who have been divided over the plan, that “pursuing our own visions of the perfect Brexit could lead to no Brexit at all”.
May also repeatedly took potshots at Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. She claimed that the “Jeremy Corbyn party” rejects the “common values that once bridged our political divide”. The prime minister criticised Corbyn’s opposition to military action and claimed he would “raise taxes higher and higher” if he came to power.
May also deplored an antisemitism row in the Labour Party as a “national tragedy”. In July, the Opposition party adopted a definition of antisemitism borrowed from the definition accepted by an intergovernmental organisation called the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. However, the party omitted some references to how criticism of Israel can turn into antisemitic rhetoric, sparking widespread condemnation. On September 4, the Labour Party finally adopted the alliance’s full definition.