Theresa May sets out vision for a ‘new centre ground’

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Theresa May will end her first Tory conference as Prime Minister by pledging to place the Conservatives in the centre ground in British politics.

Claiming her Government will deliver action, she will say: “That’s what government’s about: action. It’s about doing something, not being someone. About identifying injustices, finding solutions, driving change.

“Taking, not shirking, the big decisions. Having the courage to see things through.”

She will say: “I want to set our party and our country on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics – built on the values of fairness and opportunity – where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person, regardless of their background or that of their parents, is given the chance to be all they want to be.”

The Prime Minister will claim there is a contrast between Tory concern for the working people of Britain and the divisive Labour Party presented to the country at its conference in Liverpool last week.

“The main lesson I take from their conference last week is that the Labour Party is not just divided, but divisive,” she will say. “Determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores.

“And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that doesn’t unite people but pulls them further apart. So let’s have no more of Labour’s absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion.

“Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority. Let’s make clear that they have given up the right to call themselves the party of the NHS, the party of the workers, the party of public servants.”

In her speech, the Prime Minister will also claim government can do good, so long as it is focused on delivering for ordinary, working class people.

“Too often that isn’t how it works today,” she will say. “Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.

“They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than seventeen million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.

“But a change has got to come. It’s time to remember the good that government can do. Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good; that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot; and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people.”

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