October 03, 2023

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, addressed Conservative Party Conference 2023 in Manchester

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove addressed addressed Conservative Party Conference 2023 in Manchester.

Here is what he said:

I want to begin with a word of thanks. I want to thank you every single one of you in the hall, your friends, your family, the army of Conservative activists, members, and supporters. Because it’s thanks to you your unstinting effort, your energy, and your enthusiasm, that we have Conservatives in government.
And we Conservatives have a record we can be proud of.
Consider the facts.
We have delivered.
We have delivered better state schools than ever before.
With our children the most literate in the Western world and there are more students from state schools at our best universities.
More students securing top grades in maths, physics and chemistry.
Our universities the best in Europe and they are growing.
We have record numbers in employment.
We have created one million more new jobs while in government.
Welfare is simpler, fairer and better targeted.
We have taken hundreds of thousands completely out of income tax.
Families have many more hours of free childcare,
Since Covid, our economy has grown faster than France’s or Germany’s.
We have also delivered:
The first national living wage…
… same-sex marriage and the most diverse Government ever.
Stronger defence with two new aircraft carriers…
… new nuclear submarines and a strengthened NATO.
We have delivered the fastest decarbonisation of any major economy.
And we are world leaders in offshore wind.
World leaders in reforming farming.
And we have shown world leadership in protecting our oceans,
Brexit has been delivered…
… and membership of the world’s fastest growing trade bloc secured.
There’s more than £350 million extra a week now for our NHS. Promise made. Promise delivered.
We’re showing world leadership in life sciences, in AI and in gene technology.
We have delivered a points-based migration system.
Crime is down.
The Union has been strengthened.
… devolution delivered in England…
… nationalism is in retreat in Scotland.
We delivered the fastest vaccine rollout in the world.
We have been Ukraine’s strongest supporter against the evil of Putin’s regime.
And we are every nation’s indispensable partner…
… in fighting for freedom, democracy and a better world.
We have a record to be proud of…
… a Conservative record…
…a record of delivery against the odds…
… a record every one of us should be proclaiming every single day from now until the next general election!
This is a record which will give us victory.
And we will take the fight to the Labour Party.
The party of Jeremy Corbyn and his self-proclaimed friend Sir Keir Starmer.
Sir Keir…
…who was against Brexit…then wanted to accept Brexit… then wanted a second referendum on Brexit… then said he wanted to make Brexit work…
…then said he wanted a Brexit which was identical to EU membership…
…saying…as he always does…whatever he thought people in the audience wanted to hear.
He is the jellyfish of British politics…
…he’s transparent, spineless and swept along by the tide.
Under Sir Keir, Labour is the party of equivocation, procrastination, prevarication…
…but never prepared to stand up for our nation.
It is the party of high unemployment…higher taxes… …and always…
… the highest debt and deficits.
The party of low ambition…
… lower standards in our schools…
… and – always – the line of least resistance…
… in the face of left-wing pressure groups at home and threats abroad.
Well we have a message from this hall for Labour and Sir Keir.
We will fight, fight and fight again…
… for the country we love.
And there is so much to love about our country.
Though you might not always think that…
… if you relied on Twitter for your news and the Guardian for your views.
There is a fashionable tendency to denigrate our country…
… to denounce our past…
… and to see only decline in the future.
But the country that the left depict is not the United Kingdom we know.
This is a country which welcomes refugees from Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
A country which invests billions fighting climate change in the poorest countries in Asia…
… we fight poverty in Africa… and tyranny everywhere.
We are a country with the most diverse and inclusive – Conservative – government in the west.
A Foreign Secretary whose mum came from Sierra Leone.
A Home Secretary whose family are from Kenya and Mauritius.
A Business Secretary brought up in Nigeria.
And a friend of mine…
… whose grandparents came here from Kenya’s Indian diaspora …
…our Prime Minister.
Rishi Sunak.
Rishi is an inspiration to so many and an example of what our open, generous, great nation stands for…
… opportunity for all…hard work rewarded… prejudice vanquished...service to others…and courage in the fight.
We are so lucky to have Rishi as our Prime Minister…
… and he will lead us to victory at the next election.
For while we have achieved so much together…
… there is still much more to do.
And I am blessed that in that endeavour I have a superb team of ministers and officials alongside me.
Rachel Maclean – reforming the planning system, fighting for more homes, standing up for small businesses,
Lee Rowley – delivering more funding for local government and stopping the Lib Dem nonsense of a four day week delivering poorer public services.
Jacob Young – the engineer of levelling up supporting our towns to flourish.
Felicity Buchan – tackling anti-semitism with our Bill to end the stigmatisation of the world’s only Jewish state by the far left.
And our heroine in the Lords – the wonderful Jane Scott – a champion for the council tenants who have been let down by Labour local authorities.
Can we thank them all?
And can I also thank everyone in this hall who serves in local Government – our councillors and former councillors are the stars who guide our path forward, the local heroes who are responsible for thousands of acts of kindness and leadership every day.
Can we all salute our councillors and everyone in local Government who do such a great job?
Our councillors remind us – we win as a team – and as a team we have so much more to do.
We need to ensure that every family has a safe, decent warm home…
We need to ensure that many more young people can have a home of their own.
We’re on track to deliver a million new homes in this parliament…
… but we need many more.
And our long-term plan for housing will deliver the attractive, affordable new homes that we need.
We will build in the hearts of towns and cities and on brownfield land…
… because that cuts commuting times… ..revitalises high streets.. and protects the green belt.
We will ensure that our new homes are energy efficient… zero carbon ready...and built to the highest aesthetic standards.
Because we are not just the party of opportunity and ownership…
… we are the party of beauty and nature.
And that is why we will resist the proposals of the Labour Party… and now the Lib Dems too…
… to build all over the green belt and destroy precious natural habitats.
Labour must not be allowed to take our fields, meadows, and forests away from our children…
… and we will stop them.
Under the Conservatives…we will …have a beautiful built environment and an enhanced natural environment.
And by investing and building in our cities and towns…
… we will power the regeneration of communities let down by Labour in the past.
Across the North of England, across the Midlands, across the whole of our United Kingdom…
… it is Conservatives who are levelling up…bringing high quality jobs and high tech companies… to communities which were neglected by the Left.
In Redcar it is a Conservative mayor.. Ben Houchen… bringing 4,000 new jobs to Teesworks.
In Walsall it is a Conservative mayor… Andy Street… bringing new homes and new green jobs.
In Blackpool, it is Conservatives…who have secured millions of pounds for a new town centre, new college places and new hope.
And we are also working in Mansfield. In Worksop. In Wednesbury.. in Leigh. in Grimsby. In Accrington…in Dudley. In Ashfield…
… in towns across our country which are the backbone of Britain…
… to bring new jobs. New opportunities. A new hope.
In our towns…
… the values of hard work and solidarity… common sense and common purpose… endeavour and quiet patriotism… have endured across generations.
But our towns have been overlooked and undervalued by Labour…denied the support they need… denied the action against anti-social behaviour they have demanded…denied the investment they deserve.
That is why we are investing in our long-term plan for 55 towns across the United Kingdom…
… to ensure that in the country we all love no community is left behind..
We can make that investment because we have made tough choices.
That is what Government requires.
That is what Conservatives deliver.
And Conservatives in Government have never been more necessary than now.
Because only we can deliver the changes this country needs.
Only the Conservatives have the determination to stay the course and bring inflation down..
Only the Conservatives have the resolution to resist easy answers…
… avoid empty pledges…
… and make the right decisions for the long term.
Whether its resisting inflation-busting pay demands in the public sector…
… tackling the eco loonies who stop hard working families getting to work… or facing down the faint hearts who say we shouldn’t try to control our borders… or taking on the enemies of promise in education…
Only the Conservatives are up for the fight.
We are the party that fought in the past to bring positive change.
That fought to clear slums over a century ago.
That fought to lay the foundations of the welfare state ninety years ago.
That fought fascism, communism and tyranny throughout the Twentieth Century.
That fought the culture of managed decline…low expectations… and bureaucratic sloth… that held us back in the Seventies.
The party that fought for home ownership…lower tax and personal freedom in the Eighties.
That fought to alert the world to the dangers of climate change.
And fought to uphold democracy in Ukraine.
That fought to make opportunity more equal in the last decade…
… for gay people… for poorer children… for those living with disability,
… and for those from every background… who believe in hard work and home truths.
And we will fight… at the next election. For a Kingdom more united…
… more confident… and more ambitious.
We will fight together…
…for the country we love.