Theresa May sets out her vision: 'A change has got to come
Theresa May has promised that "a change has got to come" as she unveiled what she wants her Government to achieve after Brexit.
She told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham she would take on the strong on behalf of the weak, in her first conference speech as Prime Minister.
Repeatedly referencing "ordinary working-class people", she said she wanted Britain to become a "meritocracy" that worked for everyone.
The Prime Minister also turned on the "divisive" Labour Party, using the phrase once used to describe the Tories by branding them the "nasty party", and saying it was the Conservatives who would now protect the NHS and workers' rights.
To loud applause, she told delegates: "If you are a boss who doesn't look after firms, a household name who doesn't help to fight terrorism: I am putting you on warning. A change has got to come and I am going to make it."
Mrs May said she wanted to "stand up for the weak and stand up to the strong. And to put the power of Government squarely at the service of ordinary working-class people".
The overriding theme was that her Government must make Britain fairer and be one that works for all, not just the "privileged few".
Her speech hinted that the Government's aims would be to maintain free trade with Europe but retake control of immigration and to refuse to adhere to the decisions of the European Court of Justice.
But she said Britain's would not "retreat" from the world and that "now is the time to forge a bold new confident role for ourselves on the world stage".
The loudest round of applause came when, picking up on what she and the Defence Secretary had said earlier in the week about preventing lawsuits against members of the Armed Forces, she promised "never again to let those activist, left-wing, human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave".
Two of the central planks of her vow to help "every single person - regardless of their background", were to do more to improve educational and housing opportunities.
Restating her determination to reintroduce grammar schools, she said: "I want Britain to be a country in which every child has access to a good school place that's right for that individual child.
"We need to go further. Because there are still one and a quarter million children in schools that are just not good enough."
On housing, she added: "High housing costs - and the growing gap between those on the property ladder and those who are not - lie at the heart of falling social mobility, falling savings and low productivity."
Setting out the core of her vision, she said: "The Conservative Party, truly are the party of the workers… the party of public servants…the party of the NHS.
"Because we believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.
"I want us to be a country where it doesn't matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what god you worship, whether you're a man or a woman, gay or straight, or black or white.
"All that should matter is the talent you have and how hard you're prepared to work."
Labour responded to the speech by tweeting: "The Tories don't offer a shift to the centre ground but a shift to the right."
The Lib Dems also posted a response on Twitter saying: "Presumably when May says it shouldn't matter where you are born she means provided it is within the UK?"