DAVID Cameron branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser who hates Britain as the Prime Minister used his party conference speech to move the Conservatives to the left and take control of the centre ground.
In his keynote address to the first conference since the Tories’ general election victory in May, Mr Cameron made clear he wants his party to occupy territory vacated by Labour as it moves left under Mr Corbyn.
Mr Cameron vowed to spend the second half of his ten years in power taking on Britain’s deepest social problems – poverty, lack of opportunity, discrimination and extremism.
Labour under Mr Corbyn had “completely abandoned” the principles of strong defences, sound money, an enterprise economy and equality of opportunity, leaving the Conservatives “the party of working people, the party for working people – today, tomorrow, always”, he said.
He added: “Thousands of words have been written about the new Labour leader. But you only really need to know one thing: he thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a ‘tragedy’.
“No. A tragedy is nearly 3,000 people murdered one morning in New York. A tragedy is the mums and dads who never came home from work that day. A tragedy is people jumping from the towers after the planes hit.”
I love every part of our country. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – we are one nation and I will defend our Union with everything I have got.David Cameron
And he won loud applause as he told activists: “My friends, we cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love.”
While he ignored the SNP and barely mentioned Scotland, he also made it clear that there will be no second independence referendum.
Mr Cameron said: “I love every part of our country. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – we are one nation and I will defend our Union with everything I have got.”
The Prime Minister said he would end the “passive tolerance” of the promotion of extremist ideas, promising to shut down any Muslim madrassa schools which teach children hatred and intolerance.
And he said he would stand up for the British values of “freedom, democracy and equality”, telling activists at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that he wanted to see “less Britain-bashing, more national pride”.
He said Tories should be proud of their journey as a “modern, compassionate, one nation Conservative Party”, as he listed the women, children of immigrants and working-class MPs who sit in the Cabinet and on Tory benches in Westminster.
He cited not only the troops of the First and Second World Wars, but also the suffragettes and Gay Pride activists as among those who had fought to secure Britain’s freedoms.
Mr Cameron said: “Over the next five years we will show that the deep problems in our society – they are not inevitable. That a childhood in care doesn’t have to mean a life of struggle. That a stint in prison doesn’t mean you’ll get out and do the same thing all over again. That being black, or Asian, or female, or gay doesn’t mean you’ll be treated differently.”
He called for “a Greater Britain made of greater expectations, where renters become homeowners, employees become employers, a small island becomes an even bigger economy and where extremism is defeated once and for all”.
Labour hit back saying that the personal attack showed Mr Cameron was losing the arguments.
A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “The fact that David Cameron used his speech to make personal attacks on Jeremy Corbyn are a sure sign that he is rattled by the re-energisation of the Labour Party.
“With cuts to tax credits and a continued failure on housing, his claim that the Conservatives are the party of working people is being exposed.”
At the conclusion of a conference which has been dominated by jockeying for position in the looming leadership race triggered by his announcement he will not seek a third term, Mr Cameron made a point of handing out praise to leading contenders for the succession.
He hailed George Osborne as “our iron Chancellor” and Justice Secretary Michael Gove as “the great Conservative reformer”.
London mayor Boris Johnson was given a standing ovation as the Prime Minister said he wanted to single him out for attention, adding: “He’s served this country.
“He’s served this party. And there’s a huge amount more to come.”