KEIR Starmer will say he does not care if he "sounds conservative" in a speech in which he will pledge to be "on steroids" in his mission to reform Labour.

The Labour leader will draw a link to Tony Blair's momentous 1995 decision to ditch the party’s Clause Four constitutional commitment to “common ownership of the means of production”.

Ditching the clause was a clean break between the old Labour Party and Blair's vision of "New Labour", and Starmer is expected to stress that his vision for the party is more than just moving on from the Jeremy Corbyn era.

But the SNP said Starmer's "lurch to the right" showed there was little difference between what he and Rishi Sunak's Tory Party have to offer.

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In a speech at the Progressive Britain Conference in central London on Saturday, the Labour leader will say: “The Labour Party will only restore hope in the country if we once again become the natural vehicle for working people, an agent for their hopes and aspirations, a party of the common good.

“Some people think that all we’re doing is distancing ourselves from the previous regime – that totally misses the point.

“This is about taking our party back to where we belong and where we should always have been … back doing what we were created to do.

“That’s why I say this project goes further and deeper than New Labour’s rewriting of Clause Four … This is about rolling our sleeves up, changing our entire culture – our DNA. This is Clause Four – on steroids.”

And Starmer (below) will accuse the Tories of failing to be "conservative", saying they would not "stand up for the things that make this country great". 

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He will say: “We must understand there are precious things – in our way of life, in our environment, in our communities – that it is our responsibility to protect and preserve and to pass on to future generations. And look, if that sounds conservative, then let me tell you: I don’t care.

"Somebody has got to stand up for the things that make this country great and it isn’t going to be the Tories.

“That in the end is one of the great failures of the last 13 years. A Tory party that in generations past saw itself as the protector of the nation and the Union has undermined both.

“They’ve taken an axe to the security of family life, trashed Britain’s reputation abroad, and totally lost touch with the ordinary hope of working people.

“The Conservative Party can no longer claim to be conservative.

“It conserves nothing we value – not our rivers and seas, not our NHS or BBC, not our families, not our nation.”

Touching on the topic of patriotism, he will also tell the conference: “Patriotism is about putting the country first, about serving your country, not just parading its symbols like the Tories do, but that working people do need to see your commitment to service.”

The SNP MP Deidre Brock said Starmer had "abandoned" progressive values.

She told the National: "Starmer's latest lurch to the right has proved again there's little difference between him and Sunak, and that no matter who occupies Downing Street after the next election, be they blue Tories or red, Scotland will suffer.

“At the next General Election we can remove Tory MPs in Scotland by electing strong SNP representatives who will stand up for the progressive values the Labour party have abandoned.

"A strong SNP presence at Westminster will drag Labour to the left and hold them to account over Starmer's broken promises, reverse Brexit, and deliver a referendum to the people of Scotland so we can choose a better future."

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The speech comes at the end of a taxing week for the Labour leader, weathering two sex crimes scandals, with one frontbencher accused of sexual assault and an aide quit after he was found to a groped an intern.

He is also facing pressure from the SNP after he ditched a pledge to abolish tuition fees and criticism over his positions on immigration and civil liberties

The speech comes after a successful set of local elections for Labour, with a general election largely expected to be held next year.

The Conservatives lost nearly 1000 councillors, as voters turned to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Starmer will tell his party that it is on a “path towards power”, but will warn that there is “still more work to be done, and the toughest part lies ahead”.

He is expected to say: “We’ve got to navigate our way through revolutions in technology, in energy, in medicine and, with an ageing society, even in who we are.

"Climate change is a recipe for global instability. The global economy, the shape of power in the world, is changing. There is war on our continent. And then there’s the state of our country after 13 years of shambolic Tory government.

“If you think our job in 1997 was to rebuild a crumbling public realm, that in 1964 it was to modernise an economy overly dependent on the kindness of strangers, in 1945 to build a new Britain, in a volatile world, out of the trauma of collective sacrifice, in 2024 it will have to be all three.”

The speech will also see Starmer take aim at Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives for stoking a so-called “culture war”.

He will say: “I have never believed there was an appetite for culture war politics in this country. You don’t need to humiliate people to move our country forward – you need to bring people together.”